Landscaping begins on Fukuoka Friendship Garden

Security fences have gone up at Western Springs Lakeside Park as landscaping work began last month on re-establishing the Fukuoka Friendship Garden.

The garden replaces the original Fukuoka Friendship Garden built in Auckland Zoo in 1989 as an inaugural sister-city gift from Fukuoka City in Japan to the city of Auckland. It was removed in 2014 during redevelopment of the zoo and some hardscape and plant elements
were conserved.

A Fukuoka Friendship Garden Advisory Group, comprising members of the governing body, Waitemata Local Board, the Independent Maori Statutory Board and the Friends of Fukuoka Friendship Garden, has championed the re-establishment project. The group has worked closely with the council’s parks team, Fukuoka City officials and mana whenua to ensure the new garden remains true to the intent of the original garden.

Some structures that were part of the original garden have been conserved and will be incorporated into the new garden. They include:

• lanterns and a water basin
• paving stones
• bonsai trees, and
• the entrance structure.

The concept design for the new garden was created by ZEN Environmental Design, in collaboration with Fukuoka City Greenery Department and Professor Kubota, the designer of the original garden. Auckland Council’s Parks landscape architects have also worked closely with the Japanese designers.

Fukuoka City has offered to send technical experts to assist with construction of the new garden, which is expected to be completed early in 2017.