By William Zajicek, contributor
Xiang Jiang Pavilion
The St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden, located in Phalen Park, Saint Paul, is seeking additional funds ($160,000) to complete Phase I of the garden construction and begin Phase II.
The Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society (MCFGS) began a New Year Matching Gift Challenge to raise funds last December and will end Feb. 28, 2021. The state of Minnesota, through its state Legacy and Bonding funds and private donors, have provided close to $1 million restricted for Phase II, some of which must be spent by 2022.
MCFGS is working with the Saint Paul Department of Parks & Recreation, the Phalen Park neighborhood, and the Twin Cities Hmong and Chinese communities to inform the design and build the garden. In Changsha, China, Saint Paul’s sister city, the Hunan Jianke architectural firm continues to provide design direction for the garden using Chinese building and garden principles.
The China Friendship Garden began in 2011 with funding for the design received in 2015. Phase I included a Hmong Heritage Wall, the Xiang Jiang Pavilion, plazas, rock work and the west entrance Archway Gate. Other work to be completed in Phase I include planting more trees, shrubs and flowers; creating and installing artistic calligraphy stones; and installing a seven-ton China Garden naming stone.
Founders, board members and advisors have pledged $76,850, and when matched by other donations at the end of February, Phase I will be completed and Phase II can begin. Phase II will include a Hmong Plaza, extension of the Pavilion garden to the water’s edge, a donor wall, the east entrance Moon Gate, and the Chinese Moon Bridge.
Donations of any size are welcome and will be doubled to the Match. Donations at the $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 levels will qualify the donor to be a Groundbreaker, and will be recognized on the donor wall. All donations will be used to complete Phase I and begin Phase II.
Anyone who wishes to visit the China Friendship Garden may go to 1640 Phalen Drive, Phalen Park, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Log on to .to see a video of the China Friendship Garden. Photos of the various garden structures are at the MCFGS website:
For more information, call Bill Zajicek, president of the Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society, 763-913-4438,.