Long Beach-Qingdao Association

Winner of the 2010 Best Overall Program Award from Sister Cities International!
05/07/2014 - Chinese Sister City Group Tours “Long Beach Garden”

Nearly twenty local residents attended the grand opening of the International Horticultural Exposition in Qingdao, China, last week. The highlight was a tour of the “Long Beach Garden,” representing five different historical approaches to gardening in our city—a project more than two years in the making.

Headed by Mary E. Barton, President of the Long Beach-Qingdao Association, the delegation included two officials from the Port of Long Beach who had also toured the Port of Qingdao (a sister port), a Horticulture group from Long Beach City College, and the High Tide Quartet, who sang barbershop harmony at the garden site and on a local television show.

“What a spectacular event it was,” said Barton. “We never expected such a huge, gala grand opening.  There were hundreds of singers and dancers, even flocks of pigeons entertaining the international crowd.”  Only two gardens represented the U.S. among the hundreds of gardens in this “world’s fair of gardens,” the other being the Georgia garden.

In the Long Beach Garden’s “bungalow” section, a porch swing  was the centerpiece.  “The swing was a very popular accoutrement,” continued Barton, “and the only one in the entire Expo!”
A committee designed the Long Beach Garden, including representatives from the LBQA, the Horticulture Program at Long Beach City College, the City Office of Sustainability and Local architect firm Perkowitz+Ruth.  P+R provided the landscape architecture design, through its StudiONEleven unit, with assistance from their Shanghai office.
While in China, the local delegation also visited the P+R office in Shanghai and received a briefing on horticulture issues at the new Disneyland Shanghai, now under construction.

At least 13 million attendees are expected to visit the Expo in its six-month life, which will end in October.

Click Here to view more pictures of the Long Beach Garden.

04/18/2014 - LBQA Group Heads to China

Long Beach’s China sister city group is sending a  delegation of 18 to Qingdao, China, in time for the grand opening of the International Horticultural Exposition on April 25.

For two years, the award-winning Long Beach-Qingdao Association and several experts have worked on the  “Long Beach Garden” to be unveiled at the Expo grand opening.  The Port of Long Beach has provided support for the garden in honor of the nearly 30 years the two cities, and more recently the cities’ two ports, have been sisters.

The garden comprises nearly an acre and showcases a historical approach to the many home gardens that grace the coastal city in the U.S. StudiONEleven, an arm of architects Perkowitz+Ruth, was charged with developing the detailed plans after a committee developed the historical approach.  Their architects in Shanghai helped with translating the plant names and the construction specifications, so that the Qingdao-based crews could build the several sub-gardens included.

“After all this effort, we’re thrilled to be able to see the results in Qingdao,” said Mary E. Barton, Ph.D., President of the Long Beach-Qingdao Asssociation.  We’ll bring some Horticulture students from Long Beach City College, and a number of others interested in this fabulous event. Most of this particular delegation has never been to China, so it’s a double treat.”

Included in the Long Beach Garden are sub-gardens that showcase the Spanish colonial approach, a “bungalow” garden with plenty of grass, a mid-century patio surrounded by its typical garden, and the latest low-water, native plant version, which harkens back to the “native garden,” which provides the opening to the exhibit.

“Gardens are typically public in today’s China,” continued Barton, “and we have tried to depict how WE experience gardening in Long Beach—it’s usually the outdoor living space for a single family, and thus quite personal.  We hope it is perceived in that way by the millions of Chinese who will see it throughout the six-month Expo.”

The group will also spend a few days in Shanghai and its more tropical environs, before heading up to the Expo.  Learn more about the  Expo at http://en.qingdaoexpo2014.org.

03/28/2014 - Local Sister City Group Receives National Award

The China sister city group of Long Beach received national recognition on Thursday for their community outreach both at home and abroad.  The Long Beach-Qingdao Association was saluted at the China-U.S. Sister Cities Conference in Washington, D.C., just steps from the White House in the Ronald Reagan Building.  President Mary E. Barton, Ph.D., received the award on behalf of Long Beach, and Ms. Mu Li, of the Qingdao office of the China People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, received the award for Qingdao.

The award recognized the active efforts of LBQA in working with multiple institutions in the Long Beach area, particularly higher education and arts groups, to initiate exchanges between the two cities.
“We were thrilled that both cities could be represented at the event,” said Barton, “since it is such a long way for the Qingdao representative to fly.”  More than 200 pairs of China-U.S. cities were represented at the conference.
In addition to the awards and information sessions, the conference also highlighted trilateral partnerships—Chinese, U.S., and African cities—in development projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under the auspices of Sister Cities International.

The community outreach award marks almost 30 years of friendly cooperation between the two cities, both coastal port cities with strong educational institutions.  LBQA seeks new members to join and participate in exchange and development work. Monthly meetings are held on the last Friday of each month at 8:00 a.m.