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Seattle Chinese Garden Society 

Description

SCG is a cultural and horticultural education center that enhances the environment and expands the city's open park spaces. Perched on the ridge of the Delridge Neighborhood in West Seattle, the Garden and its mission complement the goals of the Delridge Neighborhood Development Association: inclusiveness, access to art, providing a gathering place, and expanding and preserving open space for its diverse population, including low and moderate income residents. The Garden draws visitors from all over Seattle and the region, plus visitors from abroad.

Mission Statement
The Seattle Chinese Garden Society (SCG) is creating a traditional Chinese garden as a "coming together space" for all people and organizations interested in China or in horticulture and the integration of nature and culture. The Garden also enhances appreciation for the contributions to our region by our citizens of Chinese and Asian heritage.
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Seattle Chinese Garden Society
1600 16th Ave SW 
Seattle 
WA
98106 
(206) 934-5219 

Katie Yuen 
Office Coordinator 

Programs

Seattle Chinese Garden Society Programs

The Garden is a magnet drawing in Seattle's residents to learn more about their Pacific Rim neighbors and increasing cross-cultural understanding through educational and cultural programs. Since Seattle's early ties with contemporary China, formally through the Washington State China Relations Council in 1979, Seattle and Washington State have played a leading role in establishing and expanding US-China relations through business, trade, cultural, and educational initiatives. The SCG is an embodiment of the 30 years of trust, respect, and close collaboration between Washington State and China and, in particular, between the sister cities of Seattle and Chongqing. This Garden will reflect the beauty of a Sichuan-style Chinese Garden, the only one of its kind outside of China. It will engage local, regional, and international visitors in the richness of Chinese culture and enhance Seattle's important position on the Pacific Rim. It will be a center for fostering friendships, understanding, and economic partnerships that will benefit the entire region for future generations. 

Docent Tour Program
Seattle Chinese Garden Society has a dozen trained docents who lead free public tours (every Saturday from April through October), and privately arranged tours for groups of ten or more. The tour presentation covers the significance of gardens in Chinese culture and the particular characteristics of the Sichuan-style Garden. Visitors will see Knowing the Spring Courtyard, the Song Mei Pavilion, and learn about the plans for the complete 4.6-acre Garden. Future pavilions include a tea house on a lotus pond, a four-story viewing pavilion, and a large Gathering Together Hall for programs, exhibits, banquets, and community event.

Educational, Cultural, and Horticultural Programs
Educational and cultural programs include martial arts demonstrations in the courtyard at noon on most Saturdays during the summer. We also offer opportunities to learn tai qi from an expert instructor, and basic Chinese language phrases through "Chinese corner" sessions for students of all ages and backgrounds. Another annual event is a digital photography workshop led by a professional photographer and education. We also feature periodic programs with speakers presenting on topics of interest on traditional or contemporary China. Our 2014 Seattle-Luoyang Peony Festival is May 3-4, followed by the Bamboo Festival, May 17-18.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Our first major structure, Knowing the Spring Courtyard, opened to the public in February 2011. The Garden is welcoming thousands of visitors from all over the region, including members of garden clubs and community groups, school classes, our neighbors in West Seattle, and from the Chinatown/International District. Garden leaders are now laying the preparatory groundwork for a capital campaign to complete the garden as soon as possible.  Support will be needed from individuals, corporations, private foundations, and government. We also welcome volunteers of all ages and interests. We have many ways you can engage with the Garden and learn more about China, Chinese culture, or horticulture ... and help the Garden grow!

Evaluation


The Seattle Chinese Garden Society is partnering with Seattle’s sister city Chongqing to create a garden at the north end of the South Seattle Community College campus.

Proven Success
In an effort to make Chinese art, architecture, heritage and horticulture more accessible they are constructing a garden. They have been collaborating with the Municipality of Chongqing for more than 25 years on the design, building, and planting of the Garden and have renewed commitment to complete the entire Garden within five years.

In 2010 they completed the Knowing the Spring courtyard and it is now open to the public. They hosted 21 artisans from China to complete the traditional stone and wood elements in the garden.

Sustainability
Continuity of funding and maintaining adequate staffing levels has been challenging for this project. They rely heavily on volunteers. This year they are attempting to recruit qualified staff to ramp up capital campaign fundraising as they seek to raise $20 - $30 million to build the remainder of the garden.

Financial Health
The Garden currently is being supported by individual donors, foundations, government and corporations. Completion of the first courtyard was delayed from 2008 to 2010 in order to raise the $1 million required to complete the construction. With the opening of the Garden they are hoping to use the space to raise revenue from diverse sources (admissions, memberships, lectures, and events). Based on an agreement with the City of Seattle residents receive free admission to the Garden for 5 years.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
3/10/2008 $25,000.00support construction of Knowing the Spring Courtyard.

Financials

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