The Waterwheel Park is situated at the west end of Binhe Road, Lanzhou with the Sculpture of the Yellow River Mother to the west, the White Pagoda Mountain Park to the north and the White Cloud Temple to the south, and it’s another highlight along the Yellow River in Lanzhou. Serving as the oldest irrigation tools in Lanzhou,the time-honored waterwheels appeared in Lanzhou during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644); they are shaped strangely and known as the Irrigation Wheel and the Tiger Wheel.
The waterwheel is an ancient device that uses flowing or falling water to create power by means of a set of paddles mounted around a wheel. The force of the water moved the paddles, and the consequent rotation of the wheel is transmitted to machinery via the shaft of the wheel. The wheel has a diameter ranging from 10 meters (33 feet) to 20 (66 feet) meters, with many blades arranged on the outside rim forming the driving surface. In order to recreate the traditional irrigation tool, Lanzhou Tourism Administration invited a senior carpenter, Gao Qirong from Jingyuan County, to design a waterwheel for the Waterwheel Park.
Built in 1994 and covering an area of 14,500 square meters (156,077 square feet), the Waterwheel Park is composed of waterwheels, a coffer-dam, a waterwheel service room and a recreation area. A two-wheel waterwheel has a diameter of 16.5 meters (54 feet).
The Waterwheel Park is centered with 12 waterwheels, where the Yellow River roars, the waterwheels rotate, and the trees are in picturesque disorder, recreating the harmonious scene of agricultural production along the Yellow River in ancient times.
The Waterwheel Park is a part of Lanzhou Waterwheel Expo Park along with Waterwheel Square and Culture Square. Over 10 waterwheels from all over the world are exhibited in Waterwheel Square. Culture Square is composed of a tourist souvenir store, the Yellow River Rare Stone Hall, the Lanzhou Modern History Exhibition Hall and the Performing Hall, where the waterwheel culture is fully shown in the form of photos, text descriptions and theatrical performances.