By 2007, the display grew to 110 trees.Art Yeaman, GCSMA President envisioned 150 trees for 2008 to honor of the Clay County's Sesquicentennial (150 years) and it happened - there were 150 trees. That year we received national recognition by being featured in “Southern Living” magazine. By 2009 the GSCMA met with hard time due to internal strife – Tyranny in the Leadership. However, the positive community effort and energy of the Parade of Trees survived, largely due to the efforts of Mike, Pat, Dale, Art, Amy and Kelly Russell, former GCSMA secretary. Kelly took the lead that year, the Parade of Trees endured, despite the demise of the GCSMA.
A Quest for Foster Parents:The core group of civic minded people imagined a new group.The Greater Green Cove Civic Association, Inc. (GGCCA) was created in August 2010, just in time to present a seamless public appearance for the 7th Annual Parade of Trees.
The original concept was to secure annual “Foster Parents” -- Trees Are Up For Adoption.We anticipate that the concept will live for many, many years.People in and aroundGreen Cove Springs now know --- as the Christmas and holiday season approaches --- people see the lonely undress trees in Spring Park (3rd Sat. of November) -- they know it’s time - Trees-Are-Up-For-Adoption.
Civic Involvement: In 2010, the GGCCA secured the organizational skills of Jenny Yeaman (a long time volunteer). The Parade of Trees tradition continues, Mike, Jenny, Art, and Brian Robinson make certain the trees are prepared, installed, and lit in a timely fashion. The GGCCA does not request or accept taxpayer money to host this event - we simply ask to use a portion of Spring Park for 5-6 weeks to host this Civic Project for our “Foster Parents”. We are grateful to the City for its support. We appreciate the more than 45 volunteers that helped make this an annual success.
At dusk, the first Saturday in December, everything comes together, to fast forward us into the merry making of the season.
2011: Girl Scout Troop 608 secured LED lights for the Premium Trees and developed a decoration program. 2012: Japonica Garden Club coordinates our “We Decorate” program. Additionally a Return and Reserve program was created resulting 100% Tree Adoption Nov 7, 2012 --- 10 days prior to set up Nov. 17, 2012.
We now have 157 Trees:150 Up-For-Adoption, 2 Showcase Organizations, and 5 Complimentary
*Johna Hayes lost his life in a tragic house fire, Aug. 2008