Waterfront Botanical Gardens is building an authentic, world-class Japanese Garden, designed by Nakane and Associates out of Kyoto, Japan.


This two-acre garden will be constructed just north of the existing Graeser Family Education Center. Every dollar you give to support the Japanese Garden will be matched up to $500,000 by the family of longtime supporters Emil and Nancy Graeser.


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about the designer


The son of renowned traditional Japanese landscape designer, Kinsaku Nakane, Shiro Nakane has been following in his father’s footsteps since becoming president of Nakane Garden Research and Landscape Consultant Firm in 1995.

Having received his first lessons in the Art of Japanese gardening as a young boy, he continues to apply traditional techniques and aesthetics with a modern perspective as a landscape designer.


“The apparent admiration and esteem enjoyed by the Japanese garden throughout the world is presumably attributable to the recognition of its universal artistic merits, which transcend all racial, religious, and cultural differences.”

Shiro Nakane

Sponsorship Opportunities

Tea House – Chashitsu #10


The chashitsu is made of wood, and designed to harmonize with the surrounding garden.


Pond – Shinji-ike #7


The pond is fed by the waterfall and streams and will be stocked with koi.


Stream – Yarimizu #5, 6


The stream symbolizes eternal renewal and the flow of time


Summer House – Yokaze #12


The stream will flow under the summer house so guests can sit in it with their feet in the stream


The South (Main) Gate #1


The main entrance to the garden. It will include the ticket booth.


The West Gate #3


An imposing, ornate gate that is still large enough for service vehicles.


The North Gate #2


A smaller but more ornate gate.


Waterfall – Taki #4


A great source of beauty in Japanese gardens, waterfalls contribute to the expression of nature and the soundscape.


Arched Bridge – Soribashi #18


A distinct red-orange color, the arched bridge is probably the most representative feature of a Japanese garden.

Zig-Zag Bridge – Yatsuhashi #19


Zig-zag bridges encourage those who cross to slow down, watch their step, and take in the present.


Dry Landscape Garden – Karesansui #13


Dry landscape gardens represent water surfaces and wave motions through sand patterns.


Cherry Tree Promenade – Sakura #15


The Japanese Cherry Tree represents the fleeting nature of existence and the need to live in the present.


Tea Garden – Roji #11


Tea gardens call to mind a stroll through a forest path, a quiet place where everyday concerns are forgotten for a moment.


Island in the Pond/Lake (2) – Kojima #8

$50,000 each

Tsuru and Kame, the crane and the tortoise


Autumn Grassland – Aki No Sogen #16


Grasses continue to flourish across multiple seasons, even after flowers are long gone, evoking a hint of sadness at the passing of the year.


Pebble Beach #9


Smooth dark stones represent the foam of an ocean, and provide a stark contrast to the surrounding greenery.


Stone Bridge (2) – Ishibashi #20

$25,000 each

When taking a meditative stroll through the garden, the bridge prompts us to shed worldly concerns and be fully present in the beautiful garden.

Concepts of the garden by Nakane and Associates

Concepts of the garden by Nakane and Associates

Concepts of the garden by Nakane and Associates

Concepts of the garden by Nakane and Associates



For more information on how you can sponsor or otherwise get involved with the Japanese Garden project, contact:


Brett Shepherd

Director of Capital Campaigns

(502) 494-0370



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