Children’s Honorary International Peace Garden dedication Aug. 28 at YWCA

Aug 24, 2015

BATAVIA — YWCA of Genesee County and International Peace Garden are planning the dedication of the Children’s Honorary International Peace Garden at YWCA’s North Street facility.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony at noon Aug. 28 at 301 North St.

The garden is part of a worldwide trail of Peace Gardens spanning five continents, and it will also be locally connected to Batavia Peace Garden and an honorary garden at Genesee Community College. YW’s garden has a special significance for International Peace Garden Foundation founder Paula Savage, she said.

‘‘YWCA will mark the third Honorary International Peace Garden located in Batavia. It is near and dear to me because this is my home. As founder of this cause I am extremely proud to have such a strong presence here in my home town,’’ Savage said. ‘‘These gardens also send a strong message out to visitors that Batavia is a community that embraces the ideals of freedom, democracy and peaceful society.’’

The children’s garden began three years ago with a small plot of land behind the YW building. It has since developed into a colorful landscape of creative projects and a bountiful harvest.

Hands-on lessons have taught children in YW’s Adventure Program to respect nature while they have learned about how to plant, nurture, harvest and prepare fruits and vegetables for delicious snacks and meals.

The garden is an ideal place to also recognize the value of peace locally and throughout the world, program Director Jen Paxhia said. She and Savage have been coordinating this effort to officially dedicate the space as a Children’s Honorary International Peace Garden. There are only two such gardens in the country, with the other one being in Washington, D.C.

“We are thrilled to receive this distinction, and the children are very excited that they have been a big part of it,’’ Paxhia said. ‘‘We are working on a song that they hope to present to guests during the dedication.’’

The idea to establish honorary peace gardens emerged when leaders of worthy sites indicated they wanted to be connected to the cause, Savage said. They then became part of an international registry.

YW’s garden has been well tended by Adventure children, many whom Savage has met while visiting there.

‘‘They are delighted to have it there and they take great pride in caring for it,” she said. ‘‘If you are lucky, the next time you visit, have one of the children show you around. To me that is the essence of what a Peace Garden should be.’’

The dedication will include some words and a proclamation from state Assemblyman Steve Hawley, an explanation of how international peace gardens work and a song by Adventure Program children.

Refreshments will also be served. Registration is not mandatory but appreciated. Please call (585) 343-5808.