Jan 1, 2007 – Dec. 31, 2012
- Part 1: Mission, Core Values, and Goals
- Part 2: Resources and Best Practices
- Part 3: A Legacy of Excellence
The purpose of the Japanese Garden Society of Oregon is to create, maintain, improve, and administer an authentic, world-class Japanese garden in the city of Portland and to offer compatible educational, cultural, artistic, horticultural, environmental, and charitable activities.
Our Core Values
We believe in and strive for:
- Inspiration, serenity, tranquility, and the aestheticism of nature.
- Excellence in the management and maintenance of the garden.
- Japanese culture, tradition, and aesthetics.
- Cultural authenticity directed to the needs of diverse local, national, and international communities.
- Environmental awareness and conservation, and the pursuit of environmental sustainability in the operation of the Garden.
- Mutual respect and harmony within the board, staff, membership, and with surrounding communities.
- Goal 1: Develop unparalleled standards for ongoing maintenance and future enhancement
- Goal 2: Create educational and cultural programs and collections of the highest quality
- Goal 3: Carry out exemplary environmental practices and programs
- Goal 4: Develop inspirational collaboration with local, national, and international communities (in priority order)
To achieve our vision for the future, we will focus on the following best practices and resources:
It is essential we ensure that the work we do is always guided by our core values, and that we continually check to affirm that we are remaining true to those values.
To fulfill its mission, the Garden will continue to invest in the professional staff that brings the needed visionary thinking, gifted management, and expertise in their various fields.
As audiences for Garden programs and experiences grow, so too will the facilities that serve the public and house the staff.
We will strive to use state-of-the-art technology to be highly effective for both staff and Garden visitors.
As a public institution, the Garden will work to enlarge the circle of friends and supporters whose affection and knowledge drives forward its mission.
The funding that will enable the Garden to advance its vision for the future will come from a variety of sources.
Information Discovery and Collection
Important items that need to be addressed, but do not fall under any particular program area.
Our present work at the Garden continues a vision first conceived in the 1950s. A group of community-minded citizens wished to build a world-class Japanese garden for the people of Portland, Oregon. Now widely recognized as one of the finest Japanese gardens in the world, our Garden is a realization of that vision.
When compared to its inspirational precursors in Japan (many of which are hundreds of years old), our young (43-year-old) Garden has matured at an exceptional pace. Set on 5.5 acres, the Garden is composed of five separate garden styles: a Strolling Pond Garden, a Tea Garden, a Natural Garden, a Flat Garden, and a Sand and Stone Garden. At the heart of the Garden is the desire for harmony with nature—the Garden’s design reflecting each season. Through the careful use of plants, stones, and water, areas of serene and quiet beauty emerge. Our Garden reflects the very best in Japanese garden aesthetics and traditions.
Rich in history, the Garden was designed in 1963 by Tokyo Agriculture University Professor Takuma Tono—an internationally renowned landscaping authority. Constructed on the site of the old Portland Zoo, the Garden opened to the public in 1967 and was an immediate success. Through the years, the Garden has been meticulously maintained and enhanced, continuously offering a place of serenity, beauty, and culture to visitors from all over the world.
The Japanese Garden Society of Oregon was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1962 and is maintained through admissions, memberships, special gifts, and donations. The Society currently has over 4,000 members and relies on the dedication of the many volunteers who generously give their time to help with Garden events and activities. Numerous educational and cultural events are offered throughout the year, including educational series on Japanese culture, people, and art; ikebana exhibits and workshops; bonsai shows and demonstrations; Japanese festivals; tea ceremonies, and art festivals.
Strategy for the Future
Continuing a tradition of excellence, we are committed to maintaining and propagating the highest standards at the Garden. This Strategic Plan is designed to encourage growth within the organization, while honoring our traditions of quality and artistry. This overall, long-range plan covers a six-year period. A one-year action plan will be created and implemented each year by the staff. In addition, the Board will hold annual retreats to review the direction and progress of our work through this plan.
The goals set forth in this plan present both opportunities and challenges. To achieve these goals, great resources are required and best practices must be followed in each step of the implementation process. Frequent consideration must be given to the balance of risk and means. It is important to understand that we will be required to maintain flexibility in regards to internal and external factors, and by doing so we may discover as we work through each phase of the plan, that some end results will differ from those outlined in the current document.
The conclusion of this Plan coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Garden, providing an opportunity to step back and appreciate the accomplishments of many. We recognize that ultimately, it is the quality of each individual’s experience in the Garden that will be the greatest measure of success in the implementation of this Plan.