Peace restored at Berkeley park on Memorial Day

Six volunteers spent part of Memorial Day rescuing the Peace Symbol from a jungle of weeds in Cesar Chavez Park.

Working under cerulean skies with a fresh westerly breeze, the work crew started at 10:30 a.m. and was done by 3:30 p.m. with an hour’s lunch break. The before and after pictures show a stunning restoration, from total invisibility to a proud and beautiful display.

Leader of the volunteer crew was Diane Bush, ably assisted by Peter Scholz, Jenifer Anderson and Michael Kushner, all of Berkeley. Their friend Fredda participated in the morning session. Kai the dog was there. I was happy to be able to help out.

The origins of the Peace Symbol are obscure. Google Earth historical maps show a possible start in 2003, though the imagery is fuzzy. Unknown persons carried broken pieces of concrete to the site to form the shape. Over the years, the figure gradually sank out of sight amid the weeds.


In April 2018, I undertook a first restoration effort, and that June a volunteer crew that included Diane and some of her friends removed the early weeds and freshened it up. The project looked good through the end of the year, but by January the weeds overcame the mulch and by the end of April this year it had totally sunk from view.

This year, the restoration work included laying a weed block fabric under the mulch. That should slow the weeds down a bit.

This was a low-budget operation. The weed block fabric was left over from home garden projects. The mulch, at $2 per bag, came to an outlay of $36 plus tax.

This article first appeared on Chavezpark.org.