Alexander to visit International Peace Garden
Blaine resident Christina Alexander will travel to another northern border city this year to promote Blaine’s Peace Arch Park and network with other communities that emphasize peaceful relations between the United States and Canada.
This weekend, Alexander, who founded the United States Canada Peace Anniversary Association, a non-profit organization that works to promote Blaine’s Peace Arch Park and its international sculpture exhibit, said she will travel to the International Peace Garden, a 2,300-acre park straddling the border between Boissevain, Manitoba and Dunseith, North Dakota to celebrate the park’s 75th anniversary.
While there, Alexander said she will be looking at how Peace Garden officials maintain their park and gather ideas for funding sources for our own park here.
“They’ve garnered federal funding to support their garden, so there’s a lot we can learn,” she said, adding that those additional funds allowed the park to create a dynamic atmosphere that includes an interpretive center, greenhouses, and a September 11 memorial, as well as various installations.
“A lot of people see our park as a drive-through monument so there’s a lot of opportunities for us to better interpret our historic site as a benefit to our community,” she said. “The Peace Arch Park was built and entrusted into the state park system so you don’t have the same level of community involvement. But our park was intended to evolve into something like the International Peace Garden.”
The park was originally proposed by Canadian doctor Henry Moore, of Islington, Ontario, while he attended a horticultural meeting in Greenwhich, Connecticut in 1928. It has since been supported primarily through donations and volunteer efforts.
Some highlights include a narrow channel of water along the 49th parallel; a cairn built of native hammerheads of the surrounding areas; and a floral clock featuring a duplicate of the famous Bulova floral clock at Berne, Switzerland.
Alexander said she will return in September for their first-ever Global Peace Park conference.