Welcome to the Love Grove. “Love Grove” was the name given to the initial planting of three magnolia trees at Willowbranch Park on Valentine’s Day 2019 in coordination with Greenscape of Jacksonville and the City of Jacksonville Parks Recreation and Community Services. The name Love Grove seemed appropriate, given the reason and date of the plantings to remember loved ones lost to AIDS-related illnesses. We hope visitors will appreciate its beauty and timeless quality of an “urban forest” dedicated to the memory of residents.
We honor the memories of those we lost by creating a sanctuary in beloved Willowbranch Park, located in historic Riverside. The AIDS Memorial Project of Northeast Florida will be planting one hundred trees in coordination with the city Parks Department and Greenscape of Jacksonville to add to the existing beauty of the park. For the donation of $200, a tree will stand strong in the memory of those gone too soon. Refer to the map featured on this page to see the location for our future memorial, a bridge uniting those lost and those who remember.
February 14, 2023
A gathering took place to reflect on the significance of Willowbranch Park to Northeast Florida’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, and gender-diverse populations’ struggle for civil liberties and civil rights as the epicenter of the early days of the AIDS epidemic.
Sunday, February 12, 2023
The event along with two Board members, Anthony Hall and Jeff Fisher, and President, Richard Ceriello, volunteer Terry from the Outdoorsy Group, along with Landscape Architect Scott Dowman held an epic workout, planting 45 Azaleas in root-packed soil, transforming the Willowbranch park into life and color. The rain left soggy soil paving away for easier planting. Tomorrow Scott Dowman and Richard Cerillo will spread pine straw and trim back plants.
Thursday, February 14, 2019
3rd Annual Love Grove Ceremony (February 14, 2021) Short Film by Photojournalist – An Goldbauer
February 14, 2019 – Inaugural Ceremony of Love Grove -The Tree Planning Initiative