INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana First Lady Karen Pence will lead the planting of a promenade of Japanese cherry trees, or sakura, Saturday at White River State Park. The planting is in commemoration of the gift of cherry trees from Japan to the U.S. at the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C.

The promenade will be located near the White River Waterfront Pavilion Walkway in White River State Park, along the west bank of the White River. Fifty cherry trees, or somei-yoshino, will be planted by over 100 volunteers.

"The Cherry-Tree Promenade will provide a new destination within the park and give us something very special to look forward to every spring," said Dawn Tabler, chairperson of the White River State Park Development Commission. "The trees represent the partnership between Japanese and Hoosiers and our lasting relationship." 

The Japan-America Society of Indiana is hosting the event, along with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and White River State Park. The grove will be known as the Japan-U.S. Cherry Tree Promenade in Indiana.

"The Waterfront Walkway at White River State Park provides the perfect setting, reflecting similar locations in Japan in which cherry trees are planted along the river with strolling paths," said Theresa Kulczak, executive director of the Japan-America Society of Indiana. "We are grateful for the partnership of White River State Park in enthusiastically welcoming the trees and for supporting the vision of the sakura promenade. The trees represent the many cultural and educational connections between Indiana and Japan, as well as the important economic ties."

The Japan-America Societ of Indiana says the original gift to Washington D.C. took place over 100 years ago as a representation of the friendship between the two countries.