Miller Park Volunteers Establish Relationship with Matsunami Park Volunteers
In 2013, Miya, Mel, and Emiko Tate of Lebanon, Ohio were leading a project to develop a playground in the tunami devastated town of Ishinomaki, Japan. At the same time, the Miller Family descendants and the community of Lebanon, Ohio were joining together to create the Will and Harriet Ecological Park.
Nancy Miller Myerholtz and Emiko Tate Moore met and noticed many connections between the two projects. Emiko's mother, Sumiko Yonemoto Tate, was born in Ishinomaki, Japan and came to the United States after marrying
Staff Sergeant Thomas Tate of the United States Airforce. She eventually lived in Lebanon near the Miller homestead, and she and Harriet Miller came to be friends.
In 2014, Emiko and Mel Moore met with Miller Ecological Park Steering Committee to explore the idea of a friendship relationship. In 2015, an event to announce the friendship relationship was held at Miller Park: Flowers of Friendship with paper theater storytelling, a martial arts demonstration, origami lessons, and more.
In 2018, Emiko, Mel, and Miya began planning and planting a Friendship Garden at Miller Ecological Park. Cherry Blossom trees were planted and a plot for the garden was chosen. Currently, they are working with the Miller Park Ecological Park Fund to plan an expansion of the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Throughout the years, Matsunami Playground and Garden volunteers have been sharing their progress with Miller Ecological park, We reach out to each other to share a love and enjoyment of nature, a universal concern and responsibility for the environment, and an appreciation for the unique cultures and experiences of our communities.