One of the first true signs of spring is the beautiful pink blossoms bursting from various tree branches. This year, folks in the Merriweather District will get to see even more of the flowers thanks to a partnership between the Howard Hughes Corporation and Blossoms of Hope.
In late October, 65 native dogwood and 35 kwanzan cherry trees, provided by the Lisbon-based Country Springs Wholesale, were planted from the district to the Lake Kittamaqundi Lakefront by Howard EcoWorks, a nonprofit focused on developing a workforce to under¬take environmental improvement projects.
With a goal of helping to create a vital downtown area, the Howard Hughes Corporation has committed to planting 10,000 trees throughout Columbia and the county over the next 20 years. The real estate development and management company wanted to partner with Blossoms of Hope to help with their mission to beautify the area and support various causes such as the Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center. For more than a decade, the nonprofit has donated more than $325,000 to the center as well as Ellicott City flood victims and other local causes.
Blossoms of Hope board member Becky Mangus hopes that visitors who come to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., will make the trip to Howard County to see the flowers here as well. Three of the trees, known as Legacy Trees, are saplings from the original cherry trees planted in the nation’s capital.
The blossoms serve as a symbol of hope to cancer patients, survivors and family members, Magnus says. Family members will often purchase a tree as a memorial to loved ones.