Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ISPG Planning your garden


1. Plan and Select a suitable site for your Peace Garden or Peace Tree. Contact your local Board of Education before you plan, for information on site management. Check with the grounds management to ensure you are clear of pipes and wires underground. Contact local City Parks for their help.

2. Plant your peace garden supporting local migrating species. Create a land laboratory and learn about the plants and their eco-systems. Learn about local seeds for vegetables. Make a list of all the plants and their uses. The peace garden is 'a place for peace', symbolic of our hope for the future of World Peace and a Sustainable environment, as a living legacy to UNESCO's 'A Culture of Peace' 'Decade of Education for Sustainable Development' for the present and the future!

3. Register your involvement in the International Peace Gardens Programs at Click on the GOLD Register button. Follow the links and fill in the form. This form comes directly to IHTEC.

4. Meet with Julia Morton-Marr (on line or in person – depending on your location) as a staff to discuss how to incorporate the curriculum. Following are some ideas:

a. Each child creates his/her idea of peace – pictures, posters, dioramas, mobiles, etc. Display their work around the school. This is a whole school project, which is ongoing over many years.

5. Incorporate Peace Values for the Classroom (see Appendix 4) as an integrated part daily routine in the class
a. Share space
b. Share materials
c. Use only words that contribute to harmony
d. Share insights and ideas
e. Respect viewpoints of others
f. Ask for discussion when uncertainties occur

6. Each class walks the grounds to decide what the location will be (within Board of Education limitations). Children each design a garden (incorporating math, science, art). From these designs each class proposes a single design before developing a class model. All the class designs are posted and the best of each is incorporated into the final school design for the garden.

7. Draw up a plan for implementation. Start small and build/grow. Note: Your garden minimally will include two friendship benches and one peace or sacred tree, and a path of peace, peace signs, students sculptures, then dance, sing and perform within your peace garden.

8. Brainstorm ideas with students, staff, parents with respect to other sustainability ideas, such as solar energy, conservation of water and transportation.

9. Students create slide shows of their plan for fund-raising.

10. Dedicate your Peace Garden, or Peace Tree with a suitable ceremony on any suitable day, or as part of 'United Nations Day' in October or on 'World Environment Day' in June. Include students art, song, dance and sculpture.

11. Include / invite the mayor, local MPs and MPPs, and local First Nations (eg: peace pipe ceremony or stories and dance depicting peace).

12. Re-dedicate your Peace Garden or Peace Tree annually to ensure that new staff and students understand the importance of the garden and how it focuses on Global Commons issues and the levels of sustainability:
a. Economic
b. Social
c. Earth Charter – Environment
d. Impact = P x A x T. (Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren 1970)
         i. P – Population
        ii. A – Affluence / Poverty
        iii. T – Technology

13. Use the ISPG logo on all your document and send copies to IHTEC.

14. Create a booklet of the history of your Peace Garden. Communicate via you own Peace Garden News sending it to your local newspaper, neighbourhood schools, parents, government members, churches and your schools neighbours. This will help with donations from your local community.

15. Create a Blog. Create and link in audio podcasts and youtube video to share your stories, ideas and progress. Send IHTEC your Blog url so that we can create a link to

a. Include the following:
i. Photos of the process from the beginning. Label them and include dates.
ii. A showcase of the children's work and community involvement.
iii. The effect of the garden on behaviour in the school and academic results.
iv. The process of fundraising and the final cost.

Please, send a copy to:
Julia Morton-Marr IHTEC'S International School Peace Gardens,
3343 Masthead Crescent, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 1G9
Email: Website:

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