WASHINGTON, D.C. — “America’s Favorite Cherry Tree,” an online poll launched by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Cherry Blossom Festival, allows all Americans to participate in the festival’s Centennial Celebration by casting their vote for one of three finalists: the Yoshino, Kwanzan or Autumn Flowering cherry tree.
The poll can be accessed at arborday.org. On the website, participants can also purchase individual cherry trees, with a portion of every sale benefiting the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year’s festival commemorating the 100-year anniversary of Tokyo’s gift of cherry trees to Washington, D.C., begins March 20.
Results of the online voting will be announced April 27, National Arbor Day and the last day of this year’s festivities.
Diana Mayhew, president of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, said, “By voting in the poll and purchasing a cherry tree, Americans can bring the Centennial Celebration to both their computer and back yard.”
John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation, added: “We’re thrilled to add a new chapter to this great American tradition. With this year’s poll and the availability of online cherry tree purchases, Americans can take part in this historic event, even if they are unable to travel to the nation’s capital.”
The three finalists, selected by Festival and Foundation staff, were included in the gift from the mayor of Tokyo in 1912. Since their introduction, they have become favorites along Washington, D.C.’s Tidal Basin, as well as in yards, parks and neighborhoods across the United States.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of more than 1 million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information about the foundation and its programs is available at arborday.org.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is the nation’s greatest springtime celebration. The 2012 Festival, March 20-April 27, includes five spectacular weeks of events and features diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty and community spirit.
From the Jan. 11-17, 2012, issue