In the community

State grant will boost upgrades for Hikaru Mizu Japanese garden at cultural center

ONTARIO – A $20,000 grant from Travel Oregon will help Four Rivers Cultural Center make the Hikaru Mizu Japanese Garden more accessible for those with disabilities.
The center will use the money to install a wheelchair-accessible “zig-zag” style bridge in the garden and a wheelchair turn-around area just beyond the bridge.
The grant also will be used for informational signs around the garden in English, Spanish and in Braille. The center also plans to use the grant for a bench for seniors and those with mobility issues and buy two iPads with headphone sets and software to help the hearing impaired enjoy the garden.
The irrigation system for the garden also needs an upgrade, said Kathie Molder Collins, cultural center development director.
Collins, who wrote the application for the Travel Oregon grant, said the cultural center and its garden are good for economic development.
“Arts and culture are a big part of economic development. When you peel back the layers, a lot of visitors and tourists come into the community because of an event or a cultural exhibit,” said Collins.

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