The Idea for a Garden | See the video
Astoria Mayor Willis L. Van Dusen became focused on the idea of building a Chinese heritage park when he realized how little was known locally of Astoria's Chinese community. This group was largely responsible for helping to put Astoria on the map in the late 1800s and early 1900s, particularly with regard to the salmon industry, yet there were few public acknowledgements of their contributions or even their presence.
This realization came to light when Van Dusen invited Chinese Astorian Duncan Law to a meeting that would be held at a local museum. It was then that Law pointed out the Chinese were in large part absent from much of Astoria's documented history, including that of the museum.
Absence of the Chinese from Astoria's rich legacy is no longer the case, and with completion of the Garden of Surging Waves, there will be an even more heightened awareness for all cultures that constitute the fabric of Astoria. The contributions of the Chinese will be recognized and celebrated as a significant piece of that fabric and legacy.