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Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden will be closed until July

Published March 27, 2020

Loraine Miller Collins had a dream for the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden.

"When a person is tired, or anxious, or in a quest of beauty, may they enter and come forth refreshed to meet the problems of the day. There will be music of the wind through the pines, music from the waterfalls and the birds. There will be serenity as you walk around the lake, and joy, I hope, in the beauty of the reflections in that lake.”

The embodiment of her dream was dedicated in memory of her late husband in April 1981, and the garden has provided Cal State Long Beach and the greater Long Beach community with a tranquil respite from the hectic world since.

The 1.3-acre sanctuary is closed because of the COVID-19 virus and set to reopen July 1, when the garden will be at its peak, according to Alison Redfoot, assistant director for education.

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When you stroll through the winding paths, the purple and white irises at the edge of the koi pond will be in bloom, as well as the deep pink azaleas, she said.

“The young black birch trees that were planted last autumn - as part of the restoration of our tree collection damaged by past drought conditions - are also coming in beautifully. Just now shrubs are being shaped around them to accommodate their delicate, promising new limbs.”

Garden staff is also busy creating new activities for all ages, she said. And yes, the staff will still be caring for the resident koi fish.

While the garden gates are closed, the community can access its beauty on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, added Jeanette Schelin, the garden’s senior director.

“Thank you for your patience as CSULB and Japanese Garden staff continue to work on plans for engaging new programs we can all enjoy together once the Garden is open again.”