Little gem is ignored

It’s not only for pricing residences that location is the key factor. Location is also important in developing civic attractions.

Abbotsford’s International Friendship Garden is a classic example. This fine little park, dedicated on April 6, 2009, is a delightful place. Although the $1.2-million cost is much too high, the charming fountain, the feature waterfall, the bamboo-sided bridges, the giant granite stones, and the huge hosta plants are truly impressive. There may be no better place in Abbotsford for meditative introspection and silent reflection, especially about taxes.

Unfortunately, few people visit that this beautiful garden. In recent months I visited the International Friendship Garden eight times. Not once did I see anyone else in the actual garden except on one occasion when my wife accompanied me.

I don’t know which bureaucrats, politicians, or consultants selected the location. Was it a colossal blunder? It would perhaps be indelicate to say so but the thought keeps coming to mind.

I’m not opposed to Abbotsford having a fine International Friendship Garden, provided it is wisely located.

The well-designed main entrance faces George Ferguson Way where traffic cannot stop. Nor is there convenient parking nearby. The closest parking at the adjacent library lot is mostly reserved for library staff.  Other library parking areas are often largely filled by library patrons.

About $200,000 should have been spent on a rose garden, water feature, rock display, etc. south of the perimeter pathway at Mill Lake. There, many thousands would enjoy it. And it should have no high, expensive wall.

Presently our isolated little gem is mostly ignored.

The July 28 issue of The News reported that the MSA Museum Society is proposing the creation of a discovery centre. I sincerely hope that the location will be determined by knowledgeable members of the Museum Society. Perhaps the relevant bureaucrats, politicians and consultants will be preoccupied finding more parking near the Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment Centre.

John H. Redekop

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