The proposed Tai Chi Meditation Garden is a 55-foot diameter hard surface with the Tai Chi diagram covering the surface of the court. The Tai Chi diagram is commonly called the “Yin Yang symbol.” The circle itself represents the oneness of all things. The inner part, the black and white “fish,” represents complementary and opposing forces in nature (e.g., hot/cold, light/dark, male/female) and the natural cycle of change (e.g., day to night, summer to winter). Tai Chi exercise is based on the principles of complementary opposites and change, and takes its name from this symbol.
The original design was prepared by Hsien-Yuan Chen, who is an architect and member of the Maryland Tai Chi club, and was used for the creation of the David Chen Memorial Tai Chi Court in Cabin John Regional Park located in Rockville, MD. With Mr. Chen's permission we have used his design as a model for our Tai Chi court.
The only other public Tai Chi court that we are aware of is in Arthur Story Park in Houston, Texas. The Redding Tai Chi Meditation Garden would be the third Tai Chi court in the United States and the only one on the west coast of its design.
Turtle Bay Exploration Park has offered us a building site within the McConnell Arboretum & Gardens opposite Charlotte's Bridge. The site is a short 10 minute walk from either the Sundial Bridge or from the western entrance of the McConnell Arboretum & Gardens.
Use of the Tai Chi Meditation Garden would not be exclusive to Tai Chi practitioners but would be multi-purposed, used on a first-come, first-served basis. It would also be used for yoga, Qi Gong, dance, and other activities.
Our current estimate for building in the McConnell Arboretum is $225,000. We are actively seeking donations and funding for the project.
The Tai Chi Meditation Garden is expected to have minor operation budget impact since it is a hard surface for passive recreational activities. As an added benefit it provides landscaping that does not need supplemental irrigation. The design is basically a large patio. The surface has a four degree slope to help with drainage. There are expansion joints built into the concrete base and worked into the mosaic surface. Surface joints are filled with a rubber caulk. Locally available stone will be used for the surface and it will be sealed with several coats of clear stone sealant to keep moisture out.
Charles Votaw of the Wu Wei Tai Chi Club in Rockville, MD reports maintenance of their Tai Chi Court “...has been easy. The County uses a leaf blower to keep the surface free of leaves once or twice a month in the fall. The surface is power washed in the spring and it gets a new top coat of sealant every other year or so. We have had a couple of small repairs to the mortar where water did get into the joint.”
When completed Redding Tai Chi Meditation Garden will take responsibility for upkeep.
Construction Begins as soon as we can fully fund the project. Our goal is to start construction in 2023. Every contribution helps.