Colleague: St. John will be remembered as ‘tree lady’

Sarah Fernandez, left, Trees For Tomorrow, Glenn Sanders with Mississippi Valley Hunters and...
Sarah Fernandez, left, Trees For Tomorrow, Glenn Sanders with Mississippi Valley Hunters and Fishermans Association, Anne St. John, Kelly Arntzen and Lee Lindsay with Trees for Tomorrow present a check to the Mississippi Valley Hunters and Fishermans Association and the Quincy Park District for the redevelopment of Bob Bangert Park with more than 300 trees planned to be planted in the park.(Herald-Whig File Photo)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:37 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - A Quincy woman who spearheaded efforts to bring more trees to Quincy has died.

Anne St. John passed away Friday morning at Blessing Hospital.

St. John co-founded the group Trees for Tomorrow with Lee Lindsay in 2007 after seeing deteriorating trees along Maine Street. Since the group’s founding, it has helped plant thousands of trees around the city.

Lindsay says St. John was a real leader and will likely be remembered as the “tree lady.”

“She gets that a lot, and I think that would make her feel good because that’s what she cared about,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay said that even as St. John’s health declined in recent years, “she was the command post, or center of our operation.”

In 2014, St. John told our news-gathering partners at The Herald-Whig that she was proud of Trees for Tomorrow’s early work restoring the Maine Street canopy.

“I’m very, very pleased,” she said. “Yesterday I drove down Maine Street, and I just couldn’t believe the color. Can you imagine what those trees are going to look like in about 10 years?”

Following the 2015 windstorm that raked the city, Trees for Tomorrow engaged in its largest project, planting more than $130,000 worth of trees to replace those toppled in the storm.

In 2019, the group launched its “Trees for Patriots” program, planting hundreds of cherry and crabapple trees at the Illinois Veterans Home campus in Quincy. The goal of the planting was to re-create the look of spring blossoms on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The group also has donated $20,000 in trees toward the wetland restoration at Bob Bangert Park.

Funeral arrangements for St. John are pending at Hansen-Spear Funeral Home in Quincy.

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