This document should answer most of your questions about (1) ISPG Concept and (2) ISPG Application. If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

FAQ Part 1 - About the ISPG Concept
1.) History of Peace Garden projects 2.) Mission Statement 3.) What is a School Peace Garden 4.) Does the Garden Have to be A New Planting? 5.) Public Access 6.) Planning a Dedication Ceremony and other Events 7.) Objectives for your Peace Garden 8.) Maintaining your Peace Garden during Holidays 9.) Planning for future Expansion 10.) St. Agnes - A Peace Garden Success Story 11) Add Dream Benches and Friendship Benches 12) Can't Grow a Garden in Your Climate ? How 'bout an Inukshuk 13) ISPG as a Strategy for Managing School Bullies 14) About Our Logo

1) History of Peace Garden projects An ancient tradition The concept of a Peace Garden is derived from the ancient traditions of the Greek, Viking, and Gaelic peoples. People were encouraged to resolve their conflicts in a Peace Grove. On entering the Peace Grove, they would leave all their weapons outside. Each Peace Grove had twelve trees, grown in an oval. A Peace Grove was known as "Bosco Sacro" or 'a place for peace', symbolic of the life and creativity that thrives in peace. The success of their conflict resolution normally required a third party who would act as a go-between. Peace Parks in Canada and the United States, 1932 The first International Peace Park in the world was established between Canada and the United States in 1932. The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park links Montana in the United States with Alberta Canada. During the 'First Global Conference - Tourism A Vital Force for Peace' held in Vancouver British Columbia in October of 1988, a Peace Tree was planted in Seaforth Park. The International Institute For Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) was created in the process of organizing the conference. Participants were asked to initiate and design places where the idea of peace could be enhanced. In 1992, Louis J. D'Amore, founder of the International Institute For Peace Through Tourism, launched "Peace Parks Across Canada" as part of the CANADA 125 celebrations. "Peace Parks Across Canada" resulted in the dedication of more that 400 peace parks in cities, towns and villages across Canada. Most of the parks were dedicated on October 8th, 1992, at the same hour the National Peacekeeping Monument was being dedicated in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa.

International School Peace Gardens Millenium Programme The "International School Peace Gardens" (ISPG) project was developed as a follow-up to the successful Peace Parks Across Canada celebrations. In 1993 the concept of planting a School Peace Garden was developed at West Humber Collegiate Institute in Etobicoke Ontario. West Humber Principle, Eric Foster, became the co-founder of ISPG at this time. In the early stages of the project students from the York University Faculty of Environmental Studies joined West Humber teachers in the development of a School Peace Gardens curriculum. On February 15th, 1994, Ontario's Premier Bob Rae launched the Province's historic "Environmental Bill of Rights" at West Humber. The first Peace Tree was presented to the Premier and subsequently planted in West Humber's School Peace Garden. Interest in the concept of using School Peace Gardens "to develop peace building curriculum and educational programs" continued to build, both in Canada and overseas. This interest led to the creation of the International Holistic Tourism Education Centre (IHTEC). A timeline of ISPG projects from 1993 - 2004 is available at

2) Mission Statement "International School Peace Gardens" develops peace building curriculum and educational programs using Peace Parks and Gardens as strategies for safer schools. Peace Parks and Gardens are symbolic landmarks invoking conscious thoughts & actions of peace. Students may meet within their garden to resolve conflicts. "International School Peace Gardens" invites young people to "dedicate, maintain and nurture the Peace Garden as a symbol of hope for the future and as a symbol of the school's commitment to peace peace within ourselves and our school community, peace within the global family and peace with nature". ISPG encourages participation with community "Peace Parks and Gardens" internationally. ISPG's millennium project's objective is protection of basic resources, water, air and soil, and encourages 40 hours of community participation in parks environmental activities, earning students the ISPG "Leaf for Peace".

3) What is a School Peace Garden? What do you do in a Peace Garden? Why not use it as a place to solve conflicts? How about teaching some of your classes outdoors in the serenity of the garden on topics related to the things around you (trees, birds, insects, etc.)? Maybe a place for music or a play. How about a class or school project to design and build the garden? Many schools around the world are already using their gardens for activities such as these and many other creative ideas. Your garden can be as simple as a single tree or as complex as a mini-park with several different species of plants and benches.

