Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden opens for the 2013 Season

Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden opened for the season on Saturday, March 30. Public visiting hours for the garden located inside Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic, are Thursday-Monday, 9 a.m. to dusk or 7:30 p.m.

The 7.5-acre enclosed garden features traditional Japanese design and landscaping, teahouse, moon bridge, pagoda, meditation garden, koi lake, waterfall, ponds and canals. Now in its 28th year, trees and other landscaping in the garden are reaching maturity.

The garden was established in 1985 as the Springfield Sister Cities Association formalized Springfield’s sister city relationship with Isesaki, Japan. The garden is developed and maintained by volunteers with Friends of the Garden‘s Japanese Garden Committee as well as Springfield-Greene County Parks staff.

Over the winter, volunteers Don and Nancy Schmidt led renovation efforts on the ponds and waterfall, spending hours clearing mud and debris from waterways inside the garden.

“We will put the lilies in when they start blooming in May, but the pond looks pretty nice without them,” Don Schmidt said in a recent report to Friends of the Garden. “You are in for a treat when you next visit this garden.”

Regular admission to Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden is $3 for adults, free for children age 12 and younger.

Admission to the Garden is free on Saturday, April 6, during the Cherry Blossom Kite Festival, an annual event sponsored by the Springfield Sister Cities Association. The garden will be open 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Friends of the Garden and Botanical Society of Southwest Missouri will give free guided tours of the garden during the festival hours of 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.