With the coronavirus pandemic hitting our country nationwide, Americans from coast to coast are self-isolating at home right as spring unfolds.
Like many, one of our favorite harbingers of spring are cherry trees blooming—and we especially cherish the famed National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.. Since a visit to the famous collection of cherry blossom trees is out of the question, The Trust for the National Mall, and The National Cherry Blossom Festival have decided to bring them to us. Together, they've announced the #BloomCam—donated by EarthCam—which streams live views of the cherry trees at the National Mall Tidal Basin from the 1331 residential complex.
"Once the National Cherry Blossom Festival was canceled, we immediately began thinking creatively about virtual ways to allow the more than 1.5 million people who typically visit this time of year to continue to celebrate and support the cherry blossoms—one of the most popular and beloved sites in Washington, D.C.,” Catherine Townsend, President & CEO of the Trust for the National Mall, said in an official statement. “It is our goal to encourage collective sharing of the cherry blossoms, albeit from our homes, as symbols of hope, renewal, and friendship during this time, while helping to build a wider community of support for the long-term care and maintenance of these beloved natural treasures on the National Mall.”
Riffing on that sentiment, Diana Mayhew, President of the National Cherry Blossom Festival said, "Washington D.C.’s cherry blossoms signal the arrival of spring and symbolize hope, renewal and friendship and that is especially important right now. We are thrilled we can bring the blossoms to people this year—even if people can’t get to see the cherry trees."
Of course, the cancellation of the festival and lack of visitors creates a huge financial burden for the care and maintenance of the cherry trees. To make a donation to support the trees, you can partake in the "Endow a Cherry Tree at the National Mall" campaign here. Endowing a tree costs $1,000 and you can do so individually or with a team. Trees can be named in honor of someone or through the support of a company, group, or individual. Donations of any size can also be made directly to the fund.
We're looking forward to the day when we can experience seeing some of these 3,700 cherry blossom trees in person, but for now we're grateful for a moment of zen as we stay put at home.