Along the Way ~ The International Peace Garden

The International Peace Garden (IPG for simplicity’s sake) is located on the border of North Dakota, USA, and Manitoba, Canada.1 The IPG has, for me, been a “bucket list” destination for many years. So, once I knew our 2014 family reunion was planned for North Dakota, I was careful to include the IPG in our travel plans.

The IPG was dedicated in 1932 as “a living monument symbolizing that two nations can live in harmony along the longest unfortified border in the world.” Its location was initially marked by a simple cairn constructed of stones gathered from both Canada and North Dakota.

IPG-entrance cairn

The entrance cairn at the International Peace Garden

Weather did not cooperate with our 2014 tourist agenda—this area is usually hot and dry by late spring through the summer, but the days and weeks preceding our visit were cold and wet enough that planting at the IPG was behind schedule when we visited. So…the gardens weren’t as well-developed and lush as I hoped, and the cloudy, misty day we visited definitely limited our photo ops. That said, I’m still glad we went.

What struck me most about the IPG is that every major component—the Peace Tower, Peace Chapel, Floral Clock, the entrance cairn, etc.—is equally situated across the U.S./Canadian border. The garden is much larger than this central core—it encompasses music and athletic camps, a campground and hiking trail, and several picnic areas. Lake Udall, on the U.S. side of the border, was hand dug and constructed in 1934 by the U.S.’s depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The site’s first building, now known as the Historic Lodge, was constructed by the CCC in 1937. The IPG has since been enhanced by gifts from civic groups including the Masons, Eagles, and  veterans’ organizations. The garden’s 9/11 memorial site, opened in 2010, includes ten girders from the World Trade Center.

IPG-Peace Tower

The Peace Tower

IPG-Peace Chapel

The Peace Chapel

IPG-Sunken Garden

View from the Sunken Garden west toward the Peace Tower and Peace Chapel

1We stayed in nearby Bottineau, ND, where we also enjoyed Mystical Horizons and the Four Chaplains Memorial.
2This is just one example: the design of the Floral Clock is different each year.

Sources for this post include International Peace Garden, Wikipedia, and various tourist brochures.

“Along the Way” is a celebration of a few of the roadside attractions we visited when we were in North Dakota earlier this summer. Posted for Susannah Conway’s August Break 2014.

7 thoughts on “Along the Way ~ The International Peace Garden

  1. Wanda, When Steph and I travelled she would drag me to places like this, and I loved her for it. I am not much for “gardens and stuff” but just looking at the pictures stirs the emotions as they should be stirred. Thank you for sharing this visit and these pictures. Take care, Bill

  2. I’ve never heard of this before. Thank you so much for introducing me to it. With all of the un-peaceful borders in the world today, it’s uplifting to be reminded of the friendly one we share with our Canadian neighbors.

  3. We tend to forget the unique nature of the relationship between Canada and the US – what a wonderful way to memorialize it. Beautiful!

  4. Lovely to see this, with its elegant simplicity of line and form. The misty grey just seems to accentuate it – thank-you for these super photos, for I will probably never get to see it for real.

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