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batavia peace garden

Explaining the Peace Garden in new book, signing at GO Art! Thursday

By Joanne Beck
Barb Toal with her book
Batavia native Barb Toal with her book, "Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden," at GO Art!, where she will have a book signing from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
Photo by Joanne Beck

People kept asking Barb Toal what Batavia Peace Garden was all about, and it was too great a concept for her to explain, so there was only one thing for her to do.

Write a book about it.

“The story is too big to tell, you know, it’s too hard to explain to people what it’s all about in five minutes,” said Toal, co-founder of the garden nestled around Holland Land Office Museum on West Main Street in Batavia. “And lots of people were asking me to tell them a little bit here, a little bit there. And I finally said, you know, if we don’t start documenting this, nobody’s gonna know what this is all about.”

And the "Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden" was born. There will be a book signing event, with light refreshments served, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at GO Art!, 201 E. Main St., Batavia.

The garden’s evolution began with Toal’s idea and the vision being outlined in paperwork in 2010. “We had to build the integrity of our organization,” Toal said, and earn the respect of the community, as those early members forged ahead with their plans to be on and in the grounds of the museum.

“And without this community, we could have never been in there,” she said. “This community is incredible. The people, the donations, and how they care about the families who care about the community are just amazing. Because every cent that has ever gone into that garden is from this community.

“All these years later, 13 years later, we got our first grant tool to enroll … to do the mural on the water tank, and the path to the second phase of the garden, because the first phase is completed and full. And the second one has partially started, and the third has been designed.”

Whoa, hold on there Barb Toal. Folks need to know much more about the beginning phase. After all, that’s why the book was written. They wanted to know what this Peace Garden stuff was all about, right?

It originated after Toal visited International Peace Garden founder Paula Savage at her home. Toal was watching footage of peace gardens on a laptop and saw one in Italy and then one in Ireland. As it happened, she had seen both of them in person during prior trips. 

“I thought it was meant to be,” Toal said. “I bought into it. I wanted to get this garden put where it is, I fought like the devil. I wanted to get people to the museum. I was born and raised in Batavia and I wanted to show it off.”

Savage is also from Batavia, and “we both love our community” Toal said. She felt that Savage, with her International Peace Garden clout, could literally bring the idea home. 

Savage came up with the idea for a garden in 1990 as a way to honor the United States and Canada as the only two countries in the world that shared the longest undefended border for more than 200 years, and her vision was accepted and installed in Washington, D.C. in 1991.

Gardens were then presented worldwide, first to Poland, and then Germany, and Hungary, and one by one, 20 countries honored one another by choosing the next one in line for an international peace garden as a token of goodwill and, of course, world peace.

There was the eventual development of a trail of peace gardens for the bicentennial commemoration activities for the War of 1812 along Lake Ontario and the U.S. and Canadian border, aptly named the Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail.  

Toal had just retired, and Savage asked her to carry out a dream to create a memorial garden to honor their community. They both knew it would take “a large amount of creativity to connect world peace to our very own small hometown community,” Toal said.

An initial planning design phase began with a committee and volunteers, as they began to work toward their goals. Batavia became a site for an honorary International Peace Garden as part of the 400-mile War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden trail from Buffalo to Plattsburgh. 

There was a garden groundbreaking in 2011. The book captures much of the progress before and since then with lots of photographs of volunteers and people who were integral to it all coming to fruition. There were those first three paying members. A cool metal globe crafted and installed by local businesses. Dignitaries, a drum and bugle corps. Scenes of digging up the earth and planting future growth. Painting benches and placing bricks. Flying flags, hands in cement, and solemn ceremonies. The Statue of Liberty. Smiles and celebrations. Re-enactment demonstrations, tours, and lessons. Fundraisers, and hotdog sales. A new shed, and longtime old friends.

Now that the first phase has been completed, which includes a painted mural on the water tank, Phase II of a soon-to-be installed arbor at the entrance, along with flags for more countries joining in spreading world peace are in the works. The second phase will also include interpretive panels that members are planning to dedicate some time next June, she said.

