Community comes together for Fernwood

Published 9:30 am Thursday, December 17, 2015

Like the rest of the community, we too were deeply saddened to learn that a fire had destroyed the popular Railway Garden at Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve.

Many of us have visited the feature over the years, admiring the lifelike trains as they glided along miniature tracks through the beautifully detailed landscape.

To see a large portion of the once-great structure reduced to smoking rubble on that day was heartbreaking.

Thankfully, Fernwood Executive Director Carol Line said this week that an effort to rebuild the railway garden is progressing well.

If all goes as planned, she said the new and improved railway garden will open next spring.

This good news is possible, in part, to Fernwood receiving more than $12,000 in donations from various people, organizations and schools both near and far.

If there is a silver lining to the fire, it is that Fernwood staff learned just how much the community cares for the Niles botanical garden.

This winter, the people who built the original railway garden (Paul Busse and his team at Applied Imagination) will begin recreating the railway garden at their shop in Kentucky.

Line said it will be a mixture of the previous railway garden’s most popular features and new additions.

We can’t wait to see what Applied Imagination comes up with.

The wait for spring will be a long one.

Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.