Ontario Parks Association   
Protecting Tomorrow Today®




Success Stories

“As retired Assistant Deputy Minister with the Alberta Government I have frequently participated on and led Canadian delegations to UNESCO. I am particularly impressed with [the] concept of the International School Peace Gardens, which if it were widely adopted would lead a new generation of young leaders to see their relationship with the Earth and its human and non-human inhabitants in a way quite different from the current paradigm of human separation and domination of the natural world.” 

- Des Berghofer (Canada)

“As principal of an 'inner city' high school in Toronto we found the ISPG program so compelling, that I became inspired by the vision and was honoured to be asked to implement the first school peace garden. .... This garden was so positioned on the school grounds, that students passed ... along the path of peace....on their way to and from the front door of the school building, a factor that gave it high visibility and profile. The resulting changes in the school were significant – grades improved, absenteeism decreased and the building became cleaner and more peaceful place - and violence, which had been a regular unwelcome companion, virtually ceased to exist.”

- Eric Foster, West Humber Collegiate Institute, Ontario, Canada

"The Peace Garden has had a very beneficial result with a special group of students who find it difficult to participate in large group play or for students who are looking for a place to sit and converse with their friends. Prior to the installation of our Peace Garden, the needs of these groups were not being served. We have discovered that problems on the play ground have actually declined this past year. 

The other remarkable thing that has happened is that incidences of vandalism has declined as well. There appears to be an understood message that these students care about this property. St. Agnes School is a `core school' so you may be well aware of the types of property destruction that can happen in this type of setting. Our total cost for vandalism last year was $50.00. 

The neighbours of St. Agnes School are thrilled with the Peace Garden. One gentleman indicated that he always wanted to live beside a beautiful place and now, because of our students, he has a beautiful place to live by. Through this project we have met many of our neighbours. It has been a wonderful experience. 

There is something quite magical about the Peace Garden... When we began, the Peace Garden was looked at as something extra we could do for our students, but, it has quickly become an intrinsic part of the school's culture. It is a place to meet friends, to resolve conflicts and a place of prayer. It is a place where students can make positive changes to their environment and learn to become good global citizens."

- Larry Kearns, St. Agnes School, Chatham, Ontario, Canada, April 17th 1998

"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." 

- Chancellor Robert Muller, UN University for Peace in Costa Rica

Ontario Parks Association

7856 5th Line South · RR4 · Milton · Ontario · L9T 2X8 *

Phone: 905-864-6182 · Toll Free: 1-866-560-7783 · Fax: 905-864-6184

Email: shelley@ontarioparksassociation.ca or training@ontarioparksassociation.ca

(*Note: If you are mapping our location, enter Halton Hills, not Milton, as the city)


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