A third phase not quite so mapped out as of yet, is to potentially connect the ongoing garden trail to the city’s plans to develop Creek Park property behind the ice arena, she said. 

But for now, the book is on a shelf to tell the story that Toal wished to tell. 

“Because everybody goes, ‘I know the flags are there, what are they there for?’ They don’t know. But each one of those countries has an actual Peace Garden in it. And then, you know, so every year or two, or however the board chooses, another garden is added,” Toal said. “So that’s why when we designed this, to begin with, we knew that the first garden would be full of the flags we had to start with. So for the next stage of the second phase … there are flags on hold to go in there. But we can’t do anything until we get all the permissions from everybody. And then we’d add a flag each year to add more countries of the world trying to make peace, the countries that are trying to work peacefully together.” 

And rest assured, that garden members will continue to raise money to keep the effort going, from bricks and T-shirts to a seasonal hotdog stand, pins, and local flags. Even when they have a holiday get-together, board members pay their own way, she said, so as not to take money away from what’s to be spent on essentials for the garden. 

“When you love what you do it makes life so much easier; it’s a labor of love, more than a chore,” Toal said. “And we take pride in the garden.”

Proceeds from the book will go to Batavia Peace Garden. They may be purchased at GO Art!, Oliver’s Candies, and Holland Land Office Museum in Batavia. 

Peace Garden committee unveils new mural on water tank next to Tonawanda Creek

By Howard B. Owens
peace garden water tank mural
Barb Toal, Caroline Epps, Don Wallace, Dianna Bogue, Paula Savage, Louise Wallace, and Michelle Cryer.
Photo by Howard Owens.

There's been a bit more color and visual appeal that connects the Batavia Peace Garden with a second garden along the Tonawanda Creek behind the Genesee County Court House.

Artist Michelle Cryer has painted a mural, commissioned by the Friends of the Peace Garden and paid for by a state grant administered by GO Art!, on a concrete water tank next to the creek.

The mural features the butterfly bench that once graced the garden and an overflow of water simulating a breach in the side of the tank.

Sherwin Williams donated the paint.  The city approved the project.

"Without our community, as usual, we wouldn't have this here today," said Barb Toal, who came to Cryer with the idea of paint a mural on the tank. Then they came up with the concept together.

"I wanted to bring more nature in, to cover up a cement eyesore with some nature," Cryer said. 

Batavia Peace Garden and GSO win awards for 19th annual Wonderland of Trees

By Press Release

Submitted photos and press release:

The Holland Land Office Museum announces that the People's Choice Award for the 19th Annual Wonderland of Trees goes to Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden (right photo).

For the Museum Choice Award, the honor goes to Genesee Symphony Orchestra (bottom photo).

The Holland Land Office Museum congratulates the winners and thanks all participants, who went above and beyond this year with such beautiful trees and pictures, as well as sponsors and donors:

  • Tompkins Bank of Castile
  • Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel
  • Genesee County Sheriff's Association
  • Stafford Historical Society
  • The YNGODESS Shop
  • Arc of Genesee Orleans
  • Batavia Business & Professional Women's Club Inc.
  • City of Batavia Historic Preservation Commission
  • Crossroads House
  • Friends of Batavia Peace Garden
  • GCASA Recovery Station
  • Genesee Community College Alpha Epsilon Gamma
  • Genesee Community College Education Club
  • Genesee Symphony Orchestra
  • Genesee County Fish & Game Protective Association
  • Holland Land Office Wonderland of Trees Committee
  • Raising Believers Home School Group
  • Speak Up Toastmasters
  • St. Joseph Church
  • Town of Bergen Historian's Office/Harford Livery Museum/Bergen Historical Society
  • Zonta Club of Batavia-Genesee
  • Alabama Hotel
  • Batavia Lions Club
  • Jan's Smoke Shop
  • M&M Meats
  • Philly's Barbershop
  • Tonawanda Seneca Family Care Center
  • Eucharettes
  • Debra Osborn
  • Dick Siebert
  • Holland Purchase Historical Society Members

Serenity now: Buy the backstory of the Batavia Peace Garden to help maintain and care for it

By Press Release

File photos by Howard Owens from the May 6, 2012 dedication of the Batavia Peace Garden.