4) Does the Garden Have to be A New Planting? This is up to each school. A conservation area or other grounds can be up-graded with new trees. One school called their existing trees the Peace Arboretum, then went on to develop other aspects of peace building such as food security. On the other hand, a school in Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory of Canada removed the pavement from their playground and replaced it with a Peace Garden. A dozen or so local mines donated large ore boulders for their garden, and they planted small fragile arctic plants around the rocks. 5) Public Access It is up to each school as to how they handle the issue of public access. If the Peace Garden has been shared with the community via newsletters, newspapers, students writing and music, everyone protects what they working on. We find that as the students become involved they invite their parents to visit the garden, to discuss the garden's progress and their role in it. Schools find that visitors respect what has been achieved and often participate by giving something back. The student is being trained in Tourism by being "hosts to their guests". 6) Planning a Dedication Ceremony and Other Events There is complete autonomy with regard to the Opening Dedication ceremony. We encourage you to invite your local Politicians so that they understand the role of the Peace Garden. Mr. Jack Carroll, Ontario MPP Chatham-Kent, read a statement in the Provincial Parliament in 1998. Representatives of the IHTEC executive have been pleased to take part in dedications at many schools in Canada and overseas when the opportunity has been available. Contact IHTEC to see if we can assist with your dedication. Many schools use their garden daily and hold special ceremonies whenever there is an opportunity. 7) Objectives For Your Peace Garden When you establish your Peace Garden, it is recommended that objectives similar to those shown below become part of your dedication ceremony. Dedicate, maintain and nurture the Peace Garden as a symbol of hope for the future and our school's commitment to peace - peace with ourselves and our school community, peace within the global family and peace with nature. Respect and promote by example the "Environmental Bill of Rights" established by the Ontario Government on February 15, 1994. Encourage curriculum development which includes cross-cultural understanding, environmental studies, and alternative conflict resolution. Introduce and apply methods of alternative conflict resolution in resolving conflicts which might arise. Use our Peace Garden for celebrations of peace and the environment, and in appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of the students and faculty of our school, and our community. Welcome and share our place of peace with other members of our community. Nurture the soil through scientific knowledge and environmental protection of the local eco-system. Celebrate peace through music, dance, language arts, sculpture, symbols, design and other art forms. Extend programs that are developed to include municipal 'Peace Parks' as a link to the community.

8. Maintaining the Peace Garden During Holidays The maintenance of the peace garden in summer holidays is up to the whole school to solve. Some families in communities have taken it in turns to water and care for the garden with a roster. Schools have found that their parents have gladly stayed at home from some of their holidays to do this, because they know how important it is for their youngsters. Knowledge re plants is readily available from your local Parks and Recreation people at Municipal level. Also contact your local Horticultural Society or Garden Clubs to help. Do explain that the students are learning about land use, food security, life zones and eco-systems, and plant species for animals and birds and butterflies etc.

9) Planning for Future Expansion A meeting is needed between the Board's grounds maintenance team, the Principal, the staff and the local Municipality. We suggest that you develop an overall plan and then section it into modules for each development. Rather than plant the whole garden at the same time, some schools have chosen to develop the garden in stages over a period of several years. Depending on how much land you have, you will need to consider the future impact regarding soil type and drainage, access to water, access for trucks with soil, etc. Other roles for school property are part of this discussion. If land is in short supply, there are other alternatives. How about a roof garden or developing part of an existing local park into a School Peace Garden?

10) St. Agnes - A Peace Garden Success Story The introduction of a Peace Garden at the St. Agnes school in Chatham Ontario has had a dramatic effect on the school and the community. This success has been documented in two letters from St. Agnes which we encourage you to read at 11) Add Dream Benches and Friendship Benches Dream Bench and Diary Chancellor Robert Muller, UN University for Peace, in Costa Rica, Central America, originated the "Bench of Dreams" and the "Dream Bench Diary" concepts. IHTEC is fostering his concepts through the International School Peace Gardens (ISPG) program. At a conference in Toronto in 1995, for the United Nations 50th Anniversary, Chancellor Muller explained how he used his "Bench of Dreams" to explore local community needs, in preparation for the new Millennium. As the Year 2000 has been designated by the United Nations as the "International Year of a Culture of Peace" (a UNESCO focus), IHTEC is encouraging schools to develop projects from their ideas gathered on their "Bench of Dreams'. These projects are dedicated by the school, during special Peace Garden ceremonies.

