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Peace & Planet for Earth Day 2024

For eight years, Ruth Ann Angus has held fast to a vision of establishing her city’s first peace garden. Ruth Ann Angus is the director of Yes We Can Peacebuilders and the coordinator of the Nonviolent Cities Project in Morro Bay, CA. She works tirelessly to foster nonviolence skills and a culture of peace in her local community. 

On Sunday, April 21, 2024, her long-held vision came true. Over 50 people gathered in Centennial Park for the dedication of a peace pole and the newly-established Morro Bay Peace Garden. The mayor and a city councilperson attended the ceremony, part of a special event Peace & Planet For Earth Day. 

The peace garden will be used in future Nonviolent Cities events. It was supported by Yes We Can Peacebuilders, Morro Bay In Bloom, The Del Mar Kids Sunshine Spreaders Club, Morro Bay Rotary, the City of Morro Bay, and Let's Get Tuned Sound and Yoga Studio.

The peace garden is home to an artistic peace pole and contains an assortment of native plants. The location overlooks the Morro Bay waterfront, harbor, ocean, and the iconic landmark: Morro Rock. It is a place where people can gather to sit and meditate and enjoy the view. Volunteers with Morro Bay in Bloom—a group that puts in gardens throughout the city—did a major site upgrade with new plants and tons of gravel and rock. There are plans to install benches and create a kids’ labyrinth with brightly painted rocks.

As a fundraiser for the garden, the Sunshine Spreaders—students from Del Mar Elementary School—constructed wooden Peace Pickets with red hearts and decorated peace symbols. Attached to garden stakes, the popular lawn ornaments sold out at the event. Not only will the proceeds help fund future plans for this garden (and a second one), but the Peace Pickets also advance the children’s goal of peppering the community with visible reminders of peace.

"I am grateful for the collaboration of all the people who helped bring this event and this peace garden to Morro Bay," Ruth Ann Angus said. "Without the help of Morro Bay in Bloom planting the garden, and the city Public Works installing the peace pole, this would not have been a success. Others who participated are City Councilperson Jen Ford, Mayor Carla Wixom, the Del Mar Kids, Jon Nowaczyk of Let's Get Tuned playing the Gong, Dawn Feuerberg giving us an Earth Connect Blessing, and the UkeLadies of Morro Bay with music and sing-along songs of peace and the earth. It is important for us to have places that the public can access and enjoy that spread the idea of a peaceful community and world. This was a great way to celebrate Earth Day 2024!"

Organized in tandem with Campaign Nonviolence’s Peace & Planet Mobilization, this event—and others like it—demonstrate to the community that gardens like this can help reduce violence in our communities by offering welcoming and beautifully tended spaces that visibly advance peace. The variety of different groups, organizations, and businesses that collaborated on the Morro Bay Peace Garden had a powerful impact. Projects like this that share a common goal can have decided influence on city governments, encouraging them to respect the need of the public to live in a safe, violence-free, healthy community on a vigorous and beneficial planet.

By Rivera Sun of Pace e Bene/Campaign Nonviolence

Peace Day 2023

International Peace Day was celebrated in Morro Bay, California on September 23, 2023 with a program held at the Estero Bay Methodist Church. A talk by Director, Ruth Ann Angus and a speech by Rev. Richard Kurrasch on An Ecological Civilization was held and there was a sing-along performance by the UkeLadies of Morro Bay with Songs of Peace.

On Friday, September 22, a peace program was held at the Morro Bay Kid's Club, the afterschool program of the Morro Bay Parks & Recreation. Kids were invited to create art work depicting their ideas of what peace in the world would look like.

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