Peace Garden Getting $1M from Canada for Improvements

The Associated Press
Staff Writer

The governments of Canada and the province of Manitoba are providing more than $1 million for upgrades at the International Peace Garden that straddles the U.S.-Canada border north of the North Dakota city of Dunseith.

The aging Errick F. Willis Pavilion will be renovated, the garden's North Drive will be improved and a wastewater pipeline will be replaced, the Minot Daily News reported ( ).

About half of the money will go toward work on the pavilion, which is named after a former lieutenant governor of Manitoba. The project is expected to begin later this year and wrap up in the fall of 2016, according to Peace Garden CEO Garry Enns.

The 2,300-acre garden is a tribute to the longstanding peace between the two countries and gets funding from both sides of the border.

Another major project remains on the schedule for later this year, as the iconic symbol of the garden will be coming down.

The North Dakota Legislature earlier this year approved $200,000 for demolition of the four 120-foot-tall concrete towers that comprise the Peace Tower. The two towers in the U.S. and two in Canada signify the four corners of the earth, but weather has taken a toll over the past three decades and the concrete is deteriorating.

"The entire structure is beginning to crumble. We'll probably take it down this winter," Enns said. "We'll have an ongoing conversation on what to replace it with. The symbolism needs to be kept, even enhanced. In the 21st century, with various advances in building materials, we might be able to do something totally awesome."