4. Cambridge Garden of Peace

Committee: Culture & Community Facilities

Cost: $350,000

Location: Location to be determined through a community process

Short Description: The Peace Garden will include a memorial for loved ones from Cambridge whose lives were taken due to violence. The Peace Garden will be a place of tranquility and reflection.

Long Description: As our city continues to experience murder and other violent deaths, we need to provide a space for grieving families to help transform their pain and grief into comfort and reflection. This site, comprised of benches and stones, ornate objects, or a wall reflecting names of loved ones, will serve as a lasting memorial and will be a powerful visual tribute to Cambridge residents who are victims of homicide, suicide, or catastrophic accidents. Family, friends, and neighbors can reflect, remember, and memorialize loved ones from Cambridge. Stones or objects engraved with the names of victims of violence will be placed in the garden each year. Similar to the Boston Peace Garden, trees, landscaping, and benches will enhance the area so that those left behind will have a beautiful, safe, tranquil place to reflect and remember their loved ones.

The exact location of the Cambridge Peace Garden will be determined through a community process. Location options for the Peace Garden could include an area within Riverside Press Park at River Street and Memorial Drive, which is easily accessible by public buses on River Street and Western Avenue and a short walk from Central and Harvard Squares. Another possible location could be the park at the corner of Memorial Drive and Western Avenue. This park is to be named after Nelson Mandela and the Peace Garden would also fit very well in that space.

The cost of $350,000 listed here represents the proportion that the City of Cambridge would contribute to building the Peace Garden. The total cost of the project would be significantly higher. However, COGdesign of Somerville, MA has agreed to contribute landscaping and pro bono work to help defray the cost of the Peace Garden. In addition, the City’s Open Space Committee is supportive of this project.

Riverside Press Park, one potential location for the Cambridge Garden of Peace:

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Photos from Boston’s Peace Garden:

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