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batavia peace garden

January 21, 2021 - 1:59pm
posted by Press Release in hlom, batavia peace garden, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, news.

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

November 3, 2020 - 4:12pm

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.

April 16, 2020 - 2:31pm

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.

October 11, 2019 - 11:12am

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.

July 14, 2019 - 2:25pm

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.

July 5, 2018 - 1:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia peace garden, batavia, news, notify.

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.

July 3, 2018 - 2:19pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in batavia peace garden, batavia, news, crime, notify.


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.

May 4, 2017 - 6:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, batavia peace garden, news, Announcements.

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. 

February 21, 2017 - 5:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Milestones, batavia, batavia peace garden, news.

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 www.ipgf.org.

October 29, 2016 - 1:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, batavia peace garden.

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.

August 15, 2016 - 1:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia peace garden, news, batavia, music, entertainment.

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 2, 2016 - 4:58pm
posted by James Burns in batavia peace garden, GLOW, Child Advocacy Center.


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: [email protected].   


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

October 12, 2015 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia peace garden, Six Nations, batavia.



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.)

May 14, 2015 - 3:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia peace garden, centennial.

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!

May 14, 2015 - 10:54am
Event Date and Time: 
May 16, 2015 - 11:00am to 2:00pm
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.
April 18, 2015 - 9:39am
Event Date and Time: 
April 25, 2015 - 1:30pm to 4:30pm

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!

April 10, 2015 - 12:15am
posted by carol grasso in events, batavia peace garden.
Event Date and Time: 
May 9, 2015 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm

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!!

August 14, 2014 - 2:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, batavia peace garden, red creek.
Event Date and Time: 
August 16, 2014 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

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!

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