Despite the outbreak and shelter-in-place orders, people can still enjoy the capital’s cherry blossom bloom. Thanks to the National Park Service, cherry blossom admirers get a view of peak bloom via their BloomCam.
Peak bloom, defined as the day at least 70 percent of cherry blossom trees open up around the Tidal Basin, lights up the water’s edge with brilliant shades of pink and white. Unfortunately, this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival cancelled in compliance with CDC guidelines prohibiting large gatherings.
Still, the cameras, set up to capture the trees from various angles, permits fans across the globe a chance to observe their splendor.
In person viewing is restricted this year. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered police and the National Guard to enforce bans on gatherings. Their efforts include shutting down several streets near the basin. A detailed list of closures exists here.
She said officials continued to see people gathering in parks despite the warning from CDC and calls from officials to practice aggressive social distancing. Therefore, parks closed to prevent spread of COVID-19.
Prior to the closures, someone attempted to climb one of the cherry blossom trees, snapping a branch.
Additionally, several public transit routes closed, making travel to the basin more difficult. Both the Smithsonian and Arlington Cemetery rail stations closed to further efforts to stem the spread of the virus. Metro Transit Police stated only essential traffic should travel on the remaining available buses and trains.
However, views from atop buildings surrounding the basin provide a bird’s perspective of the peak bloom currently gracing the serene park.
The Trust for the National Mall partnered with EarthCam to offer the 24/7 livestream of the basin and its cherry blossom trees. They seek to spread awareness for their endowment that provides long-term care and maintenance for the trees.