How to Turn a Wasteland Into a World Peace Garden

Here, everyone can address life’s everyday challenges in their own unique way


(Eric Buermeyer /

In 2008, stage actor turned estate agent Jonathan Bergman embarked on a very special mission: transforming the gloomy wasteland across from his London office into a lush oasis - no easy feat. Bergman first initiated the project and did everything by himself in the early days, but over the years received plenty of help from community members who contributed all kinds of value to the property.

So what exactly is the garden today? Thanks to many participants and donors (including a $7000 donation by the United Nations Association), what was once an empty lot riddled with garbage, is now the World Peace Garden. A beautiful space filled with flowers, a pond, landscaping, extra seating, and one very special tree. The “Tree Of Hope” is where visitors answer the questions “what I want the world to be when I grow up,” and “what would contribute to world peace?” They then write down their response on paper tags and hang them on the tree branches for anyone to read. In this haven, people from all walks of life (poets, children, doctors, artists, residents, etc.) come together in a safe space where they are able to positively address life’s everyday challenges in their own way.

The positive and compassionate atmosphere is a constant reminder of the ground’s overall aim. The World Peace Garden encourages guests to step back from everyday life and empathize with others. Here, the focus is on finding commonalities all humans share - such as the desire to live in a peaceful world - no matter which beliefs they hold dear.

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