Edit: Just realized I put this in the wrong place, and somehow I don't know how to delete it
Concerning your edit, only mods can delete posts on this forum. Simply report your own post with the reason being "delete my post" and the staff will review it and seeing as you have two posts of the same nature here I'm guessing they'll delete at least one of them. (Don't report both posts, that would only create confusion)
It is utterly stupid that Minecraft is dying. It is a game with practically infinite potential, the only reason that it would die is if people were too stupid to see that.
One thing I would really like though, is if it were possible to change the game experience in-game (like with "command block mods") but without having to use cheat items to accomplish it, and in a way that is balanced for survival play. How this would be accomplished I do not know, but if someone smarter than me figured it out and it got added then Minecraft would doubtless receive a HUGE popularity boom, enough to put it back on the top of the genre where it belongs.
I am one of the original Tree Spirit Challenge server owners listed in the OP. Unfortunately, that old server is no longer active, but after a few years of hiatus wrangling life together, I am back in the MC community and have already been working to restart the TreeCrafters server with new life and ideas! I already have a custom plugin in development (with a beta starting new week), a whitelisted server running (IP hidden until everything's ready, but already accepting private messages from people who'd like to join as we roll out beta access), and a hub world in the works.
I am very excited to get this running again and I hope to eventually see all of your creations!
It might be helpful if I create a new thread instead of replying to comments in this one, since I can't update the OP with new information relating to how the challenge has evolved as MC has been updated in the last several years. Will probably wait until I'm ready to announce the server with an official thread, but we shall see.