Peace Garden Bridge dedication Sept. 20

EAST HARRIET — A formal dedication ceremony for a new bridge in the Lyndale Park Peace Garden will be held Sunday, Sept. 20, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announced today.

The Peace Garden Bridge replaces a cedar footbridge installed in 1985 and removed from the garden in 2007 due to decay. McKnight Distinguished Artist and former Minneapolis College of Art and Design [MCAD] professor Kinji Akagawa designed the bridge with Jerry Allen, an MCAD professor and Bachelor of Science Program chair.

The bridge includes granite “peace stones” from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The cities were the sites of two atomic bomb attacks by the United States that brought World War II to a close.

Volunteers on the Peace Garden Project Committee began raising funds for the new bridge in 2003 following authorization from the Park Board. Their work raised $124,500 for the bridge and the “Spirit of Peace” crane sculpture also located in the Lyndale Park Peace Garden.

The Park Board committed an additional $16,500 to the two projects in October 2008.

The new Peace Garden Bridge was constructed of materials chosen for their ability to withstand the harsh Minnesota climate, including copper blocks and inlaid granite, the Park Board reported. According to Japanese tradition, its zigzag design prevents evil spirits from following visitors into the garden.

The Sept. 20 event runs from 12:30 p.m.–2 p.m. and is open to the public. The formal Peace Garden Bridge dedication was scheduled for 1 p.m.

Representatives from Japan were expected to attend, the Park Board reported. There will be music from the Carpe Diem Vocal Ensemble of Edina and the premier of the “From War to Peace Song” written by Emmy Award-winning composer Steven Heitzeg.