2010 / Leaders of Southern California Japanese gardens to meet in Pasadena on Earth Day, April 22

A teahouse named Niko-An is rebuilt beside a pond of a Japanese garden which was created 80 years ago in Pasadena’s historical residential area. (Courtesy of the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden)

A teahouse named Niko-An is rebuilt beside a pond of a Japanese garden which was created 80 years ago in Pasadena’s historical residential area. (Courtesy of the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden (C) 2012 Denie Nyman)

Leaders in the field of Japanese gardens in Southern California will meet on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010, hosted by the historic Storrier-Stearns Japanese Garden in Pasadena.

Attendees will discuss issues of garden sustainability and social impact. “Japanese gardens are an international phenomenon,” said art historian and garden scholar Kendall Brown, professor of art at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).

According to Brown’s research, Japanese gardens have been built in more than 53 countries outside Japan. North American alone has more than 300, with more than 35 located in Southern California.

The meeting is part of a yearlong research project funded by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and the U.S.-Japan Foundation.

“We are excited by the opportunity to discuss how we can work together to advance the field of Japanese gardens in North American and to identify the means to promote our local gardens’ sustainability and their potential for social impact through educational and cultural programs,” said Jeanette Schelin, senior director of the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at CSULB and co-chair of the North American Japanese Garden Initiative (NAJGI).

The initiative is a collaboration between the EBM Japanese Garden at CSULB and the Portland Japanese Garden. Through the initiative, seven regional meetings will be held throughout the U.S. and Canada similar to the local Earth Day meeting in Pasadena.

“We know that millions of visitors enjoy these beautiful landscapes,” Schelin said. “As a group, the gardens represent a priceless cultural, horticultural and educational resource and we look forward to working together to ensure their future. We are pleased to make this meeting part of the Southland’s celebration of Earth Day 2010.”

For more information about the NAJGI project, visit www.najgi.org; Facebook under “North American Japanese Garden Initiative”; or call (562) 985-5930.

Participating gardens and organizations include:

Descanso Gardens   www.descansogardens.org

Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, CSULB   www.csulb.edu/~jgarden

George and Sakaye Aratani Japanese Garden, Cal Poly Pomona

Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens    www.huntington.org

Japan Foundation, Los Angeles    www.jflalc.org

Japanese American Cultural & Community Center   www.jaccc.org

Japanese Friendship Garden, Balboa Park    www.niwa.org

Japanese Friendship Garden, Phoenix     www.japanesefriendshipgarden.org

Shinwa-En Japanese Garden, CSU Dominguez Hills

Storrier-Stearns Japanese Garden   www.japanesegardenpasadena.com