Campus: CSU, Fullerton -- August 17, 2000

Fullerton Arboretum Receives $500,000 From City of Fullerton

Taking a significant step closer to fruition, the Fullerton Arboretum will receive $500,000 from the city of Fullerton for the Environmental Science Education & Conference Center that will be built on the grounds of the 26-acre preserve. The allocation was approved yesterday by the Fullerton City Council.

"We are delighted to be able to participate in this project," said Fullerton Mayor F. Richard Jones. "The Fullerton Arboretum is such a valuable asset to the community, and is recognized internationally for the excellence of its programming. The city council is certain this Environmental Science and Education Center will only serve to further enhance this facility for the benefit of all Fullerton citizens and will bring more visitors to our community."

"This grant shows that the city of Fullerton believes the arboretum is an asset to the community, and is just another example of why this city is a great place to live and do business," says Gregory T. Dyment, Fullerton Arboretum director.

The $2.7 million center is designed to expand the educational use of the arboretum in the fields of environmental science and conservation, botanical science, horticulture, cultural history and the pioneer heritage of Orange County. Subsequently, it will serve as a regional resource hub for schools, the business community and the public.

The focal point of the project will be the Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum, which will honor the rich agricultural legacy of Orange County and the Japanese-American community's contributions to that chronicle. In addition to the museum, the center will comprise a reception area, garden center, gift shop and courtyard.

Approximately 3,300 square feet will be devoted to the museum area, which will include an exhibit hall with permanent and rotating interpretive displays, and hands-on interactive components; a library that will house information on Japanese-Americans, regional history, botany and the environment; and a conference room.

Half of the exhibit hall will focus on the region's local history by offering insight on Orange County's development from its agricultural beginnings. The other half will be devoted to the Japanese-American, or Nikkei, community's heritage and history-which closely paralleled the county's agricultural and urban development.

Leading the $750,000 fund-raising effort to build the museum are business and community leaders from the Japanese-American community, including campaign chair Clarence Nishizu. A longtime Southland community leader and Fullerton resident, Nishizu received an honorary doctorate from Cal State Fullerton and the CSU system in 1999 for his dedication to bettering society through his work as a humanitarian, philanthropist, civic volunteer, author and cultural ambassador.

Developed in cooperation with the city of Fullerton, the arboretum is located at the northeast corner of Cal State Fullerton and is open daily to the public.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Bartholomew, Fullerton Arboretum development director, (714) 278-4796; or Gail Matsunaga, Public Affairs, (714) 278-4851

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