I began assisting with this Organization in 2003 a year after I graduAted from high school. I herd about the amazing story and the idea behind spreading peace throught the world and thought, "I want to be a part of this!" I volunteered to assist in any way I could. The Committee accepted me with open arms and I was amazed at how much this experience would effect my life even to this day. I began by assisting in organizing and preparing for the dedication ceremony in Rome, Italy. From the fine detail of sorting and organizing press packets, putting linen on the tables, to meeting, greeting and serving our mission statement to resident bystanders and tourists. This is where I began to really understand the depth and intracacy of this mission. This also was my first time away from my family, first time out of the USA, I felt safe and this experience really gave me the sense that I was part of something bigger than I could imagine. I was delighted when the Organization contacted me the following year to assist in The 2004 Athens, Greece dedicationthe year when they held the Olympics. My role at this time expanded to photography which was amazing. In 2005 I was asked to assist in Cyprus, Nicosia dedication, by this time I was helping prepare for the gardens well in advance, working hard with the committee to organize and bring the gardens to life. The Cyprus garden affected me more then I could imagine, learning the History of Cyprus and how much this garden meant to the Whole country. I herd stories of pain, sorrow, redemption and enlightenment, I met people I will never forget. After the 2005 dedication I had a good Idea of what I wanted to do with my life and began my educational Journey to become a Registered Nurse to help and assist people at a more personal level. My last International experience was in the 2008 Kiev, Ukraine, never did I believe I would have the opportunity to make it there. Here not only did I do the tasks I previously mentioned, but I was able to speak in schools to young children and answer their questions about peace and the mission of the gardens. This again was a life altering experience. To see the hope of a brighter future, to see the lengths the school went to preserve there culture After being oppressed for years under the Soviet Union... Priceless. The gardens are more than a symbol, a preservation of hope for a brighter future. If you check on the ipgf.org you will see some pictures of the children and how happy they were . So flash forward to 2012 I am still in close contact with The International Peace Garden Foundation, although my level of involvement is not nearly as much, the experience I shared with them was more than I could ask for and helped shape who I am today. I did reach my goal to become a Registered Nurse and am currently serving in an Emergency Department near Buffalo, NY.
We have been working with the International Peace Garden Foundation Inc for the past two years. They have been very helpful in getting us started and pushing us to the final dedication of our Garden at the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse, Rochester, NY. They have helped us design and save money by researching items for us. We will continue to work with them. They periodically contact us with updates and to see if we need any of their resources. They produced a wonderful War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail map for visitors to follow around the United States and Canada. They people there are the best in the business.
What a wonderful concept and a beautiful way to celebrate peace. To know that these gardens are all linked together all over the world is truly something that we all should take the time to visit. I plan to make visits to these gardens a part of my travel itinerary. Also, seeing the pictures of some is breathtaking. I am proud to be able to take my tour groups to these gardens. The idea of promoting these gardens especially this year in conjunction with the War of 1812 celebrating 200 years of peace between Canada and the United States is such a great way to illustrate the beauty of peace with beautiful flowers.
In 1995 I joined the delegation from the International Peace Garden Foundation as a pro bono photographer at the dedication of the International Peace Garden: Straßburg -- a dedication made possible when Budapest nominated Straßburg at its own dedication, a year earlier. By the conclusion of the multi-day ceremonies, I had been afforded the opportunity to hear stories of how the act of receiving, accepting and nominating these gardens between the host cities had brought together dignitaries and opened lines of communication that would otherwise have not existed. Since that time the organization's methods of outreach has expanded but their core principle has not wavered: advance global friendship and understanding.
I had the pleasure of helping with the creation of the Batavia Peace Garden, working with an incredible group of people who saw the vision of transforming a "bland" parcel of land into a beautiful community treasure, And now when I drive by the garden, tears come into my eyes as I know what the group intended to do became a reality! And the community - especially the business community- has wholeheartedly supported this project. There were many obstables to overcome during the first year of planning and development, but WOW, it was worth every moment of frustration. Those people who were nay-sayers can now only shake their heads in disbelief as to the beauty and the transformation of Main Street Batavia. Even though my lilfe's path has taken a turn down the road and away from Batavia, I am proud to say I was a part of one of the most spectacular projects Genesee County has ever seen. And it's only the beginning! Kudos to the committee, and keep up the great work!
I went to the War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden with my class from school and we helped plant flowers and weed. While we were there we learned more about the War and it was great to see everyone come together to help such a worthy project. I am looking forward to seeing the other gardens as well and as volunteer if I can in any way
I have been to about 5 of the War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Gardens and they have all shown beautiful and the panels that are posted at the Garden have given me more education on the Forgotten War (As it has been called ) I love the fact that all the gardens are free and there are many attachions around the garden so there are other things to see and do GREAT JOB to all the volunteers and donated that are helping to make these gardens possible.
I have been contected with the International Peace Garden for a couple of years now and I have seen all the things they have done and contunue to do for the comunity. All of the gardens have a beautiful experience that is not only peaceful but VERY educational. The world needs more of these gardens to help bring about Peace in this very troubled world.
Once I retired from teaching, one of the things I very much looked forward to was being able to volunteer my services to the International Peace Garden Foundation. I serve as Education Coordinator, which enables me to address educational aspects of promotion of peaceful mindsets and activities in a variety of settings, primarily in schools and colleges, internationally. In my capacity as Education Coordinator, I have accompanied IPGF President, Paula Savage, and other IPGF volunteers, to three countries: Kiev, Turkey, and Switzerland. In each of these countries, we were privileged to be guests of governing officials at the dedications of the Peace Gardens, and at many school-based programs honoring the participation of students and faculty in programs they created. We appreciate the sentiments and efforts these programs represent. They are elaborate, beautifully planned and executed and dedicated to our common goal of promoting peace. Often, the students themselves will plant the Peace Gardens. When we visit the schools, for example, we may follow-up with discussions in English, about their experiences about planting the gardens, along with questions and answers regarding IPGF's history and future goals. We have been the recipients of gifts with themes of peace, such as student made rugs and quilts. These gifts reside in IPGF's headquarters and become part of our rich history. The extraordinary experiences that happen person-to-person are so memorable, and all arise because of shared interest and devotion to promoting peace and demonstrating out devotion by creating concrete symbols ( international gardens) to memorialize our ideas. We welcome volunteers to carry forth our common desire for peace in all aspects of life. We become better individuals, and the planet's population becomes more able to dream and accomplish positive deeds when peace increases and is shared. It's surely worth whatever efforts we may make, and we invite you to join us.
I met Paula Savage about 4 years ago. She introduced me to the Peace Garden Foundation. I had visited two of the gardens in Europe and had no idea what they where and how truly beautiful they are. She asked me to help her bing those gardens to her home town. Through the War of 1812 Bicentenial we where able to accomplish this goal. Today we are blessed with a wonderful garden here in Batavia, New York. Toshare gardens all along the southern shore of Lake Ontario. Due to her do diigence and that of her project manager Joyce Lorrainne and my committee for the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden we have a wonderful, beautiful,peaceful garden right here to share with our whole community. It is an effort that all involved in are proud to serve as volunteers. This organization has worked the world over to bring peace for everyone. We are also proud to work with the World Harmony Run organization who has similar goals.