Not Just Planting and Pruning
Along with its picturesque lakes, joyful playgrounds and grass-covered
paths, Central Park of course has its share of homeless residents.
In the North Woods section of the park, Peruggi works with Rudy
to collect garbage. The rubbish in this zone of the park is a little
different, thanks to the drug-using and homeless population. Peruggi
and the gardener discover and collect hundreds of crack cocaine
vials. Dog poop isn't the only thing to avoid stepping in here --
homeless people have left some human droppings behind as well.
Sometimes a gardener's job can be dangerous, when he is confronted
with drug-dealing or drug-using park visitors. One such shady character
gets a little aggressive when he sees the "Back To The Floor"
camera capturing his image (Hey, the cops could identify him!) and
violently rushes the film crew. The cameraman doesn't wait to see
if the attacker is friendly or not. He runs.
Many of the gardeners are actually expert horticulturists, and
Peruggi is concerned that they spend too much of their time collecting
garbage instead of tending to the park's immense amount of flora.
Some mornings, these trained professionals spend as many as three
hours picking up trash. "You just wonder how much do you need
to spend on garbage pick up everyday and you're really wasting the
talent of somebody like John who really knows horticulture, who
could be doing horticulture all day long," Peruggi says.
Next: Results - Fewer Managers and Less
Garbage Duty >>>