History

In 2003 Howard County’s Office of Tourism & Promotion proposed a tree planting program that would beautify the county’s attractions, its parks and its roadways with Kwanzan cherry trees. The project was inspired by Washington D.C.’s annual tidal basin spectacular and designed to capitalize on the blossom-mania that descends each year in the neighboring Capital. With Howard County’s Kwanzan cherries blooming two weeks later than D.C.’s Sakura trees, tourism officials hoped that cherry tree enthusiasts would extend their viewing pleasure by taking a quick trip just 30 minutes just down the road to visit Howard County. The goal was 1,000 cherry trees in the ground at select locations in five years.


Equally important as the beautification component of the proposal was the desire for the project to also give back to the community in a meaningful way. The trees would also be used to both raise awareness of breast cancer prevention each spring and raise money to benefit those within the community coping with cancer.

The concept was taken to former Howard County Executive Jim Robey who agreed to champion the project and also provide resources from within both the Department of Recreation & Parks and The Department of Public Works to kick start the initiative on public lands. Thus Blossoms of Hope… the Howard County Cherry Tree Project began.

 In 2004, a handful of individuals stepped forward to make the dream of Blossoms of Hope a reality. Without their initial support, this popular community initiative would not have been possible. The group included public officials, civic-minded community businesses, and individuals who were inspired by the project and what it meant to them personally. The Founders Grove is their legacy. Located adjacent to Route 108 in Centennial Park, it grows the 20 original and most mature of all of Howard County’s Blossoms of Hope trees. This special grove will always serve as a reminder of what a few individuals who believe can accomplish.

 Approximately 1,800 Blossoms of Hope trees are now blossoming across Howard County, and more than $300,000 has been contributed to the Howard Hospital Foundation earmarked for Claudia Mayer / Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center.

 Timeline

2004

  • September – The project was officially announced by former County Executive, Jim Robey
  • October – Initial fundraising begins for Founder’s Grove
  • December – Founder’s Grove planted in Centennial Park

2005

  • January – Howard County Tourism & Promotion Executive Board agrees to create separate non-profit
  • April – Blossoms Of Hope Incorporates

Founder’s Grove Dedication

Phase one public land groves planted

First contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $10,000

  • June – Separate non-profit established
  • September – Corporate planting program kicks off: Turf Valley, Crab Shanty & Merriweather participate

2006

  • April – Blossoms of Hope participates in Washington D.C.’s National Cherry Blossoms Parade

Second Centennial Park Grove dedicated

Residential tree sales begin

  • September – Goal of 1,000 planted trees reached

    Plans for an annual spring festival (Cherrybration) announced
     
  • October – Second contribution to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of approx. $17,000

2007

  • February – Executive Director hired
  • April – Inaugural Cherrybration Festival held at Centennial Park
  • July – Third contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $22,275

2008

  • April – Pink Plate Specials premiere on menus at area restaurants

 1st Pretty in Pink Luncheon & Fashion Show held at Turf Valley

2nd Cherrybration / Lanterns of Hope Parade held at Centennial Park

  • October – Fourth contribution to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $14,028

2009

  • April – April officially proclaimed Cherrybration Days in Howard County

Pink Plate Specials available at area restaurants

2nd Pretty in Pink Luncheon & Fashion Show held at Turf Valley

Turf Valley presents first Pink Greens Golf Classic

 Inaugural running of Blossoms of Hope Half Marathon Pink Panes premiere on Main Street in Ellicott City

3rd Lanterns of Hope Parade held at Lake Kittamaqundi

  • October – Fifth contribution to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $15,232

2010

  • April –   Pink Plate Specials available at area restaurants

3rd Annual Pretty in Pink Luncheon & Fashion Show held at Turf Valley    

Princess Cherrybella debut

Turf Valley presents second Pink Greens Golf Classic

Randy Neely, owner of the Good Life Market and Ed Lilley, President of the Ellicott City Restoration Foundation hang one of the new THINK PINK banners on Main Street in between April showers.

Randy Neely, owner of the Good Life Market and Ed Lilley, President of the Ellicott City Restoration Foundation hang one of the new THINK PINK banners on Main Street in between April showers.

 Pink Panes on Main Street in Ellicott City expands to Ellicott City        Thinks Pink, Hills of Milltown 5K Challenge and Cherrybration      Celebration Weekend

  An Enchanted Cherrybration is held at Clark’s Elioak Farms

 Columbia Art Center holds Cupcakes for Claudia gallery show

  2nd running of Blossoms of Hope Half Marathon

  4th annual Lanterns of Hope Parade held at Meadowbrook Park in       Ellicott City

  • October – sixth contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $32,020

2011

  • October – Manor Woods Elementary become first school site planting
  • March- Featured on cover of Woman to Woman Magazine
  • April – Ellicott Meadow Community Association plants 30 trees

Blossoms of Hope cupcakes debuts at Kupcakes & Co.

Pink Plate Specials available at area restaurants

                  4th Pretty in Pink Luncheon & Fashion Show held at Turf Valley

Turf Valley presents third Pink Greens Golf Classic

A beautiful display of luminaries put in place by members of the Ellicott City Restoration Foundation greeted the lantern bearers as the Parade crossed the Patapsco River.

