In 2007, Anne St. John noticed that Maine Street was starting to show major gaps in its leafy canopy arching across Quincy’s landmark thoroughfare.
Anne St. John and Tom Friye.
St. John and a small group of friends teamed with Tom Friye of Bergman Nurseries to organize the Quincy Trees for Tomorrow group. Their mission was to make an effort to address the loss of trees between 12th and 24th on Maine Street due to weather, age or other human intervention.
The goal set in their inaugural year was to procure enough funding to replace 90 trees. After only two months of promoting the campaign, Quincy Trees for Tomorrow announced nearly 200 trees had been donated, many by families who also memorialized their gifts with stone markers next to their trees.
These vintage postcards from the early 1900s show Quincy’s Maine Street once showcased a thick canopy of towering shade trees. Over the years many trees have been decimated by storms, age, disease and other human intervention.
Quincy Trees for Tomorrow along with Bergman Nurseries continued to provide a variety of well-chosen trees suitable for our area. Interest in the program continued with planting areas expanded to include more of Maine Street, parts of 16th, 18th and 24th Streets and State Street from 12th to 24th.
School children and students from Chaddock School have participated in the Quincy Trees for Tomorrow program through the years planting trees on their campuses and learning about the benefits of trees through curriculum designed to correspond with the planting dates.
By 2014, the Quincy Trees for Tomorrow group was responsible for the planting of nearly 600 trees and the project even won recognition as a Governor’s Hometown Award in October 2011 and was largely responsible for continuing the City’s streak as a Tree City USA designee. During this time, Quincy Trees for Tomorrow has also acted as a vocal advocate for trees during the wind storm of 2011, the drought of 2012 and the encroaching Emerald Ash Borer disease that is a current concern.