Memorial Park demolished in Rayne

Posted at 4:27 PM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 17:27:30-04

In Rayne, a downtown beautification and memorial project has been demolished.

Without much warning, a railroad company cut down more than thirty memorial trees. Those trees were planted in a park along the railroad, representing the lives of loved ones who have died.

"It was a beautification effort combined with a memorializing of loved ones that went on over the years," says Mayor Charles Robichaux.

Wednesday morning, an out of town crew came to Rayne to take the memorial down. 

"The people came in, they cut all the trees, and it was a sad day for Rayne and a sad day for the people who had loved ones trees planted there and it was beyond anyone’s control, it’s part of a federal regulation," says Mayor Robichaux.

Regulations require that nothing grow taller than three feet if it’s within 50 feet of the railroad. Because of this, BNSF Railway had them cut down, but the story doesn’t end there.

"There is a happy ending because yesterday I received a phone call from Mr. Joe Faust. He’s the public relations director for BNSF railroad. He says I have good news. We’ve agreed to donate the money to replant trees for the memorial that was taken down as long as it’s not planted in the BNSF right of way," says Robichaux.

Robichaux who has plans to work with those who took part in the original project to find a new home for the memorial.