What: The Stillwater Sister Cities Council is celebrating a ceremony to honor the 22-anniversary of the installation of the International Friendship Garden at the Stillwater Community Center in conjunction with a visit from the Kameoka Japanese Gardener Association.

The ceremony will feature remarks from Mayor Will Joyce, Vice Mayor Pat Darlington, Sister Cities Council Chairperson Larry Jones, Sister Cities Charter Member Sylvia Duncan, and responses from our friends from the Kameoka Sister Cities delegation, including gardeners who are traveling to Stillwater with the group.

The ceremony will culminate with a tree planting in the garden.

When/Where: The ceremony is Friday, April 19 at 2 p.m. at the Stillwater Community Center, W. 315 8th Ave. The International Friendship Garden is near the north entrance to the building. Parking is available at the Community Center.

Media Opportunities: Members of the media and the public are welcome to attend.

History of the Garden: On Sept. 9, 1997, the City of Stillwater and the Sister Cities Council welcomed a delegation of landscape gardeners from Kameoka to Stillwater. The delegation of 15 gardeners from the Kameoka Young Landscape Gardeners Cooperative came to construct two Japanese landscape gardens, one a Viewing Garden at the Community Center and one a small Tea Garden at the OSU Botanical Garden.

More than twenty tons of materials used in constructing the gardens were shipped from Japan at the expense of the Gardeners Cooperative. Additionally, the Cooperative paid for top soil, railroad ties, all plant materials and the rental cost of heavy equipment needed to complete the construction of the gardens. During the eight days the gardeners were in Stillwater, an amazing transformation to the sites took place. Each gardener knew exactly what he was to do each day and their ability to work somewhat independently, but as a team, was impressive to watch.

At the end of the eight days, the beautiful gardens stood complete, a testimony to their wonderful gardening skills. The beautiful International Friendship Garden at the Community Center is a gift from the Young Gardeners Cooperative and the people of Kameoka to the people of Stillwater and is tangible evidence of the wonderful sister cities relationship that exists between Kameokaand Stillwater. The smaller tea garden at the Botanical Garden is a gift to OSU.

A three-member delegation of gardeners returned to Stillwater during the summer of 1998 at which time a formal dedication ceremony for the International Friendship Garden took place with the participation of the gardeners from Kameoka.