Penticton-Ikeda Japanese Garden, Penticton
During the 1992 visit to Japan, the idea of establishing an Ikeda Japanese Garden in Penticton was initiated. During the Ikeda delegation's visit in 1993, newly elected Mayor Kazuo Oishi presented us with a set of high quality conceptual plans. The site proposed was the parcel of land just north of the Art Gallery of the South Okanagan. In 1995 the Ikeda Sister City Society made the first garden fund donation of about $500. This was followed by a major contribution of close to $6,000 by the Ikeda delegation in 1997. Since that time generous donations have been and continue to be received from individuals, companies and organizations, such as the Soroptomist club. Mayor Beth Campbell and Ikeda Deputy Mayor Koichi Saito took part in the sod turning ceremony signifying the actual start of construction during the 1997 Ikeda delegation visit.
Construction of the major components of the garden commenced in February 2003. The Ikeda Garden Committee initially led by Bonnie Ross, then by Joanne Grimaldi and now by Lorna & Al Dawkins has enjoyed the volunteer assistance of many citizens in planning and weekly Wednesday morning work parties. Many individuals and firms have contributed generously in their field of expertise. Ikeda initiated a program of sending black Obsidian rocks that are native to the Ikeda, area with each person heading to Penticton and each returning Canadian. These rocks have a special home in the garden. The Ikeda Penticton Japanese Garden is complete. There will, however, continually be additions and improvements. Our Ikeda friends designed and constructed a traditional sign out of old growth walnut wood. It arrived just in time to be installed for the September 10, 2005 dedication ceremony.
The Penticton-Ikeda Japanese Garden has matured beautifully. It is very well used and dozens of people walk through every day to enjoy the iews, the peace and quiet, and the fish. Many volunteers look after ongoing maintenance as the garden has now reached the point that plants need regular thinning and trimming. Our core group of volunteers would welcome new memebers to share the workd. Anyone who would enjoy a morning outside once a week could come to the gardne at 9:00am any Wednesday morning, likely commencing in early to mid March. Fresh air, coffee, and congenial people are a bonus!
Garden Bookings and Donations
The Penticton-Ikeda Japanese Garden can be booked for weddings or other events for a fee of $125.00. These bookings, sale of commenmorative rocks and donations are our only source of income. Garden fund donations will be forwarded to the City of Penticton which will issue a tax receipt. The City, in cooperation with the Sister City Society, is using the garden donations for the oingoing maintenance of the garden.
If you have not been to the garden for a while, please come for a visit in April or May when the flowering plants are spectacular.
Penticton-Ikeda Japanese Garden Photos