One of North Dakota's more inspired and underrated attractions is the International Peace Garden. Since 1932, nestled on the U.S. and Canadian borders of North Dakota and Manitoba in a symbol of friendship, lies a "One of a Kind" International Peace Garden. Reflecting pools and dazzling colorful floral displays of over 150,000 flowers splash across the grounds of the Formal Garden's terraced walkways. Words cannot express the beauty, pride and peace many experience as they gaze over this impressive garden.
As you make your way around the perimeter you will pass by lakes, through woods, near walking paths, interpretive signs, and gazebos. The 14-bell chime echoes faintly, as the length of the formal garden area is viewed from the upper terrace. In the distance, the 120-foot concrete Peace Tower, and the Peace Chapel can be seen at the end of the formal garden. Tourists ponder the beauty of the two floral displays of the American and Canadian Flags, the only two floral designs that remain the same each year. Presented to the Garden by the Japanese Government, seven Peace Poles in which, "May Peace Prevail" is written in twenty-eight different languages.
A floral clock or flower clock is a large decorative clock with the clock face formed by carpet bedding, usually found in a park or other public recreation area.The Floral Clock of the International Peace Garden is a very popular feature of the park. The clock is 18-feet in diameter, and it displays a new floral design each year.
The original clock was was recieved from the Bulova Watch Company in Switzerland in 1966 but replaced in 2005 by a new one from St. Louis, MO.
Anchoring the far end of the Peace Gardens is the Peace Tower, Four identical concrete columns that stand 120-feet high, two on each side of the border. They can be seen from most places in the park. Near the base is the Peace Chapel, seen below. This is the only structure here that straddles across the border. The chapel walls are inscribed with many different quotes about peace. In 1982, four columns consisting of 17 precast concrete sections weighing 45,000 pounds each or a total of 22 tons were lifted into place by a crane. The four columns represent immigrants arriving from the four corners of the world to Canada and the United States in the 1800's and 1900's hoping to build better lives for themselves. The Peace Tower's height of 120 feet or 37 meters symbolizes the soaring ambitions of the early immigrants.
It is an important visual image, and probably the most important image or icon in the garden itself. The tower was constructed to mark the 50-year anniversary of the International Peace Garden's existence. The tower can be seen from miles away driving north into Manitoba from North Dakota. The tower, which consists of four concrete columns developed moisture problems from the inside out, and started leaning and was crumbling at the base. This was the reason for why it was taken down. After it was tore down, the tower was ground up and used as paving material for some of the trails and walkways in this magnificent floral garden.
The International Peace Garden is open 24 hours a day, although the entrance offices are only manned during the daytime. The place does weddings, camping, group events, hosts music, offers hiking, wildlife viewing, and a lot more. The ground of the garden crosses the border and includes both Canadian and US territory. There is no requirement to pass customs when entering the park, but visitors must check in with the relevant customs post when they leave. The International Peace Garden, "Like No Other Place on Earth," is a perfect and memorable retreat, where people and nature meet.
The closest town in North Dakota to the International Peace Garden is Dunseith. The name is thought to come from the Scottish settlement of the same name and, appropriately, the name means "City of Peace" in Gaelic. Dunseith is located on the junction of Highway 3 to the north and south and Highway 5 to the east and west. Dunseith was platted in 1882, and the population was 773 at the 2010 census. A post office has been in operation in Dunseith since 1884. The city was incorporated in 1908. Dunseith is also the home of the world's largest turtle sculpture, the "Wee'l Turtle", made of more than 2,000 wheels painted green.