Information from Barbara Ann Toal.

The untold story of the "History of the Batavia Peace Garden" and its colorful high-flying flags is now a book, written by Barbara Ann Toal, who cofounded the garden along with Paula Savage.

Toal, vice president of the Batavia Peace Garden Committee, was inspired to tell the compelling story of how this beautiful garden came to be part of Batavia’s history when plans for the 10th anniversary of its ground-breaking ceremony began to take shape earlier this year.

“I wanted people to hear the real story," Toal said. "It’s a fascinating one and our community deserves to know just how much we are connected to the world around us. We are the world headquarters for the International Peace Garden Foundation. That blows me away!

"Furthermore, all profits from the sale of this book will go toward the care and maintenance of the Batavia Peace Garden.”

Upon its completion, the official dedication ceremony took place on May 6, 2012, and scores of visitors from across nation, Canada and beyond attended the honors. 

It was the first Peace Garden on the New York State Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail. It completed the last link in the chain of Peace Gardens that commemorate the accord between the United States of America and Canada since the War of 1812 ended. 

Toal's book details the links to the International Peace Gardens worldwide and describes the selfless dedication of volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality, and their vision for its future development and expansion.

She says curiosity seekers will be delighted to read the backstory of the international flags along Main Street, adjacent to the Holland Land Office Museum, that greet hundreds of local residents and visitors daily.

It's an interesting story, one that you will want to share with your friends and loved ones.

This book would be a nice addition for your home library, or a thoughtful gift for family and friends -- anyone who has a place in their heart for this small rural Western New York community that built an internationally recognized tribute to world peace.

Copies priced at $20 can be purchased exclusively at Oliver’s Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, and the Sweet Life Country Store, 100 S. Main St., Elba, or online here, or by calling (585) 770-3046 or 343-2387.

Pretty posies show off at the Batavia Peace Garden thanks to volunteers and a generous local nursery

By Billie Owens

Submitted photos and press release:

It may be a bit early to tiptoe through the tulips but visitors to the Batavia Peace Garden will be delighted to find rows of hyacinth and daffodils in full bloom there. 

As Genesee County residents are sequestered indoors for days on end due to the coronvirus pandemic, it is refreshing to know that passersby can enjoy a burst of color at the Batavia Peace Garden.

With the help of dozens of volunteers, the bulbs were planted last fall. The majority of plants were provided complements of Delre's Greenhouse & Garden Center in Batavia, according to Batavia Peace Garden Director Barb Toal.

"It's nice to know that so many people can enjoy the serenity and beauty of this garden during a time when the whole world is on edge," Toal said. "That’s precisely what the Peace Garden was created for.

"Whether you pass by in your car or take a stroll through the garden with your family, you can’t help but feel good about the colorful blooms and the sweet scent of the hyacinths. But if you do decide to take a walk be sure to practice distance guidelines. At the Peace Garden, all are welcome.”  

The Peace Garden enjoys a variety of blooms annually spring through fall. The season for tulips approaches in mid-May. That is followed by Black-eyed Susan’s, yellow roses, daises, hydrangea and much more.

Volunteers are always needed to help with more planting and garden maintenance.

For information on how you can participate, visit the Batavia Peace Garden online here or contact the International Peace Garden Foundation here.

Cedar Street Rentals donates two benches to the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden

By Billie Owens

Submitted photo and press release:

Cedar Street Rentals in Batavia has donated two Cub Cadet benches to the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden.

They are being placed in front of the shed on the west side of the County Building and Grounds Facility, along the path to the Memory Walk for a resting point for walkers who care to take a seat and enjoy.

They are a beautiful addition to the efforts of beautifying Downtown Batavia.

We members would like to take this opportunity to thank our community for all of its support in helping our flags flying and our flowers blooming!

