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Blooming hope: Community Tree project in Jacksonville lets people share messages of love, loss (First Coast News)

By Tom Szaroleta, December 25, 2020, Florida Times-Union.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla β€” While most trees are losing their foliage for the winter, a live oak in Riverside is blooming with messages of hope, grief and love.

The Community Tree is in the front yard of the Yellow House art gallery at 577 King St. in Jacksonville. For the next few months, people are invited to stop by, jot a message on one of the 3-inch-by-4-foot ribbons and hang it in the tree.

The idea for the project came from cultures across the world, said Hope McMath, Yellow House director. She said Scotland has a tradition of "wishing trees," Tibetans have prayer flags and people in Iraq, China and Japan have similar ways of sharing their hopes, pains and dreams.

"We were thinking about the role we play in providing a space for healing and activism and art," she said. "How can we do this for this end-of-the-year period when we’re physically closed?"

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