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An International Expansion: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park announces Japanese Garden

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park announces The Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden.

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For more information and updates on the progress of The Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden visit the Park's website at

/Tiffany Szakal

/Tiffany Szakal

/Tiffany Szakal

Announced on February 15, 2012 David Hooker, President and CEO of Fredrik Meijer Garden & Sculpture Park, shared with the world their plans to open the large-scale Japanese Garden described as the last major installment of their master plans for the park.  Most visitors attending the park in the last three months have witnessed the fruitition of this announcement in the form of a giant hole, concrete blocks and gated passage. 

“Fred’s last wish for Meijer Gardens. And really he wanted it to be a gift, of sorts, to Lena Meijer because Lena loves Japanese gardens,” said David Hooker.

Adding their name to the $22 Million project are Richard and Helen DeVos, which Hooker praised for their commitment to the community through various enhancement projects such as this one. “The budget reflects our commitment to the quality and the magnitude of this eight and a half acre garden.”

Selected for the project is Kurisu International, Inc. of Portland headed up by Hoichi Kurisu. Kurisu is introduced as a Japanese native who witnessed the devastating effects of the atomic bomb and the subsequent role that horticulture played in healing those wounds. Kurisu, who has at least three public Japanese gardens in the United States and numerous private achievements, explains that the Japanese garden has evolved multiple times since their recorded history in the 8th century but the principle that the garden and viewer are one remains the same.

“You drop off your ego, pride, (anger) or agony and gradually bring yourself to be really yourself,” Kurisu tells the crowd.

David Hooker shares an illustration of the planned garden with a giant water feature in the middle and tells of a moss garden, bonsai garden, scenic bridges, waterfalls, tea house, Zen style dry garden and faith reflective areas.  With these features the goal of the garden is to inspire tranquility, simplicity, harmony and beauty in the visitor.

There is still over a year to go, but construction is under way in the park.  The north trail has been closed and construction gates are in place across from the Farm Center. 

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