On Saturday, Aug. 20, from 2 to 3 p.m. in Youngstown's Falkner Park, the Bicentennial Art of Peace Garden will be formally dedicated, the culmination of a year's worth of efforts on behalf of the Peace Garden committee to meet the high standards of the Bicentennial Art of Peace Garden Project. The garden, which honors the peace that exists between Canada and the U.S. over nearly 200 years, was inspired by the International Peace Garden concept originating in Canada in 1990. The project since expanded and has become a binational group of gardens.
The Youngstown 1812 Bicentennial Art of Peace Garden, which will be the fourth official garden in Western New York, is aimed to attract international visitors and regional residents to view the spectacular garden.
The committee reports the garden will be the future site for numerous cultural and local events for all ages. As part of the "signature" required for a garden to officially meet the standards for the Bicentennial Art of Peace and Garden Projects, a piece of sculpture and a boulder emphasizing the garden's significance will be added to the garden in the near future. Additionally, there will be numerous garden-related community programs from 2012-15, the three-year anniversary of the War of 1812.
At the Aug. 20 dedication, an exciting schedule of events has been planned. The ceremony will be included within the annual community picnic taking place at Falkner Park. The dedication ceremonies will begin at 2 p.m. and are expected to include the involvement of Arlene White, executive director of Binational Tourism Alliance and project leader for Bicentennial Peace Gardens, and Youngstown Mayor Neil Riordan. Numerous speakers, guests and dignitaries from Canada, the Tuscarora Nation and the U.S. are also expected at the ceremonies. Following the events, there will be a reception at 3 p.m. and the annual community picnic activities will continue.
The Peace Garden committee is made up of volunteers who have been meeting for almost a year planning and organizing the process necessary to meet the standards of the official Bicentennial Art of Peace Garden Project and make this dream come to fruition. The group's main fundraiser has been the sale of commemorative bricks, which are soon to be placed as part of the walkway that approaches the garden. Additional bricks will go on sale again on Aug. 20, the day of the dedication.
The Peace Garden volunteer committee consists of Gaylynn Long, chairperson, along with Kathy Mahtook, Tracey Lloyd, Janice Bush, Gretchen Duling, Nancy Greulich, Karen Noonan and Ann Johnston.
All share a love of history and gardening, and they invite interested community members to attend this special event.
-- Additional reporting by Alex Muto