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!