International Peace Garden
Where is it?
Recently we had a family reunion (my mother's side), and it was held at the Jordan Park in Salt Lake City. Part of the park is a beautifully planned garden called the International Peace Gardens. I didn't know what to expect, but I felt a sacredness and world unity about the place. It is located on the banks of the Jordan River and has been there since 1947.
Utah is made up of several nationalities. This garden was created to promote the general welfare of the communities in Salt Lake City.
The motto is "Community Service for Civic Improvements". Committees that contribute and maintain the gardens come from the United Nations, Utah Youth Village, Wasatch Youth Center, YWCA, University Hospital and others.
The gardens and structures in the International Peace Gardens symbolize world peace, the true spirit of democracy, literature, cultural heritage, brotherly love and the history of many lands.
They were the initiated by Mrs. Otto Wiesley in 1939. She acted as Citizenship Chair for the Centennial Celebration of 1947. She hoped to promote good citizenship by having foreign groups help with the beautification of the City. It was proposed and approved, however, it was stopped at the onset of World War II, before being started again.
Labor of Love
Each group was allotted a section of the garden for them to design, create and plant with their own funds. They were approved by the City Parks Director and each part was dedicated and then presented to the City who maintains the gardens.
The first country represented in the gardens was the United States. Others include Europe, Africa and Asia. Also, the Japanese gardens were added followed by 28 countries before space ran out. Festivals include the various groups dressed in their native costumes dancing and singing traditional songs. All of this is free.
The only other known peace garden in the United States is one on the Canadian border in North Dakota.
The day we visited there were several people visiting and enjoying this beautiful peaceful place. Over 20,000 people visit the gardens each year.
I hope more people will be aware of these gardens and share in their meaning and hope for peace in our world.
A place of refuge and hope on the banks of the Jordan River in Jordan Park, Salt Lake City, Utah.
© 2015 Elayne
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