The International Peace Garden (IPG), south of Boissevain, is trying to raise $3.1 million dollars through private donors.

The IPG secured $15 million in support from the Province of Manitoba and State of North Dakota.

Peace Garden CEO Tim Chapman says their goal is to make the facility a destination for visitors from both sides of the border. IPG staff spent time on December 2nd in Winnipeg meeting with potential donors while promoting the International Peace Garden and investment opportunities.

“The purpose of this gathering was to get the projects front and centre across the province including here in the provincial capital. The Manitoba legislature and the former Premier really put the Garden as a priority as well the same was happening in North Dakota.”

“We want to start raising funds and do our part because thanks to the seed money from the government we’ll work at raising more private funds.” said Tim Chapman.

Turtle Mountain MLA Doyle Piwniuk is a Peace Garden board member and he says they really need support from the private sector. ‘We’ve had a real need to upgrade and replace some of our infrastructure to make the Peace Garden more appealing and to better utilize the assets we have at the International Peace Garden.”

Piwniuk says government can always fund everything but he says there are some great opportunities to tap into alumni from the music and sports camps to generate more private sector support.

“The awareness is part of the problem but no question there are great opportunities and we want people to know what the International Peace Garden has and what there is for investment potential.”

Upgrades underway include a major renovation to the conservatory and installation of a new children’s play area.

“We feel the conservatory and playground area are the type of projects that will make the IPG relevant for years to come. We want to become more of a destination spot with year round activities and we want to give people that whole family experience. When the conservatory project is completed it will be an incredible place year round including all winter.”

The IPG is preparing to open up some new cross country ski trails.

“People can enjoy the new trails and then head indoors to enjoy the green plant life. Private support is critical and all well established gardens and non profits are fortunate to get government support but it’s important to back it up with private dollars. Everything we are doing now is fairly new to the Garden but it’s important that we built up our fund raising infrastructure to remain viable in the future.”