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The Pierce Garden


September 20, 2021 -- A ceremony was recently held by the Highland Park, Illinois, Sister Cities Foundation to dedicate The Pierce Garden, honoring the legacy of former Mayor Daniel M. Pierce.  Founded by Pierce in 1989, the organization’s mission is to bridge cultures and promote goodwill and global peace by providing cultural and educational exchanges, governmental, professional, and economic partnerships, and humanitarian assistance for the people in Highland Park by connecting them with people in Highland Park’s Sister Cities around the globe.  Pierce envisioned an organization that would be inclusive of all cultures, values, and ethnicities.  To date, Highland Park boasts three Sister Cities including Modena, Italy; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Yerucham, Israel.

The Pierce Garden is in the Sister Cities Park at the corner of Central Avenue and First Street in downtown Highland Park.  It was designed as a living memorial to Pierce.  Filled with native plants that bloom throughout the year, it is symbolic of Daniel M. Pierce’s consummate public service to the people of Illinois as a State Representative, Mayor of Highland Park, and North Shore Water Reclamation District President.  The Foundation hopes the garden will have a powerful presence in Highland Park and will be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

“As our founder, we wanted to honor Dan in a way that would reflect the value he placed on diversity and his vision to connect Highland Park to cities around the world, fostering mutual respect and peace,” stated Carol Wolfe, President of Highland Park, Illinois, Sister Cities Foundation. “What better way than a garden! Gardens bring people together. Through diverse colors and textures, they create tranquility and joy. Audrey Hepburn said, ‘to plant a garden is to believe in the future.’ And so, we move into the future with Dan as our guiding spirit.” 

Highland Park's sister city relationships were forged through cooperation with Sister Cities International, based in Washington, D.C.  For more information about Highland Park, Illinois, Sister Cities Foundation, and their work, please visit