By Mike Goodman

Richard-Reyes Gavilan, Diana Mayhew, Gregory Williams, ANC Commissioner Ron Collins, Barbara Ehrlich, and Councilmember Charles Allen pose with the two new cherry trees at the Southwest Library; Courtesy of Author

On March 27, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Southwest Library held a dedication ceremony honoring the planting of two cherry trees in the library’s park, adjacent to the playground. The ceremony was held exactly 109 years after the gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC, on March 27, 1912.

Speakers at the ceremony included Diana Mayhew, President of the National Cherry Blossom Festival; Councilmember Charles Allen; Richard-Reyes Gavilan, Executive Director of DC Public Library; Jaspreet Pahwa, lead of the Design and Construction of the new Southwest Library; and ANC Commissioner Ron Collins.

“Our cherry blossoms are such a special part of the whole city, but really our entire southwest community,” said Councilmember Allen at the ceremony. “Southwest is the home of the cherry blossom.”

Construction of the new Southwest Library is nearing completion and will open soon. The building will feature: environmentally sustainable design with solar panels and a green roof; expanded spaces for children, teens and adults; lots of natural light; a variety of seating options; a meeting room for 100+ people; and three conference rooms for 12-20 people.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the gift of the cherry trees to Washington, DC, and celebrates the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. The Festival spans four weeks and welcomes more than 1.5 million people to enjoy diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit. Events are primarily free and open to the public.

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