In 1996 a Nevada City couple, despite being long time residents of the
area, made their first visit to the Alta Sierra Biblical Gardens. Showing
out of town relatives the sights, Paula and Maskey Heath were drawn to
the Gardens, more out of curiosity than part of the planned itinerary.
As they both have a love of the outdoors and gardening, they thought the
Gardens would offer an interesting collection of botanical specimens to
see and perhaps provide a cool place to escape from the summer heat. That
chance visit would have a profound impact on their lives while leading
to the long term preservation of this unique spiritual environment.
On arriving at the Gardens they followed the meandering path winding its
way through the lush greenery, past sculptures, statues, fountains and
on to a small bridge over the brook. As they paused to admire the view,
they both remarked how they felt an inner peace and tranquility in the
midst of such beauty. The feeling intensified as they came to the outdoor
wedding chapel, and again they were transfigured with a feeling of quiet
They continued to another bridge and found themselves lingering at the
sight of a statue of Jesus, high on a rock overlooking the creek. With
each step of their journey, the feeling that they were somehow destined
to play a role in the Gardens grew stronger and stronger within them.
Finally at the statue of the Crucifixion, they knew that a decision had
somehow been made for them to maintain this special place on God’s
As they reluctantly departed, they noticed a For Sale sign. Within three
days they made an offer, met with the Sommers, and became the owners of
Alta Sierra Biblical Gardens. They will operate the Gardens during their
time on earth, and then it will be given to the community to continue
The Gardens will be operated as a non-profit organization, relying on
donations to assist with the maintenance and care of the area. There are
no grants or annuities to defray the expenses of operation. It was built
on faith and will continue to exist with the generous support of visitors
and friends of the Gardens. Donation boxes are located near the entrance
and at the exit. The Gardens are open daily from 9AM to 7PM April 15th
through October 1st. they are closed in the winter months. There are two
parking lots, drinking fountains, restrooms, and even space for parking
buses. Benches are placed throughout the Gardens where visitors may rest,
reflect, and allow the serene peace and tranquility to nourish their soul.
Everyone is welcome in the nondenominational Gardens. You are invited
to walk the area at your own leisure, take photos, quietly meditate in
private, enjoy a family picnic, or just exhilarate in the natural beauty.
Many people have remembered family and friends by supplying a plaque and
dedicating a plant or statue in their name.
The only rules are ones of basic courtesy. Please, no pets in the Gardens
or picnic area; no alcohol on the grounds; take garbage and litter with
you; and do not pick the flowers. (That will be hard, but only take memories;
they last forever).
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