Posts Tagged With: Frederick Meijer Gardens

Meijer Gardens a must see place in Grand Rapids

For several years after the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park opened in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1995 my parents adopted the plan during visits of picking me up at the airport and driving to Meijer Gardens for lunch then a stroll.

entry to Frederik Meijer Gardens in 2014

“In 1990, Fred and Lena Meijer were asked for their support, and they embraced the concept of a major cultural attraction centering around horticulture and sculpture. The original vision has turned into a top cultural destination in the Midwest region, known internationally for the quality of the art and gardens.” [from the Meijer Gardens web site]

Over the years, I have visited with family and friends several times, always delighted by old plant friends and new exhibits.

The main campus covers 158 acres. There is a large amphitheater, tropical conservatory, desert plant collection, a model farm, a children’s garden that was added in 2004, and throughout all the gardens, stunning sculpture is to be found.

Nina Akamus sculpture “American Horse” based on Leonardo DaVinci Horse [more about this sculpture at ]

Special events add to the visitor appeal for residents and travelers. We attended the Dale Chihuly exhibit that was extended from April 30 through October 31, 2010.

The Dale Chihuly exhibit throughout Meijer Gardens attracted so many people, it was extended to the end of October


The addition of an 8.5 acre Japanese garden on former swamp land was a particular delight to watch.

The wetlands before

view of the Japanese garden under construction in 2014

In 2009, plans began for a Japanese garden designed and constructed by Hoichi Kurisu and the firm Kurisu International. “His work ranks among the finest Japanese gardens outside of Japan, including Portland Japanese Garden (Oregon), Anderson Gardens (Rockford, IL), Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden (Delray Beach, Florida).”

Hoichi Kurisu looks at what still needs to be done in 2014

walking around the fence in fall 2014 to view construction

during construction

looking over the fence during construction 2014

enjoying a peaceful moment in 2016 a year after the Japanese garden opened

The main gate was opened to visitors June 13, 2015. The garden has proved to be a top attraction within Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. More may be found here

Meijer Gardens re-opens to the public Monday, June 8 2020. Advance reservations are necessary.

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NAJGA Regional event in Michigan

The North American Japanese Garden Association has five spaces left for registration in this month’s regional event in Michigan.

From the NAJGA newsletter:

“Join us in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan on May 17th, 18th and 19th for fascinating lectures and tours of several beautiful gardens that you wouldn’t want to miss!

“This event brings together garden professionals and hobbyists to explore the challenges and benefits of Japanese gardens in the Midwest using six case studies. Hosted by the famous Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research on one of America’s great estates, the workshop opens on Thursday night and Friday morning with lectures on Cranbrook’s historic 1915 Japanese garden and its renovation plan, then continues Friday afternoon at the house and garden of Charles Lang Freer, America’s first great collector of Japanese art. Friday concludes with a reception at Minoru Yamasaki’s spectacular— and recently restored—modernist water and stone garden at Wayne State University.

“On Saturday a full-day coach tour visits the Muedler Japanese Garden at Michigan State University, the Shigematsu Memorial Garden at Lansing Community College then the 8-acre DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. At each location, specialists in charge of maintaining, restoring or managing the garden will share their insights.”

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Pokemon Go comes to the gardens

The online game Pokemon Go has taken a giant leap outdoors. The impact on gardens in the United States was immediate and not always pleasant.

Roji-en fell victim to overly enthusiastic Pokemon Go players in the first days following release of the new game.

Roji-en fell victim to overly enthusiastic Pokemon Go players in the first days following release of the new game.

Roji-en at the Morikami Museum and Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida, immediately took to social media posting photographs of damage to trees and benches. Pleas were made for common sense as The Morikami set out a few ground rules.

“Attention all Pokemon Trainers: As your teams vie for supremacy over each other, we ask you to keep a few ground rules in mind:
Please be respectful of our property and natural resources. Stay on the designated paths at all times—absolutely no climbing on the trees!
“No vandalism of any kind will be tolerated in the garden.
Please respect your fellow visitors, which includes refraining from disruptive behavior, such as running or yelling.
The garden is for everyone; let’s make sure we can all enjoy it!”

Within a few hours of their post, The Morikami had more than 300 comments on Facebook. The perpetrators were located and apologies made.

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens invited Pokemon fans to post their screenshots. “We hear the Garden is a GREAT place to catch ’em all, and we’re super excited to have several Pokéstops as well.” Visitors are encouraged to share screenshots ‪#‎pokemonGO‬

The Birmingham (Alabama) Botanical Gardenis having a “Catch ‘Em All” event in the gardens tomorrow (July 15).


At the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the game has obsessed players trespassing at night to gain more points. John VanderHaagen, public relations manager, said Meijer Gardens staff are thrilled that droves of Pokemon Go players are visiting the gardens, as long as it’s during regular hours.

“We do encourage players to be aware of their surroundings and follow our basic rules of not touching the sculpture and staying on pathways and mowed lawn areas only,” he said in an email.

In Hilo, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald ran a font page story today (July 14) that continued to the back page of the front section with many photos by Hollyn Johnson. Just yesterday George DeMello at Sig Zane Designs mentioned the invasion of Lili`uokalani Gardens.

“There’s no place to park and take a walk,” said DeMello. “And the gardens look so lovely.”

Nearby, Banyan Gallery owner Jelena Clay noted an influx of shoppers who were also seeking to capture points in the game.

Have fun, be safe, and respect the gardens.


A news story from Hawaii News Now published yesterday states that Niantic Inc., the developer of Pokemon Go, says it has corrected a mistake in the app. Users who checked in with iPhones through a Google account found that they were allowing full access to their account information. Niantic says the problem is fixed, but advises users to log out and download the update.


Geocaching games predate Pokemon Go


Some gardens are making great use of the increased visitor count. Nikka Yuko in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, has opened in the evening with two different ticket rates: one for those visiting the gardens and another for those wishing to see a movie also.

an example of a character found at Nikka Yuko

an example of a character found at Nikka Yuko

view of increased visitor count due to Pokemon Go craze

view of increased visitor count due to Pokemon Go craze


On the same day Pokemon Go was released in Japan, Izumo Taisha — one of the oldest and most highly regarded Shinto shrines — announced a ban on drones and on playing Pokemon Go on its grounds and surroundings.


Hiroshima’s Peace Park reports 30 Pokestops and 3 gyms were in and around an area considered sacred. The city of Hiroshima has asked Pokemon Go’s creators to remove the monsters before the August 6, the annual ceremony of the bombing.


Pokemon Go continues to be the most popular outdoor video game. Recent postings on Instagram give maps to characters in The Morikami in Florida and in Lili`uokalani Gardens in Hilo.

a recent map of Pokemon Go characters at Roji-en, Morikami, Delray Beach, Florida

a recent map of Pokemon Go characters at Roji-en, Morikami, Delray Beach, Florida

a recent map of Pokemon Go characters at Lili`uokalani Gardens in Hilo, Hawaii

a recent map of Pokemon Go characters at Lili`uokalani Gardens in Hilo, Hawaii














Categories: Alabama, Alberta, Atlanta, Birmingham, Canada, Delray Beach, Florida, Georgia, Grand Rapids, Hawaii, Hilo, Japan, Michigan | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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