History of the Batavia Peace Garden

Front Cover "Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden"


BATAVIA — As Barbara Ann Toal and Paula Savage say, it isn’t a story you can tell in five minutes.

Instead, it is told in book form in “History of the Peace Garden.”

“The idea came last summer because we have to continue finding ways to bring in revenue to support the garden,” said Toal, the book’s author. Toal is president and co-founder of the Peace Garden.

“Curiosity seekers will be delighted to read the story behind the colorful flags along Main Street adjacent to the Holland Land Office that greet hundreds of local residents and visitors daily,” Toal and Savage said in a press release. “The flags, clearly the centerpiece of the Batavia Peace Garden, have been proudly flying for nearly ten years now. Since 2010, scores of visitors from across the USA, Canada and beyond arrive at the Peace Garden that completes a link in the chain of peace gardens commemorating the peace between the USA and Canada since the War of 1812.

“We had a group of Trappist monks visit the garden,” Savage recalled. “The World Harmony Run came through Batavia and stopped at our garden.”

Toal added, “It is the world headquarters for the International Peace Garden Foundation.”

2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the Batavia Peace Garden. Toal, its vice president and co-founder, was inspired to tell the story of how the garden came to be part of Batavia’s history when plans for the garden’s 10th anniversary began to materialize earlier this year. “History of the Batavia Peace Garden, chronicles its development, the links to the International peace gardens worldwide, the volunteers who worked to make this dream a reality and the vision for the future development and expansion of the Batavia Peace Garden.

“I wanted people to hear the real story. It’s a fascinating one and our community deserves to know just how much we are connected to the world around us,” Toal said. “We are the world headquarters for the International Peace Garden Foundation. Furthermore, all profits from the sale of this book will go toward the care and maintenance of the Batavia Peace Garden.”

“I felt it was important to bring the story to Batavia because it’s my home,” Toal told The Daily News. “it’s a coffee table book. It’s a conversation-starter.”

The book includes the International Peace Garden Foundation and its beginning. The next phase of the book is the Peace Garden Trail on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The third phase of the book delves directly into the Peace Garden, Toal and Savage said.

“It was a natural progression that this garden should be located in Batavia. Barb said, ‘We’re going to make this happen,’” Savage said. “Barb did the legwork to make it possible for this garden to emerge. She just plowed through all the bureaucracy. Look at what we have.”

The last time a Peace Garden was dedicated was in 2018 in South Korea.

“Every year when a Peace Garden is dedicated in a country, a flag goes up in the Batavia Garden,” Toal said. “It’s an open book.”“History of the Batavia Peace Garden” is available for $20 at Oliver’s Candies, 211 West Main St. in Batavia and Sweet Life Country Store, 100 South Main St. in Elba. You may also buy a copy by visiting www.bataviapeacegarden.com or calling (585) 770-3046 or (585) 343-2387.

Barbara Toal authored this book with Photos, History, Narratives, Explanations and reviews of History.  The first Edition was released October 26, 2020.   With over 130 pages of material, it serves the Batavia Peace Garden Volunteers proud of their accomplishments since 2010 when the concept for a Planned installation of International Flags, beautiful flowers and restful appointments including benches and tables for a peaceful safe place to relax right at the crossroads of western New York. 

Back Cover 'Friends o the Batavia Peace Garden

Copies of the book released on October 26, 2020 are available from the author for $20.00 plus shipping/postage.

This book makes a ideal Present for any Holiday and is also available from:
Olivers Candy, 211 West Main Street Batavia (585-343-5888)
or Olivers Sweet Life Country Store, 100 Main St, Elba NY

Ms. Barbara Ann Toal Author: 585-770-3046 mobile