Dave Balthis brought the kid out in us on Friday morning at the Columbia Patuxent Rotary meeting. Dave, Dick Ruehl, and John Wafer, have kept the childhood churning for 20 years with the train garden display they so affectionately nurture at Station 2 in Ellicott City.
Each year, the garden is different, and is enjoyed by generation after generation of families who have made the visit part of their holiday tradition. The scientific method they utilize to count guests leads to the conclusion that approximately 15,000 people pass through each year. The scientific method is that they buy at least 10,000 candy canes, which are handed out to guests. They are gone each and every year.
They delight with the visual display, and also give back to the community. There is no cost to attend, but patrons bring donations of toys which are distributed throughout the community. People also make monetary donations which fund thegarden, and the rest is given to community organizations. Volunteers run the whole operation, who spend their holiday evenings and weekends working on and running the garden, so that others can enjoy. If you haven’t made the trip, be sure to do so this year!