BATAVIA — They gathered on a strip of grass between Main Street and Tonawanda Creek for a ceremony Saturday morning.
The crowd was not a crowd at all. No one cut any ribbons and politicians stayed away.
Instead, it was a small, symbolic ceremony that meant everything to those working on the Peace Garden, as the first “visual” aspect of the garden was installed: A giant steel globe set upon two stones.
“This is a dream come true,” said Barb Toal, project manager for the Peace Garden. “We started out as a bunch of people talking about it two-and-a-half years ago and now this is our first milestone.”
The globe, called “The World Truth and Friendship Globe,” was built by Rob Barone of Barone Welding with steel cut by Patrick Waite of Patrick’s Plasma Art. O-At-Ka and Upstate Milk cooperatives sponsored the globe and area where it sits. L. Toal Plumbing dug the hole and Kistner Concrete donated the base.
The entire project is being done with donated time and materials from businesses and people throughout the area.
“That’s how this community is coming together,” Toal said. “That’s what the garden has done.”
Eventually the Peace Garden, next to Holland Land Office Museum, will feature 20 illuminated flags representing 20 countries, an interpretive panel, a brick path, benches and, of course, flowers, plants and trees.
The Peace Garden will be stop 13 among 22 Peace Gardens from Buffalo to Oswego.
Other events scheduled for the Peace Garden: A fund-raising dinner is at 5 p.m. April 28 at Terry Hills Restaurant. Tickets are $25. Congresswoman Kathy Hochul is guest speaker.
A dedication of the flags is set for 2 p.m. May 6, with bands and other activities.