MOVES are afoot to make the Miura Friendship Garden in Warrnambool’s Albert Park more accessible to the community.
There are hopes the secluded two-hectare site overlooking the racecourse will soon be open seven days a week in daylight hours.
Mayor Jacinta Ermacora said the issue would be high on the agenda at the next meeting of Warrnambool’s international relations advisory committee.
“We have to strike the right balance between access and protection from vandalism,” she said.
Earlier last week, a new pavilion at the garden was officially opened by Cr Ermacora and Miura mayor Hideo Yoshida, marking another milestone in a relationship between the two cities spanning more than three decades.
Several people involved in establishing the links said they hoped the garden would become more a community focus.
One suggestion is to put a gate on the fence between the Japanese garden and the well-used community vegetable gardens on the south-east corner of Albert Park.
Former Standard editor and general-manager Jim Clarke, who supported the formation of sister city links, said it was important people were given access.
“By taking time to stroll over the two hectares, visitors may ponder the richness of bi-cultural relationships,” he said. “This awareness will help ensure that the bonds started 33 years ago will continue to develop and bring benefits at several levels, including education, tourism, business and international understanding.
“The garden’s marriage of local plants and materials with Japanese design and philosophy is a statement of how two vastly different cultures can support each other.
“It reflects the harmony that can come from a relationship.”