Friendship Bench The "Friendship Bench" within the peace garden is a tool supporting friendly ways of resolving conflicts. Students are encouraged to leave their resentments outside of the garden

and discuss their concerns on their Friendship Bench. The Benches also give communities a visible place to hold discussions. Both benches then have a specific purpose, and that is to help the new generation identify what needs improving environmentally, then organizing a program of community service. The students will learn why it is important to care for their current resources, and how to solve the conflicts as they arise when resources become scarce. Resource scarcity is already occurring in many countries, due to population growth and pollution of basic resources, air, soil and water. The ISPG program has already shown that when the whole school uses the benches and peace gardens in this way, that violence and vandalism are reduced. In Canada, the ISPG program continues to support the Canadian Governments "peace building" strategy, as part of the original concept from the link to the Peacekeeping Monument in Ottawa. Dream Bench Diary Each student, class or school could have a "Dream Bench Diary" where ideas can be collected daily, or weekly, as students work toward to the new millennium. August 19, 1998 was the 500 day countdown. We now have less than 500 days left for the collection of ideas. From the initial gathering of ideas on the "Bench of Dreams" in the "Dream Bench Diary" schools are asked to contact their Municipalities to invite them to help with their chosen community project.

Muller's Message for Teachers "After 40 years in the United Nations I have come to the same conclusion as my master, former Secretary-General U Thant, who was the headmaster of a school in Burma and who often said to me "Robert, there will be no peace on this planet if we do not teach peace to the children". I love the International School Peace Garden's motto, "Nurturing Global Peace through Education". I will place your announcement for the International School Peace Gardens on my bench of dreams, asking God Rasu, the indigenous God of the children, to bless it in its journey around the world, for according to his prophecy a civilization of peace will extend from the hills of the University for Peace to the entire world." 12) Can't Grow a Garden in Your Climate? How about an Inukshuk In the high arctic of northern Canada, planting a traditional garden presents a problem. If you have similar problems in your part of the world, maybe an "Inukshuk" or other sculptures will be the answer. Alternately, maybe you can include an Inukshuk in your traditional garden setting. The Ontario Parks Association displayed Inukshuk Peace Gardens at some of their events in 1998. The Inukshuk (pronounced IN-OOK-SHOOK) meaning "in the image of man", are magnificent lifelike figures of stone which were erected by the Inuit throughout the Millennia. They stand along Canada's most northern shores, and are unique to the Canadian arctic. These meaningful messengers are believed to have first been used as scarecrows. Used also as directional markers on the treeless horizon, they guided those who followed by pointing the way back to the Arctic Ocean. These powerful stone cairns are as equally worthy of the recognition and admiration that is bestowed upon England's Stonehenge, the stone faces of Easter Island and the pyramids. Now as we move into the third Milennium, they stand as eternal symbols of leadership, encouraging the importance of friendship, and reminding us of our dependence on one another.

Please let us know how these ideas worked for you and share your ideas with us through our website:

13) ISPG as a Strategy for Managing School Bullies During a live interview on radio station CFRB in Toronto on February 21, 1999, ISPG President Julia Morton-Marr discussed how School Peace Gardens can be used as a strategy for managing school bullies . The broadcast was heard live around the world on the internet by members of the ISPG executive, and some participating schools overseas.

The text of a press release outlining this strategy appears below.

As every newspaper reader knows, the incidents of school bullying is a growing concern in our schools. For more than 10 years I have been addressing the issue of school violence and aggression by developing the International School Peace Gardens, a program which has won widespread acceptance in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Australia and other countries around the world. My long-time interest in this situation would not permit me to remain silent as I read newspaper reports that seem to suggest that little can be done. I disagree. After a long Toronto winter, all of us are prone to "cabin fever" and the frustrations of being confined indoors for long hours. It is not surprising therefore that bullying in the school grounds and after school, while a year round problem, may be greater in winter. There is a clear need to develop positive strategies for the reducing overactivity in students and incidents of bullying. Psychologist, Dr. Fred Mathews of Central Toronto Youth Services suggests that it is very important that communities build a strong web of social supports around bullying. With the input of countless committed teachers locally and internationally, I have developed practical suggestions for effective strategies to help develop this strong web within our schools. Many wonderful ideas have been developed and implemented for summer use of the International School Peace Gardens program. These ideas can be readily adapted for winter use through "Indoor Peace Gardens". Suggested spaces could be the Resource Centre or a dedicated room under supervision. Any space that is chosen must be supervised. Ensure that no pencils or markers or items that could cause harm to anyone are allowed in the room. Gather all the students known to be bullies and tell them that they are to have a very special role in developing the "Indoor Peace Garden" for all the other students in the school. You will need to hold a dedication ceremony and involve the whole school in the role and use of the "Indoor Peace Garden". It is important that the bullies do the development, organization and promotion themselves with their parents, as part of the implementation process. Let parents know the purpose of the Indoor Peace Garden and why their child has been chosen. These suggestions work well for schools with an existing outdoor Peace Garden as well as for schools without an outdoor garden. Extend the "Path of Peace" from the outside garden, or simply create a new one, with peace signs along passages indoors. Indoor plants could be used for the garden and outdoor plants could even be moved indoors for the winter and returned to the outdoor garden in the spring. Plants from an eco-system such as a rainforest

