The International World Peace Rose Gardens program is a worldwide effort to help youth recognize the importance and value of peace. In March 1992, the Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" World Peace Rose Garden was planted at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. The garden is an artistic interpretation of Dr. King’s life and ideals of peace through nonviolence. The garden’s starburst design brings attention to the brilliance of Dr. King’s ideals using the Official Flower of the United States, the rose.
The Garden borders the Peace Plaza, in front of the Visitor Center. It has 185 roses in a variety of colors and fragrances. The graves of Dr. and Mrs. King can be seen directly across the street if you stand at the Peace Plaza, facing the rose garden. Each year an annual contest is held and students from local, national, and global schools submit poems of peace. Winning poems are selected and installed in the rose garden for the period of a year. There were a total of 27 "Inspirational Messages of Peace" for 2016.
The Atlanta garden is one of five major World Peace Rose Gardens established around the world by International World Peace Rose Gardens. The other gardens are located at other cultural, historical and sacred centers of the world and focus on different aspects of peace.