The third park started to become a reality when the Mayor of Yantai visited San Diego. After a year of planning and coordination, American, Mexican, and Russian students flew to Yantai to join Chinese students and their teachers on the site: a cliff twenty-five feet above the rock-strewn beach of the Bo Hai Sea. This park was unique in the amount of help the city of Yantai gave us from hosting, to marble, to six carvers for six days.
The park was designed with the upper element as a typical Chinese courtyard. The Phoenix bird leads down to an intimate space overlooking the sea The students worked alongside masters of the ancient art of stone carving to create the park’s central marble carving of a Phoenix bird holding a Pearl and the Moon. The Phoenix bird is the symbol of the Empress and has special meaning to the city of Yantai. Smaller carvings of the sea creatures and symbolic elements that represent the students’ home countries adorn the slate-covered courtyard and granite walls.
In the final days of the 4-week construction, many members of the Yantai community helped support the project. The team worked well into the evening in order to complete the park for its dedication on July 23, 2001. On two six-foot granite stones that form the gate at the entrance to the Yantai Park, the students carved a poem in each of their four languages that reads: “One moon draws us together through stone gates.” This park, more than any of the parks, is often used for weddings.
With the Yantai park, the vision of pearls circling the Pacific which began in the East had crossed to the west and come back to the East.
The park was a joint project sponsored by the Pacific Rim Park non-profit corporation, the Ilan-Lael Foundation, and the City of Yantai.