A more familiar look for second peace garden in St. Paul ParkSt. Paul Park couple plants garden in familiar peace symbol that has drawn more interest than last year's version
By: Toni Lambert, South Washington County Bulletin
Last year’s peace garden, at the corner of Ninth Street and Portland Avenue, in St. Paul Park, was more of a puzzle than a statement because very few passersby knew what “Pax” meant, said Edie Seefeldt, retired Master Gardener and creator of the garden.
This year, she and husband Al Fenske, tried a new approach. They planted the 1960s symbol for peace in red wax begonias surrounded by a circle of green sedum.
“Lots of people know the symbol, especially the Boomers,” Seefeldt said. “People stop to look at it and I ask if they know what it means. Most do.
“Every time someone slows down to look at it, I smile. It makes me feel good,” she said.
Seefeldt gives the credit to her husband. “He is my inspiration,” she said. “During World War II, he was a conscientious objector.”
Fenske, 93, said he was studying philosophy at Harvard University when he was drafted — and refused to serve. Instead, he and others were sent to New Hampshire on work teams to clear trees downed by the Great New England Hurricane of 1938. After New Hampshire, the team was assigned similar work in California. When the war ended, Fenske became a United Church of Christ minister, spending a portion of his career as pastor of Community United Church of Christ, in St. Paul Park.
When asked about the wars of today, Fenske just rolled his eyes, indicating his sentiments about war haven’t changed.