For the second year in a row, Annandale Campus was the site of a cherry tree planting by the National Cherry Blossom Festival. On May 22, a flowering cherry tree was planted in front of the Ernst Community Cultural Center as part of the festival’s Neighborhood Tree Planting Program.
Annandale Provost Barbara Saperstone accepted the tree from National Cherry Blossom Festival Vice Chair Sue Porter.
“We are very pleased to be a part of this wonderful program again this year,” said Saperstone. “Planting the cherry trees on campus not only allows us to be part of a program designed to bring the festival to neighbors but also enhances the beauty of the Campus.”
Porter praised NOVA for its participation in the Neighborhood Tree Planting Program which began in 2002 to spread the goodwill of the first gift of cherry trees from Japan to the United States in 1912. This year’s tree was a Kwanzan variety cherry, planted by Casey Trees a Washington D.C.- based non profit organization, and grown at its nursery near Berryville, Va.
Janet Sass, Annandale assistant dean of hospitality management, coordinated this cherry tree planting and the one planted last year on the lake side of the Shuler Building. Sass serves on the Board of Directors of Visit Fairfax, the Fairfax County tourism authority, where Porter is director of Visitor Services.
“We are very fortunate to have such a strong relationship with Visit Fairfax,” said Annandale Business and Public Services Dean Celeste Dubeck-Smith, who was present at both cherry tree plantings. “We truly appreciate that the National Cherry Blossom Festival thinks of NOVA as a location for their trees.”
Annandale Campus Renovations Coordinator Cheryl Robinette handled the logistics of the tree planting. Robinette and Sass were the first ones to pick up shovels to help arborist Becky Schwartz of Casey Trees get the tree in the ground.
Also present at the cherry tree planting ceremony from the Annandale Campus were Academic Administration Dean Christine Holt, Dean of Students Ellen Fancher-Ruiz, Administrative Support Technician Pam Sutey and Associate Professor Mark Stillions.