The Secret Garden of Eden at CSULB

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Did you know that tucked within the huge campus of CSULB is a secret Garden of Eden? Well, it’s not so secret, since it’s open to the public. However, not many people know of its existence. I’m talking about the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden. It’s been on the campus since 1981, and it’s free to visit for students and non-students (calling all shepherds from other campuses!). However, you do need to make a reservation, which you can do here. You can easily make reservations for the same day.

Oddly enough, in my old life, this used to be my sort of “prayer” spot. Studying the Bible with my shepherd made me think a lot about life. I would come here during my lunch break and talk to God, sometimes writing in a journal and thinking about the verses from the Bible study that week. I remember one time when I was feeling very discouraged, I went there and asked God for help. About 20 minutes later, while I was still sitting on the rock by the pond, my shepherd texted me and asked if we could reschedule our Bible study for that afternoon instead of our planned time the next day!

Today, this spot is still a special place for me. I call it the Garden of Eden because when you step out of the busyness of campus life and into this little oasis, it reminds you of how perfect and beautiful life was in the beginning. I like to sit on one of the rocks by the pond and watch the big koi fish peacefully glide through the water. Then, the ducks float above them in harmony, looking for some worms or algae to munch on. Hummingbirds fly above, playfully chasing each other. Even the flies (and sometimes mosquitos) seem to have their perfect place in this garden. And then there’s me, observing it all in awe. Sometimes I even talk to the ducks and fish, telling them how beautiful and amazing they are. I like to imagine what life was like in the garden. And what it will be like in the resurrection when the earth is restored!

So, if you haven’t been here yet, you should definitely check it out! Here are some pictures to convince you.

This is the view from my prayer spot on the pond-side rock.
There’s so many koi fish. You can even buy food to feed them!





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February 2, 2023 11:04 am

I’ve been there! Soo beautiful, especially that last picture with the sunlight coming through the tree branches. I bet Sarah B. is in awe that you got to capture that lighting 🙂

Reply to  KPringle
February 2, 2023 11:23 am

Hahaha I am!!! My favorite picture was the first one, with the water. Melissa your phone camera is great!

Sarah L
Reply to  Sabaaa
February 2, 2023 12:05 pm

It must be due to her new phone that’s no longer part of the bitten apple/forbidden fruit club… 🍎

Life in God changes the pains of our past life to such dear and precious memories! So beautiful.

Reply to  Sarah L
February 2, 2023 1:20 pm

LOLL is that the reason? I thought Apple phones have good cameras! Although I can’t verify it myself…Any pictures sent from an iPhone to my Android turn out blurry for some reason, so I’ve given up comparing photos lol

February 2, 2023 7:03 pm

For some reasons I always want to visit but I never did… Maybe take Jojo to see koi fishies this Sat. 😄

February 3, 2023 5:26 pm

i remember when I was a kid, my dad would be heading out and say, “I’m going fishing” and I would ask him in confusion, “Is there a secret lake at El Camino?” If he had been going to CSULB, it would have made a lot more sense because there literally is a secret lake! I had no idea this garden existed…sounds so peaceful.

There’s a similar garden in the James Armstrong Theater where my middle school orchestra used to perform. I remember the koi fish there were always kind of aggressively waiting for people to feed them lol

February 4, 2023 9:02 pm

The garden gives me good memories. I took my father there one summer morning a few years before he passed. It was one of the few times I ever saw him peaceful and enjoying the garden like a content little child. The flow of gardens are a really interesting science. I wonder how they must be in Heaven.

Reply to  Jean
February 20, 2023 9:15 pm

Your comment reminded me how when I was little, in elementary school, my dad took me on his bike to the rose garden right next to USC from time to time, and we will have a really good time there. I remember we both saw a small brown rabbit there one time! Gardens really are heavenly places to be in!

Reply to  meliburd
February 6, 2023 5:02 pm

I had this song stuck in my head all day, thank you!! 😀

February 6, 2023 10:05 pm

It’s beautiful . Seems like a good spot to spend time with God -admiring and praising Him for his creativity .

February 6, 2023 10:40 pm

I have gone here so many times once when I when I was young as little child on a school field trip. Then later on, when I had my internship working with adults with mental illness, there was one that responded to internal stimuli speaking to himself, but when I brought him there he seemed to really enjoy and and feel calm.

Beautiful spot and a great reminder of the Garden of Eden for sure. When Jesus is in my heart, then I can appreciate the world’s beauty.

February 20, 2023 9:09 pm

That is really beautiful! I can’t help but think about how amazing God is when I see His creations!