Mennonite Heritage Village opened its Dirk Willems Peace Garden on Aug. 20 in Steinbach, Man. The garden complements a life-size bronze statue completed in 2018 by Peter Sawatzky that depicts Willems, an Anabaptist martyr, rescuing his pursuer from an icy pond.
Native grasses and flowering perennials were selected for their adaptation to local climate and pollinator conditions.
“It’s a very beautiful part of the museum’s 40-acre grounds but has not been extensively used in the past,” said MHV executive director Gary Dyck of the garden’s location. “Now we are expanding the area and making it an attraction.”
A new pergola has been added to a pond and stream with waterfalls that border the garden. A 32-mile Mennonite peace trail that is being developed will begin where Mennonite settlers first landed in nearby Niverville, terminating at the peace garden and Willems statue.