In the photo above: committee members standing along the left bench are Louise Wallace, Berneda Scoins, Carol Grasso, and Donald Wallace; seated are Carolyn Epps with our youngest member Caleb Johnson. Standing in the middle are Ellen Bachorski, owner of Cedar Street Rentals Guy Clark and Barb Toal.

Valu Home Center plans Community Day event to benefit the Batavia Peace Garden

By Billie Owens

Submitted photo and press release:

On Saturday, July 20th, Valu Home Center will host a Community Day at the Valu Plaza location, 4152 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden will be on hand to sell hot dogs from noon to 4 p.m.

Representatives from EMS Mercy Ambulance will be present along with members of the Batavia City Fire Department. The Fire Department will be on hand to provide child car seat checks and to correctly install your car seats.

“This is our opportunity to give back to the community," said store Manager Paul MacEwan. "This will become an annual event and hopefully will grow larger in years to come.” 

We look forward to having the community join in and meet our staff.

Donations coming in to help Peace Garden after theft of urns

By Howard B. Owens

News of the theft of urns from the Batavia Peace Garden has prompted community members to come forward and help both with the replacement of the urns as well improving security at the park.

Carol Grasso told WBTA this morning that Michael Tomaszewski, owner of Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, has offered to replace the urns.

Another anonymous donor has offered to help pay for security cameras and improved lighting.

"Michael Tomaszewski, he's such a great guy; he goes so much for our community," Grasso said. "He called Paula (Savage) up and he said, 'I'm going to replace those for you.' We were just the ecstatic. He was kind enough to do this for us. He's just always been such a good supporter of the Peace Garden."

As for security, the Peace Garden board had already decided to purchase a video camera and lighting but still needed to raise more money for it. The anonymous donation helps.

"It's not cheap, you know, and then you have to have them installed," Grasso said. "We don't have any money coming into the Peace Garden. Everything we do is through donations and fundraisers. We're very fortunate to have a community that is supportive of us."

Grasso thinks it took more than one person to steal the urns.

"They were two huge, large -- they probably come up to your waist, that's how big they are," Grasso said. "They are heavy and solid granite. They're just beautiful, black. They are just gorgeous ... whoever took them, it had to be a couple of people because you can't just move them."

WBTA is news partners with The Batavian.

Urns stolen from Batavia Peace Garden

By Virginia Kropf


Paula Savage looks forward to her regular visits to Batavia’s Peace Garden, a concept she founded in 2012 for the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

Her visit on Monday morning, however, was met with shock, when she discovered someone had stolen two large urns and a ceramic snail lawn ornament from the Garden on Main Street.

“I come about every other day to water the urns and pull weeds,” Savage said Tuesday morning, as she waited for police to arrive. “This is terrible. I know people in our community respect this garden.”

The large footed urns were purchased by Savage and placed on either side of a marble bench near the flags.

She was alerted to the theft by a man who said he frequently walks his dog in the area. He noticed loose dirt on the footbridge over Tonawanda Creek, which leads Savage to believe the thieves came from the other side of the creek.

“Possibly the urns got too heavy and they dumped some of the dirt out on the bridge,” she said. “There had to have been a group of people to carry those two big urns and the ceramic lawn ornament.”

Savage said this garden is revered by the community and is promoted by New York state. It was the first Peace Garden on the New York State Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail.

“There is such an emphasis on keeping this garden beautiful, and a lot of effort goes into maintaining it,” Savage said. “I came to water the urns because I wanted the garden to look pristine for the Fourth of July.”

Batavia Patrolman C.J. Lindsay said they will be checking security cameras at businesses across the street.

Savage said the Peace Garden Committee will be investigating the possibility of security cameras and/or motion lights in the area.

“We don’t want this to happen again,” she said.

The urns stolen were dark colored and made of a resin, and the lawn ornament was a ceramic snail. Savage said if anyone sees anything resembling them, they should contact the Batavia Police Department.

