Japanese gardenRecently, we received a letter from a member named Sandra who lives in Virginia.  She writes, “…my favorite place at Dawes is the Japanese Garden.  We enjoyed the celebration of the Harvest Moon last fall.  It certainly speaks well of the garden if someone will drive from the state of Virginia to attend this event.”

While I know full well that the Japanese Garden at The Dawes Arboretum is a unique treasurer, it is easy to forget how special something is when you have access to it every day.  This letter reminded me how lucky our community is to have a world-class garden melding a celebration of culture and landscape design into one peaceful perfect package.

At the Japanese Garden opening in 1965, Japanese Ambassador, Ryuji Takeuchi, described the garden as “…one of the most beautiful examples of this facet of the Japanese culture that I have seen in the United States.”  We truly are the care takers of a rare gem that now needs some polishing.

Nearing its 50 year anniversary, the garden is in great need of renovations.  Repairs will include island stabilization, stone leveling, tree care, meditation house updates, and pond dredging, prior to a 50th anniversary rededication in 2015.  We need community support to complete the renovation and continue to offer a phenomenal garden that draws visitors to Licking County from hundreds of miles.

japanese gardenPlease consider making a financial contribution to the Japanese Garden renovation.  You can make a donation over the phone at 800.44.DAWES or by mailing a check with memo line “Japanese Garden” to The Dawes Arboretum, Development Office, 7770 Jacksontown Road, Newark OH 43056.  Those who contribute $100 or more to the Japanese Garden renovation are guaranteed an invitation to the garden’s official 50th anniversary rededication in spring 2015!

I’m grateful for Sandra’s note, reminding me to slow-down, take in my surroundings and appreciate all The Dawes Arboretum has to offer.

-Erin Neeb, Director of Development