Legacy Sakura Threatened
In the spring of 1977, legacy sakura (cherry blossom) trees were planted at Oppenheimer Park by first generation Japanese Canadian pioneers. 1977 was a significant year because it was the 100th anniversary since the arrival of the first Japanese to Canada. For the Japanese Canadian elders who planted those trees, the Legacy Sakura not only commemorated the cultural bridge between Canada and Japan, they also signified belonging as Canadian citizens. The trees carry tremendous social and historical significance to the Japanese Canadian community. Recently, the Parks Board has developed a plan that requires the uprooting of these legacy trees to accommodate the location of the new fieldhouse building. The plan was approved by City of Vancouver council on March 10, 2008. The mission of the Coalition to Save the Legacy Sakura of Oppenheimer Park is to save the Legacy Sakura trees in Oppenheimer Park, including the trees at the planned fieldhouse site. The Coalition is composed of a number of Japanese Canadian organizations including Tonari Gumi; The Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens Association; The Vancouver Buddhist Temple; The Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall; and the Powell Street Festival Society.
The Coalition to Save the Legacy Sakura of Oppenheimer Park was formed through a grassroots community movement on April 26, 2008.
Coalition to Save the Legacy Sakura of Oppenheimer Park
c/o 511 East Broadway, Vancouver, BC, V5T 1X4
Tel: 604.687.2172 (Tonari Gumi)
604.255.0159 (Takeo Yamashiro, co-chair)
604-876-9858 (Judy Hanazawa, co-chair)
Upcoming meeting: Saturday, May 10, 2pm
Vancouver Buddhist Temple, 220 Jackson Street