A Fight for Funding, A Push for Peace

In spite of massive support from world leaders, funding had been a struggle since the inception of the project. Donations were solicited through brochures and pamphlets, fundraising dinners, a national tour of 900+ design boards from the original competition, and even the sale of Peace Garden paraphernalia. In 2003, unable to raise the necessary $20 million for the construction of the garden, and the additional $2 million for a maintenance endowment fund, the authorization period for the National Peace Garden expired, and the 18-year project was abandoned.

However, the belief remained that space could be designed to facilitate peace. Many other gardens and monuments for peace were in motion, if not already in place, though some had more success than others. Several designs for peace were proposed in the Bay Area alone, including the Berkeley Peace Center, a Peace Statue in the San Francisco Bay, and a Peace Garden in Hercules.

That designers had a moral obligation to support peace was another belief that continued after the initial project failed. In Garrett Eckbo's 1987 tirade on the ASLA Policy on the Bomb, he stated:

"If landscape architecture is not ethical and moral, the steward of the landscape, what is it?  If landscape architecture is not geopolitical in scope someone taught me the wrong history, and the environmental movement (including us) is barking up the wrong tree [...] Nuclear weaponry and all its byproducts is certainly the biggest and most frightening symptom of a deranged technology. But it is only the ultimate club, spear, or saber.  It is the urge to use them that needs to be controlled. That can begin with imits and scaling back, while we put our energies into organizing for peace.  This world has not known peace in this century. We should have a competition for a comprehensive definition of peace. It would not be easy. It is more, much more, than the absence of war or preparation for war. It is an infinitely more worthwhile goal."1

1) Eckbo, Garrett, "ASLA Policy on the Bomb", 14 July, 1987. 



A Fight for Funding, A Push for Peace