The Gresham-Ebetsu Sister City Association is a non-profit, volunteer based organization that develops strong bonds of friendship with its sister city Ebetsu by promoting cultural education and understanding through student exchange and cultural events.
The Gresham Sister City Association was formed in 1977 between Gresham, Oregon and Ebetsu, Japan. Their mission statement reads: “To foster friendships with our sister city that promote and strengthen our educational, economic and cultural ties to enrich the lives of our citizens.”
This association has resulted in a contingent of Gresham folks visiting Ebetsu on a somewhat regular basis with return visits to Gresham from the people of Ebetsu. This association has fostered friendship and trade between our cities.
In the past few years a project of the GBSCA was to renew Tsuru Island. Under the loving guidance of Jim Card, Tsuru Island is a jewel in the middle of Gresham’s Main City Park. The latest undertaking is the creation of Ebetsu Plaza. The brainchild of local entrepreneur, John Clark, Ebetsu Plaza has the blessing of the mayor and is well on it’s way to be another beautiful addition to our city. Ebetsu Plaza and Tsuru Island honor the legacy and heritage of the many Japanese Americans who resided in East County and were responsible for many of the area’s fruit farms & berry fields. It also continues to honor our special friendship with Ebetsu. The 14 flowering cherry trees planted around the perimeter of the plaza were a gift from the City of Ebetsu. To support this project, engraved pavers are being sold and installed in the plaza. MetroEast is proud to own one of the first pavers in this project. John Clark does the work himself, quickly and skillfully. Not only that but he has set the buying of pavers up in such a way that it benefits a number of other local non-profits as well.