About the Garden

Our community is creating a new Japanese-themed garden called the Kenai Peninsula Peace Crane Garden Trails. Our garden task force team was gifted rare, non-contaminated seeds harvested from trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Against the odds, one gingko seed and three hackberry seeds sprouted into saplings.

Phase One – Trails and Vegetation. Access points will be along the existing trail edge. The Marydale Avenue entrance is for maintenance only access.

Timeline, past – future: 

February 10, 2018: Sarah and Mathew Pyhala received seeds from atomic bombed trees and, per specific instructions, planted and misted them carefully on a daily basis. These seeds spurred the idea for Shimai Toshi Garden Trails, now known as Kenai Peninsula Peace Crane Garden Trails. The garden’s purpose would be to provide restorative effects for visitors’ physical and psychological being, and community connections with the creation of the six-foot-four-inch Peace Crane sculpture.

April 16, 2018: Two proposed garden sites were deemed unavailable. However, the Gingko seed—whose parent tree survived approximately 1,200 meters from the hypocenter of the atomic bombing—gave a surprise. It sprouted. The timing of its showing provided hope. Later, when the project hit another barrier, two Japanese Hackberry seedlings also sprouted—seeds whose parent tree was 530 meters from the nuclear bomb’s hypocenter.

May 2, 2018: The final Japanese Hackberry seed sprouted and the first garden grant was awarded. Currently, the 4 surviving saplings are showing signs of trunk expansion as additional pieces of the project come together.

April – May, 2019: Working with principals and teachers in six local schools, we had 40 classrooms of school children to help co-sculpt The Peace Crane sculpture in clay, as well as attend the Peace Crane workshops.

Saturday, May 18, 2019, full moon:

We invited the public to join us at the Kenai Library from 9:30 am – noon and the Soldotna Library from 2 – 5 pm on Saturday, May 18th, to help co-sculpt the Peace Crane Statue and play the large double xylophone chimes within the sculpture’s wings.

August 21, 2019: In a moment of cross-cultural connection, The Yakutsk, Russia Botanical Garden and Cancer Center received one of the Hiroshima Survivor Tree’s Ginko saplings from our team member and Heiwa US leader Steve Yoshida.

March 17, 2020: The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly approved the lease of land for Phase I of this project.

June 26, 2020: Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor C. Pierce signed the land lease agreement, giving the Kenai Peninsula Peace Crane Garden Trails a home.

Some time around Fall 2021: At the Garden Opening and Peace Crane unveiling, the community will be invited to enjoy some of the school children’s Peace Crane writings at this event and future anniversaries.

Sarah and Matthew Pyhala growing a Gingko tree from the Heiwa project’s precious seed of a Survivor Tree from the bomb site of Hiroshima, Japan.
Final Phasing of Kenai Peninsula Peace Crane Garden Trails

Return to Home Page: http://akjapanesegarden.org