The PeaceGround in Eaton Park
The PeaceGround in Eaton Park, a collaboration between Pugwash District High School (PDHS) Visual Arts students and Pugwash Communities in Bloom with the support of the Pugwash Village Commission, continues the legacy of over 50 years of promoting peace in the village of Pugwash. Students from grades 8 and 10 designed four benches with peace motifs.Through this three-month process, the students researched and painted the bench boards while engaging in classroom discussions about anti-violence, anti-bullying, anti-vandalism, peace, the contributions of Cyrus Eaton to the Pugwash community and the 22 scientists who assembled at Eaton Lodge in July of 1957.
The tradition of gifting a chair as a symbol of cooperation and collaboration began in 1960 with presidents of universities donating to the Cyrus Eaton Lodge chairs imprinted with their insignias. The intent of the PeaceGround project is to continue the symbolic gesture of an educational institution offering seats where one can sit to contemplate peace.
To mark the installation of these benches, the high school population, including teachers and grades 4 to 6 students from Cyrus Eaton Elementary, held a Peace March and Sit-In, marching from the high school at 1:15pm down Queen Street to Eaton Park for a special ribbon cutting ceremony lasting approximately 22 minutes honouring the same number of scientists who participated in the 1957 Pugwash Conference. Citizens of Pugwash and surrounding communities were warmly invited to take part.
The PeaceGround in Eaton Park underwent a third phase of development by the fall. Communities in Bloom, in collaboration with the Pugwash Village Commission, oversaw landscaping of the site. The benches were encircled by low lying shrubs and a pathway in the form of the iconic peace sign was constructed of local sandstone.
This project was made possible with grants from the Sheonoroil Foundation of the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union and the Pugwash and Area Community Health Board as well as The Pugwash Village Commission and the Pugwash Communities in Bloom.
This project resulted in Pugwash winning the Communities in Bloom National Award for communities of under 1000 residents in 2014.