Peace Garden Brings Special Guest To Batavia

February 17, 2011 Updated Feb 17, 2011 at 7:31 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

February 17, 2011 Updated Feb 17, 2011 at 7:31 PM EDT

It may be difficult to picture a garden in the middle of February but come the springtime, a large area of downtown Batavia will be transformed into the War of 1812 Peace Garden. It will be a symbol of peace between the U-S and Canada.

"This garden is a reminder of two countries that were at war but for the passed 200 years have celebrate friendship," Founder of the International Peace Garden Foundation Paula Savage said.

This is one of 20 gardens internationally that have promoted peace between nations. To welcome the garden, Founder of the National Peace Garden Foundation Paula Savage has invited Terry Anderson to be the official spokesperson.

Anderson is a Batavia native and journalist. In 1985, he was taken captive in Lebanon while on assignment. Anderson wasn't released until 1991.

"He was absolutely delighted. He loved the idea and wanted to be part of it," Savage said.

Anderson will be visiting his alma mater Batavia High School to talk about the garden. He will also be the keynote speaker at the Peace Garden Fundraiser. Organizer Barbara Toal said it will bring the community together.

"It is the people's garden and it's something to be very proud of," Toal said

Organizers said the garden will not only bring peace and beauty to the area but it will also help stimulate the economy.

"It will attract visitors to the area and not only visitors with families but tour buses of people. It will benefit restaurants, hotels and retail and that is just the tip of the iceberg," Savage said.

A path will be built through the garden made from memorial bricks that people can purchase as a donation to the project. Each year, they will also put up a flag for every country where a garden has been planted.

Channel 7 News will have more about the garden and a one-on-one interview with Terry Anderson Friday.