Originally dedicated in 1995 as a peace garden to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, the Sadako Peace Garden joined the Gardens for Peace network in June 30, 2002.
The garden, which is located at La Casa Maria Retreat Center in Santa Barbara, California, was designed by landscape architect Isabelle Greene and artist Irma Cavat as a natural garden for reflection and inspiration. It was created as a joint project of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and La Casa de Maria, and is named in memory of Sadako Sasaki, a young survivor of Hiroshima who developed leukemia at the age of 12, ten years after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Her leukemia was attributed to radiation poisoning from the atomic bomb.
Based on the traditional belief in Japan that if one folds 1,000 paper cranes, one’s wish will come true. Sadako began folding cranes to regain her health and achieve world peace. At the time of her death, she had folded only 646 cranes and her classmates folded the remaining number in her memory. Today a statue of Sadako stands in the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, and people all over the world continue to fold cranes for peace.
Designating his small, but powerful garden as a Garden for Peace honors all who work for peace and brings renewed interest to a community committed to peace and to the earth as a source of spiritul solace.