Top photo: Paula Savage, founder of the International Peace Garden, shows Batavia Police Officer C.J. Lindsay where someone stole two large urns from the Peace Garden on Main Street during the weekend.


Paula Savage holds a handful of flowers which were pulled from two large urns before vandals stole them out of Batavia’s Peace Garden, presumably during Sunday night. Photos by Virginia Kropf.

Batavia Peace Garden Foundation annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser is May 25

By Billie Owens

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia Peace Garden Fundraising Committee, in photo above, is planning the Annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser. The event will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 25th, at Resurrection Church Hall, located at 18 Ellicott St., Batavia.

The public is invited to attend this gala event. The evening will feature a basket raffle, & 50-50 drawing. Plan to spend an evening of good food, good fun, good company all while supporting this beautiful community garden.

The menu includes a complete meal consisting of penne pasta, meatballs, Italian bread, salad, beverage and dessert. Guests can eat in or take out. We encourage you to obtain your tickets in advance and take advantage of a $1 savings. Deliveries can be made for orders of 10 or more. Advance purchase tickets $8, at the door $9. Meals for children under age 10 cost $5.

Genesee County residence and visitors have been enjoying the Batavia Peace Garden for the past seven years due to the generosity of this community and the dedicated volunteers who help to keep the Peace Garden in bloom. Supporting this event will help to ensure its future.

Tickets can be obtained by contacting Dona Palmer at 585-297-2230. 

Batavia resident helped dedicate International Peace Garden in Mexico

By Billie Owens

Submitted photo and press release:

Batavia resident and International Peace Garden Foundation President Paula Savage, recently returned from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where she participated in the dedication of the 2017 International Peace Garden located at the Vallarta Botanical Garden.

Mexico was nominated for the honor because of its substantial contributions to the UN in areas such as peaceful settlement of disputes, struggle against apartheid, promotion of disarmament and halting of climate change. Puerto Vallarta is known to be a leader in Mexico for respecting diversity of cultures and human rights.

Savage said “It was a unanimous decision to select the Vallarta Botanical Garden to convey the message of world peace believing the Botanical Garden of Vallarta is a place of calm, comfort and healing of body, mind and spirit."

Inclusion and unification was the message of the day. During the dedication ceremonies on Feb. 16th several representatives from the interfaith community addressed the audience with wide praise for the mission of the International Peace Garden Foundation.

The new International Peace Garden adorns the slope that rises toward the entrance of the recently constructed Chapel of multiple doctrines. The Chapel is a replica of the well-known Franciscan mission in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The plants, together with Mexican wildflowers, represent the Mediterranean region of the Holy Land, a geographical region that gave birth to some of the most prolific religions in the world. Bob Price, curator of the Vallarta Botanical Garden “the intention is to cultivate them harmoniously, to create a sanctuary for prayer and meditation without disturbance.”

The International Peace Garden Foundation is a charitable organization established to advance global friendship through the creation of worldwide Peace Gardens. Since 1990 these Peace Gardens span five continents. Residents and visitors to our community have enjoyed the Batavia Peace Garden since it opened in 2011 to celebrate 200 years of friendship with Canada.

The Batavia Peace Garden flies the flags of all the recipient countries and is registered as an Honorary International Peace Garden. There are nine Honorary International Peace Gardens in New York State along the Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail. More information about the Foundation can be obtained by visiting

Holiday benefit concert for Batavia Peace Garden is Nov. 13 at BHS

By Billie Owens

The critically acclaimed Irrera Brothers and soprano soloist Colleen Marcello will be featured in a holiday benefit concert Sunday, Nov. 13, for the Batavia Peace Garden.

"Peace on Earth" will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Batavia High School.

The concert is presented by the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden & the International Peace Garden Foundation.

Tickets are $15; student admission is $10.

Advanced purchase of tickets is recommended. They can be purchased at Roxy's Music Store on West Main Street in Batavia, or at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, which is moving on Nov. 1 to its new location at 8276 Park Road, Batavia.

For information, call 343-2387 or 201-7100.

