Keep Cass County Beautiful (KCCB) in Nebraska has awarded a $1,000 grant to help with the renovation of a historic caboose in the Village of Union. The grant recipient, a local nonprofit community improvement group called Union United, is working to transform a historic Missouri Pacific Railroad caboose into a welcoming space to encourage visitors and support the community’s beautification efforts.

According to its website, Union United consists of a group of concerned individuals that are “pulling together” to improve and revitalize Union. Its mission is to solidify the future of Union by restoring a sense of community and providing a place where residents are proud to call home.

The Missouri Pacific caboose #12124 was donated to the Village of Union in 1986 as a symbol of the town’s railroad history. Following years of harsh environmental elements, vandalism, and neglect, United Union successfully initiated renovations in 2018, with guidance from the Missouri Pacific Historical Society. United Union has since worked to restore the caboose, including new windows, painting, and cleaning up the surrounding area.  

The next phase of the project involves building a welcome area and an observation deck around the caboose. The grant from KCCB will assist in new seating on the observation deck, lighting, and landscaping in the area.

“I admire their passion and commitment to beautify their community and preserve their rich history,” said Linda Behrns, executive director of KCCB.

The group is set to launch its next round of work in April 2020.