- Category: Peace Garden
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Introduction written by Peter Longley, Horticultural Interpreter
Saturday, June 22, featured the dedication of one of our newest gardens at the park—the Peace Garden. The Peace Garden is actually one of the furthest gardens from the Botanical Center. It is situated south of the Dwarf Conifer Garden, which is looking particularly nice at the moment, and east of Lake Drummond. This garden is the brainchild of Mariel Cardwell and gives a wonderful message for visitors to our beautiful botanical gardens. Gardens are one of the greatest unifying forces in bringing peace across boundaries. This was recently illustrated for me at the American Public Gardens Association conference in Phoenix, Arizona, where representatives from the Royal Botanic Garden in Jordan met with members of the Jerusalem Botanical Garden, the Botanical Garden of Lebanon, and gardens from Pakistan, and shared their enthusiasm for the preservation of their desert plants from their arid climates without any reference to the political tensions of the Middle East.
This ‘Peace Garden’ is dedicated to peace and to peacemakers everywhere: within the family, in the community, around our country, and throughout the world. The garden was developed in memory of Joan Collins, teacher, librarian, and peace activist, who headed the Peace Network of the Ozarks for many years. The peace pillar and benches are of Missouri marble from a local quarry. The words, “Let there be peace on Earth” on the pillar are in four languages: English, Spanish, Japanese, and Arabic. There are six peace symbols on the benches, representing many parts of the world. The dove is universal, the palm tree represents North Africa, the lion the Pacific north-west of America, the turtle the South Pacific, the doe Tibet, and the lion and the lamb the Middle East. It is expected that a Japanese crane will also be added. We hope people will visit the garden, contemplate the possibility of peace in our world, and dedicate themselves to helping achieve a more peaceful world.