ST PAUL-CHANGSHA CHINA FRIENDSHIP GARDEN
The MN China Friendship Garden Society announces that construction has begun for the St. Paul – Changsha Sister-city China Friendship Garden of Whispering Willows and Flowing Waters on a 1.2 acre site at Phalen Park. This is a sister-city collaboration initiated by the MN China Friendship Garden Society, with the City of St. Paul and its Parks & Rec Department, St. Paul’s District 5 Planning Council, with the City of Changsha, Hunan Province, the Changsha People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and the Changsha Yanghu Wetland Park (Phalen Park’s sister park) in China. Changsha has been the sister-city to the City of St. Paul since 1988.
Plan to Attend the July 14, 2018, Groundbreaking Celebration on the first day of the Dragon Boat Festival at Phalen Park – details here
July 14, 2018, Groundbreaking Celebration Schedule
10:30 Follow Qeej player and Lion Dance procession from Phalen Boat House to Construction Site for Groundbreaking Ceremony with Dignitaries
@11:00 Follow Qeej player from Construction Site to Amphitheater for speeches by:
Mayor Melvin Carter
Representative of Chicago Chinese Consul General Office
Senator Foung Hawj, District 67
Linda Mealey-Lohmann, MCFGS President
@11:30 Cultural Performances by Qeej soloist, CAAM Dance Group, Suo Na soloist, Qeej players & Hmong Dance Group
12:00 Return to construction site for individual photos with shovels and hardhats
Stay to watch the Dragon Boat races throughout the day on July 14 and 15.
Construction began on May 31, 2018!
May 30, 2018, Hmong Blessing by Hmong Elder XF. Txawj Miav Vaj at Construction Site
May 29, 2018, Feng Shui Ceremony at Construction Site
Changsha Unveiling Ceremony (May 3, 2018) of Xiang Jiang Pavilion
Pictured left to right: Xiong Zhongshan, Liu Fang, Fan Jennifer Junfang, Wen Youhua, Wei Jianxin, Zheng Lihu, Zhou Shulan, Xiang Handong, Du Borui, LuXingying, Du Shanping, Lei Yixin, Zhang Feng, Shen Shouyun, Wen Chunhua, Chuen Qionglin, Li Yachun, Chen Wenxiang
The Fabrication in Changsha of the Hmong Heritage Wall & West Entrance Arch
The Fabrication in Changsha of the Xiang Jiang Pavilion, Sister-city gift to St. Paul
Future Phalen Park Lakeside Pavilion, with Changsha-style architecture
This China Garden Will Be:
First Chinese garden in the United States using Changsha-style architecture
First Sister-City China Garden in Minnesota
Sister-City project between City of St. Paul and its sister-city Changsha, Hunan, China
Located at Phalen Park, St. Paul, across from “Meditation” sculpture by Changsha Sculptor Lei Yixin
Changsha Architect Team
The China Garden conceptual designs were created by the husband and wife architect team from Changsha, Jennifer Junfang FAN 范俊芳 and Jon Youhua WEN 文友华 (Changsha Hunan Jianke Landscape Company, Ltd. 湖南建科园林有限公司), who worked with Alice Messer, senior landscape architect for St. Paul Parks & Rec (pictured below with Mike Hahm and Bryan Murphy of Parks & Rec, Weiming Lu, Bill Pesek, formerly with Parks & Rec, Linda Mealey-Lohmann, Bill Zajicek, and Romi Slowiak).
Meditation Sculpture in Relation to China Garden (Weiming Lu)
The 9-foot sculpture by Changsha Master Artist Lei Yixin, entitled “Meditation,” was installed at Phalen Park and dedicated by Mayor Coleman. This sculpture was created in July 2006, when the US-China Peoples Friendship Association, Minnesota Chapter, invited Master Lei from China to participate in the St. Paul “Minnesota Rocks” Stone Carving Symposium. Master Lei is the artist who created the 30-foot Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial “Stone of Hope” installed in Washington, D.C. and dedicated in 2011. Master Lei is a liaison between USCPFA-MN and the Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society and the Changsha and Hunan governments. Weiming Lu has a long history of building bridges between the U.S. and China and has been an Advisor / Board Member to the China Garden Society since its inception.
Recent Park Improvements
The China Garden is designed with larger path connections to the recent park improvements, such as the restored waterfall, restored historic stone arch bridge, limestone shoreline sitting areas, and fishing piers, as well as to the bicycle trails and adjacent island. The pathways encourage people to move through the garden and explore other areas of Phalen Regional Park.