Mental Floss

Pennsylvania Park Banishes Gnomes

Shaunacy Ferro
via /



A Pennsylvania state park is sending a message to gnomes: set up camp elsewhere. Little Buffalo State Park in Newport has been home to 38 gnome houses since December, when the park gave garden architecture enthusiast Steve Hoke permission to build them.

However, park officials have now decided that the miniature homes might be harmful to the park’s wildlife, the AP reports.

The gnome-themed attraction may have been too popular for its own good. Visitors have left notes and furniture, and having hundreds of people tramping along tiny paths through the forest leaving trash behind is often frowned upon by conservationists. Hoke was told that the little houses had to be removed by February 29, despite the best efforts of petitioners who fought for the homes to stay.

Hoke removed the homes on Monday. "It took me four and half hours of a very emotional journey. I have grown attached to them," he told PennLive. "It's difficult for me. It is like separation anxiety at this point."

On the bright side, people are stepping up to make room for the miniature works of architecture. A public library and several community organizations have offered to take the gnome homes, so no fantastic garden creature need be homeless.

[h/t AP]