The mission of the International Peace Garden Foundation has taken root in Hiroshima and Berlin, Nicosia and Pretoria — cities that have seen devastation, walls and bombs, and recovery, reconciliation and peace.
It’s visible in Batavia, where an Honorary International Peace Garden in Paolo Busti Park marked 200 years of U.S.-Canadian peace. And IPGF President Paula Savage of Batavia earlier this month helped add Mexico to the community of nations commemorating its mission.
Savage said that Puerto Vallarta, located west of Guadalajara on Mexico’s Pacific coast, was chosen as the IPGF’s 2017 site for the city’s role as a city respecting diversity of cultures and human rights, along with the country’s “substantial contributions to the UN in areas such as peaceful settlement of disputes, struggle against apartheid, promotion of disarmament and halting of climate change.”
“It was a unanimous decision to select the Vallarta Botanical Garden to convey the message of world peace, believing the Botanical Garden of Vallarta is a place of calm, comfort and healing of body, mind and spirit,” Savage said in a news release after the Feb. 16 dedication.
The new International Peace Garden adorns the slope that rises towards the entrance of the recently constructed Chapel of multiple doctrines. The Chapel is a replica of the well-known Franciscan mission in San Juan Capistrano.
The new plantings, together with Mexican wildflowers, represent the Mediterranean region of the Holy Land, a geographical region that gave birth to some of the most prolific religions in the world.
“The intention is to cultivate them harmoniously, to create a sanctuary for prayer and meditation without disturbance,” said Bob Price, curator of the Vallarta Botanical Garden.”
Inclusion and unification was the message of the day. During the dedication ceremonies, several representatives from the interfaith community addressed the audience with wide praise for the mission of the International Peace Garden Foundation.
The charitable organization established to advance global friendship through the creation of worldwide Peace Gardens, which since 1990 span five continents.
There are nine Honorary International Peace Gardens in New York State along the Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail, including the Batavia site that flies a flag of all recipient countries. Savage said the organization is seeking a sponsor for the installation of the new flag pole and Mexico’s tri-color flag.
For more information about the Foundation, visit www.ipgf.org.
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