The Consulate General of Canada in Atlanta joined leaders in St. Marys, Georgia to dedicate the community’s 1812 Binational Heritage Peace Garden.
St. Marys Garden is the 10th of 23 Canadian and U.S. Peace Gardens that make up the new Binational Heritage Peace Garden Trail. The trail, coordinated by the Binational Alliance, is a special initiative to commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and 200 years of peace between Canada and the U.S.
St. Marys is Georgia’s southernmost coastal city. It is now also home to the first Binational Peace Garden located beyond the Southern Great Lakes. Although small in population, this unique community has many stories to share -- from its Acadian history to the War of 1812 Battle of Point Peter that took place January 11-15, 1815.
Located next to the historic Oak Grove Cemetery, the garden was dedicated in a ceremony with guests including Binational Alliance Executive Director Arlene White (Niagara, Canada), Consul Robert Pengelly (Consulate General - Atlanta), Georgia State Representative Jason Spencer and other local civic, business and tourism leaders. The newly dedicated garden will be maintained by St. Marys’ Earthkeepers. The Earthkeepers are led by Canadian Alex Kearns, a longtime St. Marys resident.
In addition to its connection to the Binational Peace Garden Trail, the St. Marys Peace Garden is paired with a garden in Fort Erie, Ontario -- the site of some of the most significant battles of the War of 1812. The Fort Erie peace garden was dedicated on June 29, 2012 during the launch of the 26th Annual Binational Friendship Festival.
The peace gardens first began in 2008 and more than 20 similar projects have since been launched in the Niagara and Southern Great Lakes regions of Canada and the U.S. -- except for the new St. Marys’ location, which is the first garden outside the region. Binational Alliance executives expect that more than 60 bicentennial themed gardens may be launched by 2014.