Sister-city ties closer Yamagata garden works begin in Swan Hill

CONSTRUCTION works are set to begin today for the much-anticipated Yamagata Japanese garden along Monash Drive in Swan Hill.

The garden will be set on the Little Murray River between Big 4 Riverside and the Pioneer Settlement.

Swan Hill Yamagata committee president Grant Davies said planning for the garden had been a 12-month process.

"We had detailed development plans undertaken supported by both the Swan Hill Yamagata committee and the Yamagata City Council."

Key features of the garden include a wooden footbridge, a stone boulder bench, a stone lantern, 180 stepping stones, large boulders along with almond and pine trees.

Swan Hill Rural City Council director of development and planning Heather Green said during the construction period, a temporary shared path along Monash Drive will be installed for pedestrian use.

Ms Green said recent works completed on site included the removal of three non-native trees and gym equipment.

"Gym equipment will now be relocated to the Robinvale riverfront," she said.

Ms Green said the garden will reinforce the commitment, growth of understanding and friendship that has evolved between Swan Hill and Yamagata.

"Completion of the project will coincide with the 40th anniversary of Swan Hill's sister-city relationship with Yamagata in 2020," she said.

The Yamagata Japanese garden project is thanks to a partnership between the federal and state governments and council.