Mill River Park Cherry Grove

Visit the Cherry Tree Grove

Mill River Park’s Cherry Trees are not just a beautiful sight to behold in early April and May, when the Park explodes into beautiful tints of pink and white cherry blossoms. These beautiful trees have a rich history, and were given as a gift to Stamford as a way to celebrate community resilience.

History of the Cherry Tree Grove

Junzo Nojima, the donor of the original cherry trees, moved to Stamford from Japan in 1926, where he opened one of Stamford’s first Japanese-American owned restaurants. In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, life in the United States was incredibly difficult for Japanese-Americans due to internment camps, loss of property, and discrimination. Here in Stamford, vandals smashed the windows and wrecked Mr. Nojima’s restaurant. In reaction, community members rallied around Mr. Nojima and helped clean up the damage.

The comminity’s response so touched Mr. Nojima that he donated over 100 cherry blossom trees to Stamford. The cherry blossom trees, a traditional Japanese symbol of renewal, were planted where Mill River Park is today.

During the Park restoration, the US Army Corps of Engineers needed to remove some of the older cherry blossom trees. In honor of Mr. Nojima’s gift, cuttings were taken from those trees and grown into 28 new trees, allowing Mr. Nojima’s spirit of appreciation to live on.