Mark Your Calendar: 'Peace on Earth' concert Nov. 13 at BHS to benefit Batavia Peace Garden

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The International Peace Garden Foundation, in conjunction with the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden, are bringing a special concert to Batavia from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13.

The "Peace on Earth" concert will launch the holiday season and feature Colleen Marcello, an acclaimed soprano in Western New York, and the Irrera Brothers, who are world-famous musicians.

All three artists have roots in Genesee County. The Irrera’s are graduates of Batavia High and Colleen’s grandfather, Philip Marcello, was a former Mayor of Batavia. Together they proudly represent Batavia’s rich Italian heritage.

The critically acclaimed Irrera Brothers have captivated audiences throughout the United States and abroad. The New York Concert Review cited their 2013 concert in Carnegie Hall as a “riveting and dynamic performance.” Additional concert engagements have brought Joseph and John to notable venues such as the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Eastman Theatre and internationally throughout France, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Latin America. With a range of educational venues, the brothers both received their doctorates in Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music in 2014. Besides performing together and as soloists, the Irrera Brothers have served on the faculty at the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Community Music School.

Marcello received her Master of Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College. A frequent area soloist, Marcello “won the audience over” as Sister Blanche of the "Agony of Christ" in Opera Sacra’s recent production of the "Dialogues of the Carmelites." She has also been a featured soloist under the baton of Robert Franz and Marvin Hamlisch with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Her musical talents have also led her to Off-Broadway musical theater in such productions as "State Fair," "The King and I" and "Fiddler on the Roof."

Another notable feature of this concert will be the Steinway piano cosponsored by Denton Cottier and Daniels. Joseph Irrera is one of 500 Steinway musicians worldwide.  The quality of the music at this event will be unparalleled, and will be a wonderful way to kick off the holidays.

The concert will be held inside the Batavia High School Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at Roxie’s Music Store on West Main Street in the city and at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, or by calling 585-201-7100 or 585-343-2387. The ticket costs range from $15 for General Admission to $30 for VIP tickets, which also includes a Meet-the-Artist cocktail reception at the Dibble Center following the event. VIP tickets are very limited. Student tickets are $10. Advance purchase is recommended.

Make this an early holiday gift for those friends and family who are music lovers. This advance notice will insure that you can put the date aside and mark it on your calendar. This is a great way to support the arts in Western New York.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

By James Burns


Photos by Jim Burns. Information provided by Paula Savage, Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. On Friday morning, a total of 241 pinwheels were staked in the dirt of Batavia Peace Garden on Main Street, each representing a child helped last year in the GLOW region (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties).

GLOW has an Advocacy Center focusing on providing assistance to child-victims of physical and sexual abuse by reducing trauma and enhancing prosecution. They are teaming up with the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden simply because "Peace and Love is Child Abuse Prevention."

The Justice for Children Foundation, established in 2011, believes every child has the right to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment. The goal is to reduce the number of times a child-victim is interviewed and to take those interviews out of intimidating locations such as police stations, hospitals or the district attorney’s office. By reducing the number of interviews, the possibility of causing further trauma that many victims suffer in the system is also reduced.

This is how it works: members of the legal, medical, social services, mental health and victim advocacy professions are brought together in one child-friendly location. The use of the CAC with its multidisciplinary approach helps to enhance criminal prosecution and can strengthen Family Court dispositions that are in the best interest of the child. All services provided at the JFCAC are FREE

Colorful markers will be on display throughout April in the Batavia Peace Garden representing the numbers of victims identified in the GLOW region.

A coloring page has been created to promote this message and you are encouraged to get out your crayons and show your support. The pages can be obtained at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, or by requesting via e-mail:   


The last of 241 pinwheels going in the Batavia Peace Garden on Friday.

Flag of the Six Nations raised at the Batavia Peace Garden

By Howard B. Owens



The flag of the Six Nations should have been part of the flags flying in the International Peace Garden from the beginning, several speakers at a ceremony raising the flag today acknowledged, but for various reasons, with no blame cast, that didn't happen, the speakers said.

