Ecofriendly TravelHome & Garden

Nature in a Rail Car…Literally

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By Zachary

As part of this month’s Art on Track festival in Chicago, some greenies with an artistic twinge (or artists with a green twinge) turned the inside of a rail car into a nature wonderland.


The rail car “circled Chicago’s elevated downtown loop for 5 hours with several additional cars decorated with numerous other art installations,” This Is Colossal writes.

Art on Track was apparently the “world’s largest mobile art exhibition” and I imagine this is the biggest such “nature on a train” exhibit as well.

With grass covering the floor and seats, the transit riders’ ride was a little softer than normal. Local, indigenous plants in pots also adorned the seats, window sills, and floor.

Who created the nature car?

Non-profit noisivelvet was the force behind this exhibit. Its Mobile Garden project — a project of UIC Art and Design graduate Joe Baldwin — aims to realize an open-air, flat-bed, public transit garden to be pulled behind the L train for one month.

This exhibit was a taster of such a project that will hopefully stimulate enough interest that it will allow Baldwin to move forward with the project and realize his vision.

Doing his part to promote responsible gardening and protect some of the endangered plant species around the world, Baldwin would be using all native plants in this project (and did in the Art on Track exhibit as well).

What’s the current status of the Mobile Garden project?

It looks like Baldwin and noisivelvet are looking for sponsors for the project. “With the blessing of the CTA to move forward on this, noisivelvet continues to search for a corporate partner to carry the contract to feature ideas of responsible materials, urban stewardship, and sustainability.”

Fun surprises like this are an added benefit of riding public transit — but here are some more:

  • Riding transit saves you some serious money.
  • Transit-oriented communities are safer and healthier.
  • Riding transit is interesting.
  • Riding transit saves you time.
  • Riding transit is good for the environment.
  • Transit is for lovers.
  • Trains and buses are awesome machines.

What are some of your favorite reasons to use mass transit?

Photo via This is Colossal