Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation is moving forward with initial plans to develop a Chinese garden on land owned by Carmel Clay Schools.
The site is on .4 acres between the newly constructed parking garage for the Carmel Clay Public Library and Carmel Elementary School. It is bisected by a driveway leading to the school.
CCPR Director Michael Klitzing presented a proposal for the garden, which would celebrate the local Chinese community and commemorate Carmel’s sister city relationship with Ziangyang, China, to the school board last month. Since then, he has received the green light from the district to move forward with investigating the feasibility of the project.
CCPR is working with Dr. Yiwei Huang and students in the landscape architecture program at Purdue University, including a Carmel High School graduate, to develop a concept plan for the garden.
“Dr. Huang and the students will facilitate a public input meeting, which we anticipate occurring in March, and there will also be an online survey available for the public,” Klitzing said.
A donor has offered to pay for a portion of the garden, Klitzing said. CCPR is working to identify other funds for the project.
Previously, CCPR planned to expand and rework the Japanese garden south of Carmel City Hall into a space honoring all of Carmel’s sister cities, including Ziangyang. Officials, however, decided to maintain it as a garden celebrating only the sister city relationship with Kawachinagano, Japan, and began to look elsewhere to locate the Chinese garden.
Klitzing said he likes the site north of Carmel Elementary for the Chinese garden because of its proximity to the Monon Greenway and Arts & Design District, making it an easy destination for pedestrians.
Roger McMichael, CCS associate superintendent, said the plan calls for CCS to provide the land and for CCPR to develop it. He said CCS could reclaim the land if needed.
“We would not take that lightly, of course,” McMichael said. “In fact, we’d try to assist them if they need to relocate.”