This summer, Airstreamers worked together to install a permanent monument at the International Peace Garden—the culmination of a multiyear effort to rededicate 200 years of peace between Canada and the United States.
The International Peace Garden is a 2,339 acre park that lies between North Dakota and the province of Manitoba in the heart of the Turtle Mountains. Dedicated in 1932, the park was created to celebrate friendship between the two bordering nations. The plaque on the original rock cairn states, “…we dedicate this garden and pledge ourselves that as long as men shall live we will not take up arms against one another.”
Four decades ago a sculpture called the “Hands of Peace” was presented during a Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) rally in Manitoba, and installed in a central pool in the park. A few short years later it was removed due to severe wear and tear.
Ten years ago Airstreamers rekindled an interest in replacing the sculpture. Oddly, WBCCI members could find no records or photos of the original statue. The committee made the decision to move forward with a new design, and fundraising began. Minnesota artist Arthur Norby was selected to create a new work based on the original hands of peace, but this time made from a longer-lasting material: highly polished cast stainless steel.
The new sculpture, “A Promise of Peace”, depicts two hands releasing a dove into flight. It was permanently installed this summer in the newly renovated fountain pool in the formal garden area of the park.
“The statute they have placed in the garden will stand for hundreds of years,” wrote Richard Girard, WBCCI International President in a recent issue of the Blue Beret. “I encourage all of our members to visit the park and it’s beautiful gardens.”
More than 100,000 visitors each year explore the park’s picturesque picnic areas, hiking and biking trails, wildlife refuge, and ever-changing gardens where more than 150,000 flowers are planted every summer. The campground—located on Highway 281 in Dunseith, North Dakota—has 36 sites among aspen and oak trees with a variety of amenities.