How Sakura Park got its lovely cherry trees

Sakura Park is a small patch of green in the West 120s between Riverside and Claremont Avenues. It looks similar to any neighborhood park—except for its many beautfiul cherry trees, which are at peak bloom right now.

sakuraparkblossomsThe trees were among 2,000 cherry trees given to New York as a gift from Japanese city residents in 1909.  The gift was part of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration: a citywide event honoring the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival in New York Harbor as well as the 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s steam-powered boat. 

After receiving the trees, the park—formerly Claremont Park—was renamed for them. “Sakura” means cherry blossom in Japanese.

Sakura park features another gift from the Japanese: a 14-foot traditional stone lantern. It was presented by the citizens of Tokyo in 1960.

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2 Responses to “How Sakura Park got its lovely cherry trees”

  1. Sakura Park in Springtime « lost in place Says:

    […] from my recent visit to Sakura Park can be found here, Ephemeral New York has a brief explanation of how the park came to be, and Rachel Wetzsteon wrote a poem about it, from a collection with the same […]

  2. The Top 5 Excursions in New York City Says:

    […] word ‘Sakura’ means cherry blossom, and rightly so, as the park that was formerly known as Claremont Park, changed its name to Sakura Park after 2500 cherry blossom trees were donated by Japan in 1912. If […]

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