News / USA

New York Botanical Train Show Fascinates Children of All Ages

A toy train travels past a model building at the New York Botanical Gardens.
A toy train travels past a model building at the New York Botanical Gardens.

Multimedia

Peter Fedynsky

Toy trains are often associated with the holiday season in the United States.  Many children are fascinated by trains running under a family Christmas tree or on display in public places.  One of the most elaborate holiday train shows in the United States is at the New York Botanical Garden. Visitors are amazed by the creative use of plant material in the display, now in its 19th year.

This vast greenhouse amid approximately 100 hectares at the New York Botanical Garden houses exotic plants from around the world.   It is known as a museum of plants, featuring a huge assortment of palms, fruits, conifers and flowers of all shapes and sizes.

And during every holiday season, it also features toy trains winding their way through a New York City landscape of skyscrapers, bridges, mansions and a replica of the greenhouse itself.  The glass is made out of pine sap.  

Exhibitions Director Karen Daubmann explains that the entire landscape is made from plant material. "If you take a closer look, you'll see little chimneys on some of the buildings, and the top is an acorn cap.  Some of the buildings have bark for shingles, or different colored leaves for shingles.  Some buildings have a roof made out of pine cone scales," she said.

The show is particularly popular among the 100,000 children of all ages that Daubmann says visit the show each year.

The younger ones seem to particularly enjoy the television cartoon character known as Thomas the Tank Engine, and the whimsical ladybug train that darts in and out of the Washington Arch.   Modern freight trains and trolleys also run on about 400 meters of track at the exhibit over trestles, through tunnels, and past cascading waterfalls.  The creative use of plant material impresses visitors young and old, boys and girls alike.

"They made everything out of plants and wood and bark,"said fifth grade boy Finbar Ruan.

"Trains, the mansions, the bridges and all that stuff.  All the things they made it out of," added Adeena Jaffa, a fifth grade girl.

"The buildings, when you see how they were built, are amazing, because they're all built of natural materials, said Fred Gorton, a retired electrical engineer.

The show expands with a new feature each year.  The latest - the Trans World Airways terminal at New York's Kennedy Airport. Its roof is made from the giant corrugated leaves of the tropical tin roof tree. Touching down on the runway is a Concorde supersonic jet.  A Boeing 747 is parked on the tarmac beside the terminal.

Nearby is a replica of Ellis Island, where millions of immigrants passed through before entering the United States.  And in the greenhouse "harbor" is the Statue of Liberty, which welcomed those immigrants and their creative energies to American shores.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid