The Man Who Transformed a Wasteland

For years, Jonathan Bergman was bothered by the sight of a neglected piece of property across the street from his office. It was a wasteland — overgrown, ugly, trash-strewn, unloved. In the middle of it was a huge slab of cement covered in graffiti. He wondered to himself why no one had done anything about it. One day, he approached a man he saw looking at the land; they were both bothered by the sight. Then the man said, “How about getting it for the community?” And so the acquisition and transformation efforts began. But the path to what ended up as the “World Peace Garden” was far from straight. This is the story of Jonathan Bergman, who found for every setback an unexpected solution, who discovered peace while gardening, who created a space for his community with his neighbors, who became the change he wished to see, who brought to light that we all have wastelands we can transform.

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