Now that it's part of the display, it will always be part of the display, at least as long as she has a say in it, said Paula Savage.

Speakers noted that the Peace Garden commemorates the War of 1812, a very bad era for our region's indigenous people, people who had been on this land long before then, long before "Columbus sailed the ocean blue" in 1492, and perhaps going back as far as ancient mammals like the mastodons. The people of the Six Nations have suffered many hardships, but remain proud.

"We are strong and we're still here, which is why we wanted a flag in Batavia," said Melissa Smith, president of the Tonawanda Historical Society.

Al White spoke of the need to protect the land and called on the young Native Americans in the audience to set aside their video games and the trappings of commercialized America and embrace their people's relationship with the Creator.

"All of our land used to look like this little garden here," White said. "It was our land and we took care of it because our Creator told us it was our duty to take care of it. It is our sacred duty. I'm grateful for this flag over here, but my flag is all around me because my flag is the land of the Creator."



Jeanne Taradena


Al White


Kathrine Sike and Al Parker raise the flag.


The Seneca Singers


Frank Panepento plays the melody for "Amazing Grace." (The song sung by the Seneca Singers was the same melody with words in the Seneca language.)

Annual flag raising at Batavia Peace Garden is Saturday, plus Time Capsule dedication, reenactors

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Batavia Peace Garden Annual Flag Raising will take place on Saturday, May 16th, at 11 a.m. in the Batavia Peace Garden, located next to the Holland Land Office Museum at 131 W. Main St. in the City of Batavia. The flags will be raised by veterans and volunteers. NYS Assemblymen Steve Hawley will provide a brief history of the flags.

Saint Joe’s Brass Ensemble will be on hand to provide patriotic music. The Genesee County War of 1812 Militia will perform a ceremonial salute following the flag raising. This will be followed by taps.

In addition, the Batavia Bicentennial Time Capsule Dedication is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. on the grounds of the Holland Land Office Museum. This will be followed by a reception in the Museum with complimentary refreshments.

Planned activities include costumed reenactors and hot dogs for sale. 

This is a family-friendly event. The public is invited to attend. Bring your lawn chairs and make a day of it!

Ceremonial Flag Raising and Bicentennial Time Capsule Burial

By Holland Land Office

This Saturday, May 16th, the Holland Land Office Museum and the Batavia International Peace Garden are celebrating a joint event! The Peace Garden's annual flag raising will take place at 11:00 am with speaker State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and the St. Joseph's Brass Ensemble providing patriotic music.

At 1:00 pm, the Holland Land Office Museum will be burying its Bicentennial Time Capsule and keynote speakers include Genesee County historian Michael J. Eula and City of Batavia historian Larry Barnes.

Event Date and Time

Euchre Tournament at the HLOM

By Holland Land Office

Presented by the Batavia Peace Garden
and the Holland Land Office Museum


Saturday, April 25, 2015

1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

At the Holland Land Office Museum

$20.00 per person

Prizes for winners, payouts based on number of entrants.

Light refreshments and fun for all ages!

Event Date and Time

Batavia Peace Garden 'birthday' dinner party at Terry Hills

By carol grasso

Hi everyone, May 9th we are having a Birthday Party for the Aunnal Dinner for the Peace Garden.  Former Miss Teen New York State Corin Stellakis will be our guest speaker this year. The dinner is at Terry Hills Restarant 5:00pm cocktails and dinner at 6:00pm. $25.00 per ticket. Please call if you would like to go.585-343-1027. We are honoring Kathy Jasinski, Rob Borroughs, Kelly Rapone,and Potters Lumber Yard,( Mary Dix). Hope to see you there. Mark your calendars!!

Event Date and Time

Red Creek plays at Batavia Peace Garden on Main Street

By Billie Owens

The Batavia Peace Garden on Main Street is featuring the band Red Creek from 2 to 4 p.m. on Aug. 16. So if you're ambling around Summer in the City, come on over and hear some great tunes!

Event Date and Time

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