Meyer Civil Engineering, Inc. was awarded this contract to provide design development, construction documents and construction assistance for both phases of the Sister Cities Garden Park, located within the Mill Creek Linear Park at 18th Street. The $1.1 M Phase "A" on the south side of 18th Street and west of the canal opened in August of 2012. Gardens in this area represent Bucheon, South Korea; Cixi, China; and Wakayama, Japan.
The $500,000 Phase "B" on the north side of 18th Street and east of the canal opened in December of 2013. Gardens in this area represent Amritsar, India and Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico.
Each garden was designed with structural elements, perimeter fencing, and trees and plants representing each Sister City's character and beauty.
The structural element chosen for this Sister City Garden is a gazebo designed to represent the Golden Temple located in Amritsar. The Holy Temple is surrounded by a lake filled with "holy water" and is represented with water-colored concrete paving accented with "koi" fish tiles designed by Richard Meyer. The garden's plants are more formal in their presentation reflecting the English influence in the area. Colored concrete pavers lead the visitor into the gazebo. Two urn-style planters welcome visitors to this garden and four concrete benches beckon one to sit and enjoy the serenity of the space. Fence panels were designed using elements from the entrance archway to the Golden Temple.
Bucheon is a city that has reserved more than 50% of its area to parks, making it a place of respite in the region. With this in mind, particular consideration was given to the colors, placement and varieties of plants and trees used for this garden, especially those used in the center planter. The Taegeuk, the symbol of hope for harmony of um and yang - as featured on the South Korean flag - is epitomized in this structural element of this Sister City Garden. Plants chosen for the Taegeuk planter were of red and blue varieties for each side of this symbol. Many gardens of the region feature "moon gates" as entrance portals. Fence panels in the garden were designed using a moon gate motif to represent this garden feature.
The architectural feature in this Sister City Garden represents the structural supports for the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, one of the longest bridges in the world. The plants chosen for this garden begin with ground level plants and gradually rise to taller varieties at the rear of the garden. This symbolizes what one experiences as they travel from sea level in Cixi through agricultural areas and rising to the mountains beyond. Red brick pavers represent Cixi's robust industry and economy. The fence panel design characterizes many of China's historical bridges.
The trellises in this Sister City Garden represent the over 400 year-old Wakayama Castle and its surrounding gardens. The fence panel design represents Nippon - "The Sun's Origin." The colors of Wakayama are represented by the variety of landscaping in this garden. From the fall reds of the maples to the pink-white cherry blossoms of spring, the Wakayama Sister City Garden is embodied in the plants and architecture of this area of the park.
A formal fountain welcomes visitors to the Sister City Garden Park and a large shade structure covers an assembly area just to the west of the fountain. Several seating areas with trellises allow visitors to rest and enjoy the beauty of the gardens. The Mill Creek themed light standards and lighted bollards are continued in the garden plazas. A custom-designed privacy fence using patterned square steel tubing inserted with jade colored plexiglas panels accented with cherry blossoms, lies on the south and west sides of the park providing a beautiful backdrop for the gardens of China, Japan and South Korea.