A prominent green caboose along Greenwood’s main street will soon be owned by the city — and red.
Using a $10,000 grant through the Western Arkansas Planning & Development District, the city is purchasing from a private owner the caboose and property, less than an acre, on Center Street near the downtown area. The city expects to take ownership of the property as soon as this week.
"Then we’ll be looking for future funds or donations to kind of refurbish the caboose itself," Mayor Doug Kinslow said. "We’re going to paint it red and maybe do a little bit more landscaping and things like that."
Parks Director Richard McKinney said a red caboose "would represent the trains that would come through here."
The Winford family has owned the property for years, Parks Commission chairman Joel Goldstein said.
"They sold that to the city on the condition that it become a park," he said. "We’ve got some pretty good plans for it."
Plans for the property include additional trees and parking spaces, irrigation, lighting, new signage and possibly a walking bridge to nearby Zachary Park.
"We’re going to try and get it all cleaned up," McKinney said. "It’s right on the road, so it’s not a great place to sit down and have a picnic or anything. It’s more of just an attention-getter as you come into town. It grabs your eye when you drive by there."
At the location now is a sign that welcomes visitors and declares Greenwood as "not just a whistle stop."
"We’re looking at an electric sign," Goldstein said. "‘Greenwood’s not just a whistle stop’ just doesn’t fit anymore."
The caboose came from Ben Geren Regional Park in Fort Smith, Kinslow said.
"It was there for years," he added. "For some reason years ago somebody said they didn’t want it or need it, so we inherited it, if you will."
Goldstein said Sen. Jake Files, R-Fort Smith, and Rep. Charlotte Vining Douglas, R-Alma, were instrumental in the WAPDD grant.