A beautiful display of luminaries put in place by members of the Ellicott City Restoration Foundation greeted the lantern bearers as the Parade crossed the Patapsco River.

5th annual Lanterns of Hope Parade held at Patapsco Female Institute in Historic Ellicott City featuring first, large, commissioned parade pieces

Ellicott City’s Cherrybration Celebration and the second annual Hills of Milltown 5K Challenge.

2nd Enchanted Cherrybration is held at Clark’s Elioak Farms

2nd Annual Gallery Show at Columbia Art Center: Blossoms for Claudia

Terrapin Adventures – Zip-A-Dee-Do-Da Cherrybration Day

  • The Cherokee Brave Dogwood, a native tree species, was added to the program.
  • October – seventh contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $35,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

Pretty in Pink: Princess Cherrybella and adoring fans!

Pretty in Pink: Princess Cherrybella and adoring fans!

  • The National Cherry Blossoms Festival gifted three Yoshino Cherry tree saplings to Howard County to commemorate the centennial of the original Gift of Trees to Washington D.C. from Tokyo. The saplings were grown from the original tree stock now growing at the Tidal Basin in the Nation’s Capital.
  • 6th Annual Pretty in Pink held at Turf Valley
  • 4th Annual Pink Greens Golf Classic at Turf Valley
  • 3rd Cherrybration held at Clark's Elioak Farm
  • 3rd Annual Gallery Show
  • 3rd Milltown 5K Challenge
  • October – contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $35,000.

 

 

 

Pink Green Golf Classic 2013

Pink Green Golf Classic 2013

 

2013

  • April - The three Yoshino Cherry trees were planted at Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia. An additional 100 trees were planted at attractions in Howard County.
  • Cherrybration Days held in April.  Pink Plates, Pretty in Pink Fashion Show, Pink Greens Golf Classic, Art Gallery Show, Terrapin Adventures, Clark's Elioak Farm
  • Power of the Purse, 2nd annual
  • October – contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $45,000

 

2014

  • Blossoms of Hope celebrates its 10th anniversary.
  • April Cherrybration days.  Pink Plates challenge, Pretty in Pink Fashion Show, Pink Greens Golf Classic, Terrapin Adventures, Clark's Elioak Farm, Art Gallery Show.
  • 3rd Annual Power of the Purse in June
  • October - contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $ 25,940

 

2015

The children were so excited to meet Princess Cherrybella. We heard one little girl say, "I've never met a REAL princess!"  At Clark's Elioak Farm during Cherrybration days.

The children were so excited to meet Princess Cherrybella. We heard one little girl say, "I've never met a REAL princess!"  At Clark's Elioak Farm during Cherrybration days.

Cherrybration Days in April included

Pink Plates Specials

Gallery Art Show

9th Annual Pretty in Pink Fashion Show at Turf Valley

7th Annual Pink Greens Golf Classic

Celebrations at Clark's Elioak and Terrapin Adventures

Contribution to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $27,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planting in Howard County

219 Blossom of Hope trees now grow in 18 different groves planted on public land in Howard County. Over half of the trees have been sponsored and six of the groves are fully sponsored. The groves range in size from five to 26 trees and are located at county libraries, local parks, historic attractions, as well as the county office building in Ellicott City, the seat of local government.

Over 300 Blossoms of Hope Trees have been planted along State & County roadways.

50 additional Blossoms of Hope Trees have been planted on open space in Columbia.

Corporate partners have planted over 300 of the trees on private properties

Individual homeowners have planted hundreds of new Blossoms of Hope trees in yards across the county as a result of the programs bi-yearly, residential tree sale that began in 2006.

  • Howard County Cherrybration Days, a celebration of the blossoming of the trees premiered in 2007 and in 2009 it expanded to a month-long celebration across Howard County.
  • In 2011 the Cherokee Brave Dogwood, a native tree species, was added to the program. Over 50 of these trees have been planted at various eco-conscious attractions including the Howard County Conservancy, The Robinson Nature Center and the Patapsco Valley State Park.
  • In 2012, the National Cherry Blossoms Festival gifted 3 Yoshino Cherry tree saplings to Howard County to commemorate the centennial of the original Gift of Trees to Washington D.C. from Tokyo. The saplings were grown from the original tree stock now growing at the Tidal Basin in the Nation’s Capital. These trees were planted at Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia, Maryland in the Spring of 2013. To mark the 2012 anniversary, Blossoms of Hope planted an additional 100 trees at attractions in Howard County.

Overall, approximately 1,800 new trees are now blossoming across Howard County as a result of Blossoms of Hope… the Howard County Cherry Tree Project ! AND…

Over $275,000 has been contributed to the Howard Hospital Foundation earmarked for Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, a special place that helps individuals and their families cope with cancer.

In 2004, a handful individuals stepped forward to make the dream of BLOSSOMS OF HOPE a reality. Without their initial support this popular community initiative would not have been possible. The group included public officials, civic-minded community businesses, and average individuals who were inspired by the project and what is meant to them personally.

The Founders Grove is their legacy. It is located adjacent to Route 108 in Centennial Park and in it grows the 20 original and most mature of all of Howard County’s Blossoms of Hope trees. This special grove will always serve as a reminder of what a few individuals who believe can accomplish.