Gardeners Fight To Save Oasis Near Train Tracks

A unique garden, worked on for more than 20 years, is now just dying flowers.

And now many neighbors have called Lu Ann Cahn and the NBC10 Investigators to find out why it was killed without warning.

It sat like a tiny oasis guarded by a dinosaur that wound along a train track.

For more than 20 years, Andris Peterson and his neighbors invested their own money to beautify this special stretch of land.

However, Amtrak owns the property and sprayed the area with an herbicide, Cahn reported.

The gardeners are asking Amtrak not to spray in the future. They said the garden is too far from the tracks and is only home to perennials and shrubs.

Peterson and neighbor Patti Milsop admit the garden is on Amtrak property.

They said two years ago, they put up signs asking Amtrak not to spray near the garden. They said Amtrak agreed if they would take down the signs.

Thinking they had the company's commitment, the gardeners took down the signs. But they said Amtrak has sprayed the area twice this year.

Amtrak refused a request for an on-camera interview with the NBC10 Investigators and instead issued a statement.

"This garden is on Amtrak property and ... Amtrak is well within (its) rights to spray on (its) property without prior notification," the statement said.

The company added that this is done to keep the right of way and signals clear of foliage and vegetation and is necessary for the safe operation of trains.

The gardeners said they are ready to work together with Amtrak.

Peterson said he's written letters to Amtrak officials but has not heard back. Last week, "no trespassing" signs were posted on the property.

"It's a big bureaucracy, and we're waiting for all the answers," Peterson said.

Meanwhile, Peterson said he has been trying to save what's left of the garden -- a sanctuary so popular that it has been featured on the Narberth Garden Tour.

He said he wants future generations to be able to enjoy its winding paths and recycled sculptures.

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