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A Cherry Tree Grove for Southside Park

November 15, 2017

Come this spring, Southside Park in downtown Sacramento will be awash in pink. Thanks to the generous support of over 150 donors raising $13,500, and to a partnership between the Sacramento Tree Foundation, the Sakuramento committee, Council Member Steve Hansen and the City of Sacramento Parks and Recreation Department, 28 young flowering cherry trees were planted on October 28.

150 volunteers were in attendance to help plant the trees. On the morning of the planting, Representative Doris Matsui, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, Council Member Steve Hansen, and the Japanese Deputy Consul General spoke enthusiastically about how the “Sakura Grove” helps to celebrate the community’s cultural and historical links to Japanese Americans. Southside Park and the surrounding neighborhoods in downtown Sacramento were home to many Japanese American families – many displaced during 1940’s internment, and others in the 1950’s by redevelopment.

The “Sakura” (cherry tree flower) is the national flower of Japan. In early spring, groves of the trees share their bloom for a short period of time. The trees are celebrated for their stunning beauty and their ephemeral nature. To celebrate the Sakura is to recognize the fragility of life.

The grove at Southside Park is Sacramento’s first major stand of flowering cherry trees, but it will not be it’s last. Sacramento Tree Foundation is working with several partners, including Sakuramento and the City of Sacramento to plant the "Hanami Line" a much larger grove of trees along the Sacramento River at Robert Matsui Park.

While that project is still to come, the Sakura Grove at Southside Park will continue to be cared for by community members and Sacramento Tree Foundation volunteers. If you would like to help, email torin@sactree.com