The trolley, purchased by the Forest Lawn Heritage Foundation with a $138,000 grant from the James H. Cummings Foundation, was unveiled Friday at the Harriett Ross Tubman Buffalo Public School #31, where Forest Lawn also announced a new educational exchange program.
The program, open to all area schools, as well as senior citizen groups and garden clubs, includes educational and historical programming. Forest Lawn will also use the trolley to pick up school groups from throughout Erie County and bring them to the cemetery for tours. The schools will create an educational program for Forest Lawn.
The trolley, outfitted with a wheelchair lift and extra-wide aisle, is designed for all-weather tours, with large windows on all sides to provide optimum views. The trolley will be an integral part of Forest Lawn's "Sunday In The Cemetery" tour program, which begins its 17th season next spring.
Holly Donaldson, chairman of the Forest Lawn Heritage Foundation board of trustees, said the grant allows the organization to further its mission of promoting Forest Lawn as a cultural and educational destination.
"This trolley will not only allow us to expose more people to the history and beauty of historic Forest Lawn, but it also gives us the ability to pick up schoolchildren and other groups who otherwise would not have the means to get to the cemetery for a guided tour," she said.
The Forest Lawn Heritage Foundation is in the quiet phase of a campaign to raise additional funds to support the organization, The Future is Our Past Campaign for Capital, Endowment and Community Engagement.