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Charles “Chuck” Kline

Articles: Charles “Chuck” Kline

Photograph courtesy Grounds Maintenance magazine

Charles “Chuck” Kline
1921-2005

Chuck Kline began his career as horticulturist at SeaWorld in 1973. The site was a salt marsh then, but, with a great deal of effort, and much trial and error, he turned it into the outstanding garden it is today. I vividly recall the moment I met Chuck, twenty-five years ago at SeaWorld. With hat in hand, he met me in the lobby of the Human Resources Department. “I hear you’d like to work in the landscape department. Can you start Monday?” I said, “Sure.” It was that simple. Since that fateful day, Chuck has been my boss, my mentor, my supporter, my employee, and, best of all, my friend.

With his horticulture staff, Chuck was master—exacting without being pushy—showing us how to plant a flower bed without ever setting down our trowel, or how to properly prune a hydrangea, or instructing us on which plants would need sharp drainage to thrive. Chuck would mentor us with witty and entertaining tales. We heard stories about the New York Botanic Garden, while learning about how signs needed to be placed just so; about his day...

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