The International Peace Gardens symbolize the true spirit of democracy and world peace, brotherly love, history, literature and cultural heritage of many lands. The gardens cover 11 acres along the bank of the Jordan River in Jordan Park. One of only two peace gardens in the United States – the other located in North Dakota on the Canadian border, the Peace Gardens are truly a beautiful place of quite reflection. The Peace Gardens is estimated to attract more than 20,000 visitors annually from all over the U.S. and abroad.
The project was initiated in 1939 by Mrs. Otto Wiesley, working with the Salt Lake City Superintendent of Parks, the Mayor, and the Salt Lake Council of Women. The project’s goal was to inspire good citizenship and allow groups of foreign origin to participate in the beautification of Salt Lake City for the Centennial Celebration of 1947.
The Salt Lake City Commission and the Parks Department approved the project; however it was halted before anything was planted due to the onset of World War II. In 1947, the project resumed and the United States became the first country represented. The Japanese garden was the second section to be organized, planted and dedicated. Twenty-eight countries were represented before space ran out. Union Pacific recently deeded land on the west side of the Jordan River to Salt Lake City, and we hope to obtain it to expand the gardens.
Each of the nationality groups is allotted a section to create a garden with native plantings, architecture and statues typical of the homeland and its culture. Plans must be approved by the Salt Lake City Parks Director and groups design, build and plant at their own expense. As each garden is completed, it is dedicated and presented to Salt Lake City, who then assumes the permanent maintenance of the garden.
For a special treat, visit the gardens the first Sunday of the month, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, when Salt Lake Council of Women delegates volunteer as hosts to identify points of interest. This takes place in the summer months of June through September.
The International Peace Gardens Festival is the highlight of the year. The first festival was held in 1964, and it continues annually on the third Saturday each August. The event showcases a variety of music, dance, art and food from cultures around the world. Performers dressed in native costumes dance and sing traditional songs. Groups serve authentic ethnic cuisine and display arts, crafts and boutique items. The event is family oriented and admission is free. Some seating is available and lawn chairs/blankets are welcome.
The Peace Gardens remain under the direction of the Salt Lake Council of Women Past Presidents Council. The purpose of the Council is to take an active interest in community affairs and to promote to activities that contribute to the general welfare of the communities along the Wasatch Front. The Council’s motto is "Community Service for Civic Improvement." Delegates to the Council include individuals and organizations from the greater Salt Lake City area such as University Hospital, United Nations, Utah Youth Village, Wasatch Youth Center, and the YWCA. Use our Salt Lake City trip itinerary builder app to add International Peace Gardens at Jordan Park and other attractions to your Salt Lake City vacation plans.
International Peace Gardens at Jordan Park Reviews
I was looking forward to some peace and quiet...ice cream trucks screaming music...people everywhere...must have been 6 wedding groups taking pictures...just too much. Maybe during the week . But I... more »
On a Sunday in downtown Salt Lake City we went to the open air farmers market. Not much going on there but next to it was the Peace Garden, with individual plots sponsored by different nations and... more »
The International Peace Gardens is a beautiful larger sized park we dropped into during our short jaunt in Salt Lake City. The space was gorgeous, and picturesque - perfect for weddings or engagement photos. Very green, and lush. I do wish it was a bit better designed - it's slightly sparse in some areas and a little too busy in others.
Beautiful. This garden is home to dozens of different countries flags, monuments and plaques giving you a bit of information about each country or region. There's walking trails as well as biking trails throughout. Beautiful views and great places to take a few snapshots. Very well maintained grounds, and all of the flora is maintained and kept beautiful. Very much worth the short trip outside of the downtown area!
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