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Nampa Garden Club helps fundraise for The Nampa Train Depot

Posted at 8:02 PM, Dec 08, 2023

The Nampa Garden Club has created handmade ornaments to be sold as a fundraiser for the Nampa Train Depot.

  • Nampa Train Depot leases the land and building from Union Pacific, but is responsible for all maintenance and upkeep on the building.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Historically, the Nampa Ladies Garden Club has decorated and fundraised at the Festival of Trees... but this year they're switching tracks and going in a different direction.

Garden Club president Sharon Viorel offered, "The Nampa Garden Club felt that it was important that we support something regarding the history of the city of Nampa. We thought it was important to do something for the train depot and help them with a fundraiser to support their cause."

To showcase their skills, the Ladies have made eight different kinds of ornaments themed around the Treasure Valley and trains.

"The inspiration for some of the main ornaments were historical in nature. They depict pictures of the old city in Nampa and then there's some fun things, very traditional Christmas, some are vintage."

"The money raised from the sale of the ornaments goes to the Canyon County Historical Society to help with the maintenance of the building, which is crucial to the future of the train depot

"The depot and the land that it sits on belongs to the Union Pacific Railroad. With help from the Rotary Club, we were able to make a deal with Union Pacific to lease the building and the land for about $30 a year if we form the Canyon County Historical Society... "

There's just one catch...

"We are responsible for all maintenance and repair on this building. We are not funded in any way...we depend on gifts, grants, and donations to keep this building alive and vibrant and in good repair. "

That's where the community help comes in. In fact, this year's city tree lighting turned out to be the Depot's most profitable day ever.

Young volunteers from the American Heritage Girls helped with decorating holiday display cases,

"well I did Raggedy Ann dolls and teddy bears so people know the history of stuff," explained Sylvia Briggs.

Volunteering provided them with a unique opportunity to work with historical artifacts.

"Each of the artifacts had either a sticker with a number or a number written on them that we had to dial it down on a piece of paper before wrapping them up in boxes."

One of the garden club members is the great-great-granddaughter of the first mayor and founder of Nampa.

"We're losing history everywhere. They tore down the Dewey hotel, there's a lot of things that are gone now and so if we don't have history we don't have anything."

The Depot has some other opportunities for guests that help the historical society to fundraise and keep the building alive. Renting the Depot out to families and groups that want to take photos inside the vintage and decorated interior. Merry shared with me later that appointments at their venue are a great space for families needing a sensory-friendly environment.

If you would like to book time at the Nampa Train Depot to have your family photos taken, you can reserve time here.