Cherry Tree Project Expands Vision for the Future
Organization also announces several leadership changes
May 30, 2020. Nine years ago, Japanese-born bank executive, N. Alex Hara had a dream to plant 1,000 cherry blossom trees throughout the Dayton, OH area. It was Hara’s way of showing gratitude to his adopted homeland for its role in the recovery mission following a massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011. Thus, Operation 1000 Cherry Tree Project was born.
In October of 2017, the organization achieved its mission with its 1,000th tree. They immediately went on to launch the Operation 2000 Cherry Tree Project. Today, the foundation is well on its way to the 2,000 goal and has added an even loftier ambition. Hara’s organization is committed to creating the “Cherry Blossom Trail of Dayton” which will serve as an ever-lasting symbol of community and Japanese-American friendship.
The Trail, which has already broken ground, begins at the Dayton Art Institute, follows south along West Riverview Avenue and Edwin C. Moses Boulevard, crosses the Stewart Street bridge and will culminate at Carillon Historical Park.
“It’s an ambitious project,” admits Hara. “But I’m confident with the generosity and tenacity of the friends and supporters of our city, Dayton will one day become the cherry blossom capital of the Midwest.”
Along with the organization’s expanded vision, it has also added two new members to the Project’s Committee. Phil Parker, President and CEO of the Dayton Chamber of Commerce, and John L. Woods, writer and Miamisburg civic advocate have joined the organization as committee members. We’d like to thank retiring members Maurice McDonald, Verity Snyder, and Stephen Lake who have guided and served the Project tirelessly throughout their tenure.