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.