JPMorgan Chase has sponsored the National Cherry Blossom Festival since 2019. Last Friday, dozens of its employees gave back to the Ward 8 community by planting 30 trees in Oxon Run Park. (Courtesy Photo)

By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
msayles@afro.com

For three years, JPMorgan Chase has served as a Host Sponsor for the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. While the springtime festival is a long way off, dozens of the firm’s employees spent last Friday planting cherry blossom trees in Ward 8’s Oxon Run Park.  

“For many people who live east of the river it’s not easy to make it downtown when the cherry trees begin to bloom,” said Alfonso Guzman, Mid-Atlantic regional director for JPMorgan Chase. “As a firm we are committed to supporting all neighborhoods, and just as the initial gift of tree’s from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo was made to celebrate the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan, this is Chase’s gift to the residents of Ward 8.” 

JPMorgan Chase employees planted 30 trees in total to recognize the first 30 children who completed a Blossom Badge on the National Cherry Blossom Festival website. To secure the badge, youth completed five activities in categories ranging from sports and fitness to arts and crafts. 

According to Guzman, this was the first in-person volunteer event that many of the JPMorgan Chase employees were able to participate in since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. The planting of the trees in Ward 8 allows the beloved festival to extend beyond the Tidal Basin area. 

“Green space is important to every neighborhood, but it also needs to be safe, clean and welcoming,” said Guzman. “We hope the addition of these 30 trees will help to do just that for the residents near Oxon Run Park.”

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