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Japanese Garden Preliminary Strategic Priorities

Over the past few decades, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden (EBMJG) was administratively housed within University Relations and Development as an independent entity and served the university's academic mission in a limited capacity as an auxiliary function.

In recognition of the university's opportunity to grow the role of the EBMJG as an academic center of excellence on campus, it was administratively moved to the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) within the Division of Academic Affairs (AA) during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Beginning in June 2020, the EBMJG staff conducted a series of focus group meetings across eight stakeholder sectors to identify academic strategic priorities. These focus group meetings identified five thematic priorities:

Preservation: Conserve and protect the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden as a bridge between us and the natural world.

Visibility: Be recognized as a place of prominence and a destination within the Long Beach community.

Education: Support lifelong learning both live and in the virtual space.

Art and Culture: Find connectivity across cultures and generations.

Health and Wellness: Recognize health and wellness as the pillars for cultivating learning and joy.

Below, view the outline of these strategic priorities and the one-three year related goals.

Earl Burns Japanese Garden Preliminary Strategic Plan

Strategic Priority One: Preservation

Conserve and protect the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden as a bridge between us and the natural world.

1. Address perpetually unresolved security challenges

  • Replace perimeter fencing (in progress)
  • Rekey the Garden gate and locks (completed)
  • Replace the outdated security system (in progress)

2. Develop a revenue generation plan to support student workers who will be hired as docents, events staff, and minor gardening tasks

  • Re-evaluate membership (in progress)
  • Re-evaluate admission fees (in progress)
  • Re-evaluate Garden rental fees (in progress)
  • Re-evaluate Garden contracts for tours and other services (in progress)

3. Invest in gardener staff and staff development

  • Grow full-time gardener staff from 1.0 to 2.0 FTE (completed)
  • Require and support ongoing gardener staff development in Japanese Gardens and garden curation
    • Renew Garden membership in the North American Japanese Gardens Association (completed)
      • Gardeners will attend 2-3 workshops/trainings per year (years 1-3)
    • Create a collaborative between the EBMJG, the Phoenix Japanese Garden, and the Portland Japanese Garden to exchange ideas (years 1-3)
      • Scheduled visits to both Phoenix and Portland (TBD)
    • Strengthen ties and collaboration with Long Beach sister city Japanese Gardens in Yokkaichi
      • Arrange EBMJG staff visit to Yokkaichi Japanese Gardens and Yokkaichi Garden staff to visit EBMJG(TBD)
      • Foster the appointment of an honorary curator for EBMJG from Yokkaichi Japanese Gardens (TBD)

4. Develop a well-coordinated systematic evaluation of the Garden plan and its collections

  • Validate existing collection inventory and evaluate health status(ongoing)
  • Re-imagine and re-design systematic evaluation of overall Garden and its collections (in progress)
  • Conduct ongoing evaluation and develop a plan for routine and large-scale scheduled maintenance (in progress)

Strategic Priority Two: Visibility 

Be recognized as a place of prominence and a destination within the Long Beach community.

1. Create a virtual and self-guided tour of the EBMJG

  • Make the virtual tour available on the website and CSULB interactive map (in progress)
  • Create an app-driven self-guided tour for visitors who wish to visit the garden and learn about its collections (in progress)

2. Create an EBMJG visit teaser for students, especially for use at SOAR for new incoming FTF and transfers

3. Revise existing media presence

  • Website (ongoing)
  • Social media platforms (ongoing)

4. Develop an ongoing marketing and communication plan

5. Increase campus visibility

  • EBMJG wayfinding as part of the BEACH 2030 plan (completed)
  • Garden sign replacement to distinguish the EBMJG (AY 21-20)
  • Garden front-facing fencing chain-link fencing on Warren Drive will be replaced with ornamental iron fencing (AY 21-20)
  • Work with campus to distinguish the EBMJG on campus maps (TBD)

6. Increase community visibility

  • Make EBMJG a part of the Long Beach Convention and Visitor's Bureau site
    • Seek help and advisement to support visibility (mid-October)
  • Seek relationships with city agencies and non-profit organizations aligned with EBMJG strategic priorities (ongoing)
  • Advertise EBMJG at LBSU sporting events
  • Develop Koi Cam infrastructure (submitted internal grant August 2020)

7. Develop a plan to address campus parking compression for the EBMJG

  • Examine parking alternatives including shuttle service, golf cart valet, or third party valet parking service (TBD)

Strategic Priority Three: Education

Support lifelong learning both live and in the virtual space.

1. Expand campus-community engagement

  • Provide consistent weekly hours to support individual and small group study
    • Upgrade to wi-fi infrastructure (secured $68,000 in Highly Valued Degree Initiative [HVDI] funding to upgrade Wi-Fi infrastructure for on-site accessing of virtual programming) (project will be completed in Fall 2020)
  • Create opportunities for student internships in events (ongoing)
  • Provide physical space for campus academic programs (e.g, sustainability events, college programs, classes) (TBD)
  • Create opportunities for student and faculty research in botany, ecology, art history, museum management, tourism/recreation/parks, and health and wellness (ongoing)
  • Provide physical space for campus academic programs (e.g, sustainability events, college programs, classes) (TBD)

2. Expand campus-community education

  • Support live and virtual community access to EBMJG programming (ongoing)
  • Partner with city agencies and community organizations to host education-related community events (ongoing)
  • Partner with LB channel one to provide EBMJG stories (TBD)

Strategic Priority Four: Art and Culture 

Find connectivity across cultures and generations.

1. Develop an annual plan to celebrate and showcase Japanese art and culture (in progress)

  • Annual festivals
  • Monthly Tea Ceremonies
  • Launch Shinrin-yoku "forest bathing" meditation program (grant submitted to Cal Humanities)
  • Bonsai tree programming
  • Calligraphy seminars
  • Origami seminars
  • Traditional Japanese dance/theatre lecture/demonstration
  • Annual Japanese Art/Culture Scholar Lecture aligned with Garden strategic priorities
  • Japanese rock garden raking

2. Launch a faculty grant program to support campus and community translation programs to showcase the "Best of the Beach"

  • Twenty $2500 grants will be awarded each year to support the Garden's annual theme (TBD)
    • Ongoing fundraising efforts will be designed to support the program

3. Launch a CSULB student "Best of the Beach" showcase

  • Twenty $500 grants will be awarded each year to support the Garden's annual theme (TBD)
    • Ongoing fundraising efforts will be designed to support the program

Strategic Priority Five: Health and Wellness

Recognize health and wellness as the pillars for cultivating learning and joy.

1. Support health and mental health wellness through virtual and on-site programming

  • Schedule open Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation/Mindfulness classes every weekday morning and at noon (TBD)

2. Host Health and Wellness lectures (TBD)

3. Host an Annual Health and Wellness event (TBD)