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New Japanese Garden plan a success for city

Monday night I had the opportunity to see closure on the plans for a renewed plan of an authentic Japanese Garden in the place I volunteer in Lithia Park.

It was with a great deal of elation that the Parks and Recreation Commission voted to go ahead with the amended plan for the Japanese Garden project. Before the vote, Michael Black explained the changes made to the plan put forth in 2018. He was truly careful to explain to us in the gallery how plans for continued care of all 12 Douglas fir trees would be guaranteed with funding provided from a grant to have 10 years of caretaking for the garden in its new form. He addressed the above and undergrowth health of the trees, the change of not having a bamboo garden planted where the trees stand, and a careful redesign of the tile fence to reduce damage to the roots of the trees.

Thank yous were extended to Jeff Mangin and the Marechal family for the gracious donation that will make the project a reality after much consideration. He thanked Toru Tanaka for his careful design and redesign of the garden. He thanked folks who listened to the proceedings and patiently discussed plans and amendments to procure the present plan.

Bryan Holley provided wisdom and history on the Tree Commission to consider the changes in the plan. Many folks in Ashland got to the park to walk through the plans on at least three occasions with Black, Parks and Recreation representatives and Tanaka. People researched the results of cutting down the trees in the first plan and gathered with information to express their concern and findings with the city’s delegation.

Many folks wrote letters and took the time to meet and make the community aware of the project’s effects on the trees. No matter who planted them, they are a substantial part of the Japanese Garden setting. And, at long last, with due respect to the city, the park’s giant trees and all of the organisms that depend on them, the Parks Commission got together to approve of a plan that is uniting for the city, a statement of true concern for the folks of Ashland, and it is largely because of the concern and effort shown by the folks of Ashland.

Thank you, thank you, Parks Commission and the people of Ashland, for your efforts and for showing how patience, reason and true concern for the community can bring forth success.

Barb Settles lives in Ashland.