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.
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.
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.
“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.