Volunteers help bring the National Cherry Blossom festival to Ward 8 park

Chase Bank employees plant cherry trees at Oxon Run Park in Ward 8. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

Oxon Run Park now has 30 new cherry trees after volunteers planted them on Friday morning. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

Chase Bank employees celebrate after they plant 30 trees in Oxon Run Park. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

Oxon Run Park now has 30 new cherry trees after volunteers planted them on Friday morning. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

Diana Mayhew, president of the National Cherry Blossom Festival (right), visits the site at Oxon Run Park where 30 cherry trees were planted on Friday. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

The National Cherry Festival works with volunteers and Casey Trees to plant cherry trees across the District. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

Oxon Run Park now has 30 new cherry trees after volunteers planted them on Friday morning. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

The National Cherry Festival works with volunteers and Casey Trees to plant cherry trees across the District. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

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It was gardening day on Friday in Ward 8 as volunteers worked to bring the National Cherry Blossom Festival to Southeast D.C.

Thirty volunteers from Chase Bank got their hands dirty planting 30 cherry trees at Oxon Run Park so that they’ll be blooming by spring.

“We know that in Ward 8 a lot of folks have a hard time getting to the Tidal Basin, and so we decided to bring cherry blossom trees to them,” said Alfonso Guzman, mid-Atlantic regional director for Chase.

Chase is a host sponsor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Diana Mayhew, president of the festival, said the park and its new trees will be a part of the 2022 Blossom Kite Festival on March 26, 2022.

She said planting trees across the District is an important part of “making sure that the residents of D.C. remember that this festival belongs to them; it’s not just for tourists to come and enjoy.”

The tree planting was the culmination of the Blossom Kids program, part of the 2021 Cherry Blossom Festival.

Kids completed learning milestones and earned badges through the virtual learning program, and the 30 trees planted on Friday represent the first 30 children who completed a Blossom Badge on the National Cherry Blossom Festival website.

“Really looking forward to the springtime,” Guzman said. “It’s such a beautiful time of year and D.C. is very much synonymous with cherry blossoms, so to see them here in Oxon Run Park is really special.”

Since 2002, the National Cherry Blossom Festival has been committed to planting new cherry trees in neighborhoods across the city.

Working in partnership with Casey Trees, the Neighborhood Tree Planting Program collaborates with schools, civic groups and community groups throughout D.C.’s eight wards to plant new trees and educate groups about tree care and maintenance.

“The Festival’s mission is really to spread the celebration beyond the Tidal Basin and throughout all eight wards of the city and through the region,” Mayhew said.

Collectively, the Festival has planted hundreds of trees across the District and in National Landing.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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