The Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad (BSVRR) has been educating and entertaining Iowans for many decades. But, just like most organizations, it needs buildings for offices and exhibits.
It has been 18 years since the Main Depot exterior has been refreshed with a new coat of paint. This, however, is about to change thanks to a grant from Diamond Vogel Paint and Keep Iowa Beautiful as a part of its 2018 Paint Iowa beautiful program. This program provides free paint to groups that provide services for their community. The program plans to provide paint for Iowa’s 70 state parks in this year and the following.
The application for the grant was online, making it convenient for the railroad. The non-profit railroad mostly relies on grants and donations to keep the museum exhibits open. In the past year, the railroad has received grants for the track work on the freight operation, STEM exhibits at the museum, rescue work on the trains and depot, updated energy efficient lighting, and other things. In addition to painting the exterior of the depot, plans are underway to do some work on restoring the bricks and eventually update the depot’s interior.
Travis Stevenson started as a volunteer for the railroad, and has been working there for the past 16 years. He is currently the general manager and has been at that position for the past two years. Stevenson is grateful for the grant, “For us, it’s extremely important that they gave us the opportunity to do projects that we might not otherwise be able to do … we’re a non-profit museum, so the grants help us pay for things that otherwise we would be trying to raise money from private donations for.”
The BSVRR is appreciative for the grant and hopes to have all of the work done on the depot’s exterior and interior in the next year or two.