Tomodachi Garden Adds Beauty to Campus

Dedication018.jpgOn Friday, April 22, a beautiful new Japanese garden was dedicated on the Kaneko Commons grounds.  This Tomodachi "friendship" Garden is the culmination of a year of planning and production. It was made possible by a generous donation from a long-time Tomodachi Program participant, as well as two other family members.

Margaret Bagley, who has participated in the Tomodachi "friendship" program since TIUA was established in 1989, made a significant donation to Willamette University to establish the garden in honor of her husband, Bruce, who passed away in 2009.  In addition to being the longest running Tomodachi program participant, Margaret also promotes TIUA and its many programs as well as recruiting many of her friends and colleagues to join the Tomodachi Program.

Well-known Japanese landscape designer Hoichi Kurisu designed the garden at Kaneko.  This was possible through another of Margaret's many connections.  Kurisu and his company, Kurisu International's past projects include the Portland Japanese Garden and Morikami Japanese Garden in Delray Beach, Florida.  Restorative and healing gardens are one of their specialities.

To see photos of the Tomodachi Garden and from the Dedication and Reception, please click here.

The Tomodachi Garden features a traditional hand-made bamboo fence, authentic stone and plant arrangement, and a water feature traditionally found outside of Japanese tea houses.  In addition, there are plans to convert a former classroom into a Japanese-style conference/meeting room with a view into the garden. 

The garden is the first in a projected series of authentic Japanese fixtures to be added to the grounds at Kaneko.  These features symbolize the deep connection between Oregon and Japan and are a reminder of the unique cultural dimensions that are a part of the Willamette community.

Friends of the Bagleys and Willamette and TIUA community members joined in the celebration which included some remarks by Margaret, as well as Kuniko Kurisu, daughter of the garden designer, and a ribbon cutting next to the garden.

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