Junzo (Junior) Nojima - Stamford, CT
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member chrissyml
N 41° 03.300 W 073° 32.640
18T E 622351 N 4545883
Cherry trees gifted by Junzo Nojima
Waymark Code: WM149W4
Location: Connecticut, United States
Date Posted: 05/26/2021
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 0

These cherry blossom trees in Mill River Park were donated and cared for by Mr. Nojima. After he died the city placed a plaque next to them to dedicate them to his memory. Below is an article from the Japan Society of Fairfield County.

"The Japan Society of Fairfield County will hold a dedication ceremony to honor Mr. Junzo (Junior) Nojima (1906 - 1983) at this year’s 2014 Stamford Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival.
Mr. Nojima was a well-known and respected member of the Stamford community. In April 1957 Mr. Nojima presented Stamford with a gift of over 100 cherry blossom trees to show his appreciation to the city he loved. Many of the trees were planted along the then barren Mill River. He had also taken time to personally care for the trees.

Cherry blossom have an ancient tradition in Japanese culture. After a long winter the explosion of brilliant colors symbolize the vibrancy of life. Then suddenly this is contrasted by the falling of its delicate flowers. This cautions us to the frailty of human existence and life's impermanence. Together this provides a strong reminder that life is fleeting, and we should appreciate each moment.

Mr. Nojima was a Japanese immigrant who moved to Stamford in 1926. In 1933 he opened one of Connecticut's first Japanese owned restaurants K & J Three Deckers Restaurant on Atlantic Street. He was well known in the community. He was even bestowed as "honorary marshal of fire fighters". His gift of cherry trees was in appreciation and gratitude to the community that had shown him such affection and support.

In 2002 after years of neglect to the Mill River area, plans were started for its renovation by creating the Mill River Park and Greenway project. Many of Nojima trees were 50 years old and well past their life expectancy. The original restoration plans were made to have them removed. After much public support, it was decided to save the trees. Under the direction of the Mill River Collaborative, the Stamford Tree Foundation cultivated cuttings from the original cherry trees. These trees are now now planted in the renovated park.

Just as the replanted trees draw from the same lineage as the original trees, the Mill River Park and Greenway renovation can be viewed as a lineage of Mr. Nojima's vision. A vision of making the Mill River Park a place of contemplation, relaxation, and recreation. A place to appreciate each moment.

Please come help us celebrate his spirit as we place a commemorative plaque in his honor and his wonderful legacy."

Source: (visit link)
Location of the tree: Mill River Park, Stamford, CT

Type of tree: cherry blossom

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