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New Hope Blossoms: Operation 1000 Cherry Tree Project Exceeds Goal

Evelyn Ritzi
Communications Specialist
Evelyn Ritzi
BY: Evelyn Ritzi ON December 6, 2017

Back in 2012, we shared the story of the Operation 1000 Cherry Tree Project, a non-profit project envisioned by international banker, Alex Hara. After the 2011 Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami destroyed Alex’s native Japan, he was inspired by the relief effort led by the American military and funded in part by American citizens. To demonstrate his gratitude, Alex founded the Operation 1000 Cherry Tree Project.

Alex’s original goal was simple: he wanted to plant 1000 Japanese cherry trees in and around the Dayton area as a physical representation of the friendship between the United States and Japan. In the five years since Alex launched the Operation 1000 Cherry Tree Project, the non-profit has received support from community leaders, local organizations, local and Japanese businesses, and the city of Dayton.

One of the most recognizable achievements of the project was the planting of an urban cherry blossom trail, which was established alongside the Great Miami River. The trail and the 100 cherry trees planted in the Gateway Park area were funded by Dayton Power & Light and granted to the City of Dayton. When complete, the trail will join together two historic Dayton landmarks: the Dayton Art Institute and Carillon Historical Park.

This fall, Alex announced that the project had officially reached its first goal and planned to extend the project to plant an additional 1,000 trees in the Dayton area.

“Beginning with the next 1,000 cherry trees, the goal has gradually transformed into a community-wide beautification initiative as a side effect of the physical expression of gratitude of the Japanese people,” Alex said.

The Ohlmann Group created the project’s website back in 2012 – including an English-language version and its Japanese counterpart. This fall, we were honored once again to spread the word about the project’s achievements through public relations efforts, helping the project earn media coverage across the Dayton area. We also created a brand new logo and updated the website to reflect the project’s new goal. We can’t wait to see the beautiful cherry trees blossom across the Dayton community this spring. Here’s to the next 1,000!

You can see the website and read more about the Operation 2000 Cherry Tree Project here.

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