would encourage positive learning. Quiet sitting areas should be designated as the "Friendship Bench" and the "Dream Bench". These areas would be used for peaceful discussion on conflict and bullying. Students would be assigned to research at home and at toy stores quiet games that can be played alone. School Resource Librarians would be helpful in identifying appropriate games and fund-raising activities can be staged to purchase the games identified as useful. Families could be asked to donate soft furniture and mats for the floor. Again link the designs chosen to intercultural learning: for example, carpets from Mexico or Peru could be on the walls and floor. Soft lighting with soothing colours helps calm students. Highlight the senses of smell, feeling, hearing, touch in the selection of materials. Teach students to crochet squares for an Afghan that can be used to cover themselves when the need to feel more secure. Students could invite a parent or the local quilting group to make a quilt depicting students ideas and thoughts that are soothing or have a calming effect. The quilt can be hung on the wall with the contributing students' names in their respective squares. This will encourage leadership. Invite students to select their own "sacred object or toy" to place in the room for at least a week after the time they were caught bullying. Tell them that can visit this space any time they "feel" like bullying someone else. Perhaps you will want to build or designate a special shelf for these objects. These objects will change continually depending on the needs of the students. Encourage students to place writings or photographs that are special to them in a beautifully covered book. Research soft music and other natural sounds on CD ROMS and ask families to either donate or raise the funds for these. Find other cultural uses for the "Indoor Peace Garden" so students can focus on traditional tools that are calming. 14) About Our Logo "In her Peace Garden, a woman is singing the song of the earth. The song cycles connect the planet through the technological air waves and show geographical lines of latitude. Meditating man reads "how to" implement her song. Three leaves, "mind, body and spirit", symbolize the fully developed person through education. Three marine grasses represent global eco-systems, which if nurtured and maintained will restore the blue planet." The logo for International School Peace Gardens was designed by: Petri Kukkola Archer Marketing + Communications 57 Craigleigh Crescent Brampton, Ontario Canada L6T 2E3 Phone: 905-789-1213 Fax: 905-789-1215

FAQ Part 2 - Application in the School Environment
1. Getting Started - Encouraging Participation 2. Using the Peace Garden in the School Curriculum 3. Using the Peace Garden for Conflict Resolution 4. Involving Local School Boards and Government 5. Security Issues and Vandalism 6. Linking to Other Schools With Peace Gardens 7. How About A Language Translation Exercise in Your Peace Garden? 8. Involving Parents and the Community 9. Involving Your Immediate Neighbours


Getting Started

Please register and send for a Kit of materials. Principal and staff choose the site. Involvement of the School Board, Groundskeepers, and requests of help can be made to the local Municipal Parks personnel. Conduct whole school discussions regarding the proposed Peace Garden. This includes design and what items do students wish to have in the garden. Students visit the outside space using mathematical and spatial concepts before drawing their personal designs. Discuss impacted soil, soil types, water access, class and school use. As students participate they will discuss how to protect the garden and the plants. Discuss individuals feelings about the garden. Ask students to use all their "senses" as they select plant species. Write a page about their own peace garden concepts. Make a large poster with all the words involved with a peace garden. Compose a song, write a poem or a word picture. Put them on a waterproof board in the peace garden. Each student in the school is to draw a design of their own peace garden, on 1 cm squares on 8 2 x 11 cm paper. The school then chooses a compilation of the designs. The designs can also be made into class or school booklets to be shared with other schools in the district, or taken with a student when they are on holiday. The booklets can spread the Path of Peace by sharing other ideas with schools in their Local School Board. Students can take their booklet when they move schools or post to a school they know might need the help of a peace garden. They could also share internationally by through their own school peace garden website, which can be linked to the ISPG website. Be sure to include a copy of the ISPG brochure and invite schools to register their garden on the ISPG website at Create a school peace garden newsletter to be distributed throughout the community. Teachers can invent ways to use the peace garden as a tool to aid the school curriculum. The planting and management by every class, with their own garden that is part of the reason that the school continues to become safer and the community become involved and remain involved. Add Dream Benches and the Friendship Benches for friendly conflict resolution. 2) Including the Peace Garden in the School Curriculum The peace garden is a tool for integrated curriculum. Develop brainstorming sessions with other teachers and work links around your teaching program. Use the Peace Garden as your outdoor classroom. Subjects that fit well are: Language arts. including linking to another country through our website, that speaks another language. Science

The Arts, drawing, sculpture, painting etc Environmental Studies Environmental Law - Contact your State or Provincial Environmental Commissioner or ask the government if they have an Environmental Bill of Rights. Invite their education officer to visit you and discuss what you can do to help. Let all levels of government know the outcomes of your work.

