The site of the latest International Friendship Garden could not be more different from La Crosse’s sister city in the Republic of Cameroon, especially on Thursday morning as a cold wind blew through Riverside Park. “This is not the weather they have in Cameroon, Africa. I wish it were,” joked International Friendship Gardens president Chuck Hanson as he opened the groundbreaking ceremony for the seventh international garden, situated to the west of the Explore La Crosse building at the north end of Riverside Park. “The vision behind the gardens is to recognize that there is beauty in cultures all over the world,” Hanson said. The gardens sit on the far north side of Riverside Park and feature six sections celebrating La Crosse’s connection to its sister cities, which include: Bantry, Ireland; Dubna, Russia; Epinal, France; Forde, Norway; Friedberg, Germany; and Luoyang, China. The gardens feature plants and art from each community. “There’s also a common path that goes through these gardens, recognizing that we’re all connected, we’re all part of this good earth and we all have a responsibility to maintain it,” Hanson said. The Cameroon garden, which connects La Crosse to the ...