For the fourth year in a row, the Annandale Campus was the site of a cherry tree planting by the National Cherry Blossom Festival. On April 26, 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 Business and Public Services Dean Celeste Dubeck-Smith accepted the tree from National Cherry Blossom Festival Chair Sue Porter.
On hand for the tree planting ceremony were arborist Carol Hewig, Dubeck-Smith, Jill Mitchell, Rizwan Rahman, Rob Johnson, Porter, Pam Sutey, and students from the NOVA Parks and Recreation and Hospitality Management programs.
Porter praised NOVA for its participation in the Neighborhood Tree Planting Program which began in 2012 to spread the goodwill of the gift of the first cherry trees from Japan to the United States in 1912. This year’s tree is a Higan Cherry, Autumnalis, which blooms both in the fall and spring.
Annandale Hospitality Management Assistant Dean Janet Sass has coordinated the cherry tree plantings over the past four years. Sass serves on the board of directors of Visit Fairfax, the Fairfax County tourism authority where Porter is director of visitor services. Annandale Renovations Coordinator Cheryl Robinette handled the logistics of the tree planting.