3) Using the Peace Garden for Conflict Resolution The Peace Garden is a positive statement of peace within the school ground and positive results have been documented. This program must be whole school so all the students are part of the solution. See our mission statement on the website and in the brochure. The first school involved, West Humber Collegiate Institute, used a number of other actions such as using classical music between breaks, so that the students knew how long they had to go to their next classroom. Their peer mediation strategy has been enhanced by the use of the Friendship Benches and Dream Benches located in the Peace Garden. Friendship Benches can be used for young people who are hurting from bullying or other emotional hurts. Other students will be asked to help anyone who is in trouble. 4) Involving Local School Boards and Government Contact your school board and encourage them to introduce School Peace Gardens to all the schools in your area. If your school has the first garden in your area, your students can become 'ambassadors for peace' by inviting other schools to visit your garden and encouraging them to develop gardens of their own. There is a need for government to know what is going on. In addition to providing financial and moral support, the local government will know what environmental problems schools can help them with. They may already have a system of accounting for the local eco-system and if they don't have one, then your work may encourage them to gather this data. IHTEC is developing a math's and science program called ASubstance Accounting for Eco-Systems@ by Helmut Burkhardt and Julia Morton-Marr. We are looking to set up a place on our website for the sharing of this data.


Security Issues and Vandalism

We suggest that the peace garden is visible from all angles for ease of supervision. Apart from that there are no special safeguards. It is only by doing the planning, implementation, planting, and management as a whole school, that you can influence your school in a positive manner. Each young person will share it with their family and the school will share it with their community. This includes Local Municipal Government. Ask your students what they need to do to protect their APeace Garden@. They will know what to do. If they have ownership, they will protect each plant, and keep balls and other play equipment out of the garden. The garden is a visible statement that "this school is a place of peace", without you saying anything. It is a place for discussing conflicts in a friendly manner, a place for singing and dancing. St. Agnes School in Chatham Ontario found that their vandalism reduced to $50 as all the students use the garden regularly and are a major part of the planning, planting, maintenance, counting of species that visit, picking vegetables to take to the food bank and so on. Each class should have a plot of land that can be used for part of their school program for each year or grade level.

6) Linking to Other Schools With Peace Gardens We encourage you to share your experiences with other schools. Registering your Peace Garden with ISPG means your activity will be posted on this site. In addition to a short description of your Peace Garden, we will be pleased to post photographs of your activity in our photo gallery if you provide them to us on paper or in electronic formats. In addition to the photos, we can provide links to your snail-mail, email and web addresses.


A Language Translation Exercise in Your Peace Garden?

We are International School Peace Gardens based in a bilingual country (Canada). Our FAQ index will lead you to pages in Français and Español, but we would be like to expand these pages and host additional pages in other languages. If you would like to help us by being a "foreign language contact" who can assist with translation, and the development of a web page in another language, we would like to hear from you. How about making it a class language project conducted, of course, in your School Peace Garden?

8) Involving Parents and the Community IHTEC has found that parents are only too willing to find any ideas that help to keep their young people safe at school. Just focus on setting the Peace Garden up, let the parents know via newsletters, and invite them to donate and participate with their children in the planting. The planting of a School Peace Garden frequently becomes a weekend community event with families and local businesses donating time and materials. 9) Involving Your Immediate Neighbours

Invite your neighbours to a meeting and discuss what and why you are working on the Peace Garden. Tell them that they are welcome to participate by sharing their knowledge with students and teachers, or by donating plant materials from their garden. They may also like to plant a peace garden in their back yard focused on increasing the number of plant species which will attract various birds and insects. The neighbours can join with the children in keeping a record of what species are visiting the neighbours gardens. This forms an inter generational link which is win-win.

This document should answer most of your questions about (1) ISPG Concept and (2) ISPG Application. If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Head Office Contact Julia Morton-Marr Founder/President International Holistic Tourism Education Centre (IHTEC) 3343 Masthead Crescent Mississauga, Ontario Canada L5L 1G9 Phone: 905-820-5067 Fax: 905-820-6536 email:

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