Shade Trees on Playgrounds (STOP) Program

The 2018 Shade Trees on Playgrounds (STOP) program accepted applications May 1 - through May 18 from Arkansas schools needing additional shade on playgrounds. Winning schools receive five shade trees, mulch, watering supplies, and planting guidelines. Officials with the Agriculture Department’s Arkansas Forestry Commission plant trees during a ceremony with students each fall.

With questions about the STOP Program, contact Alison Litchy at 501-580-9609 or

S.T.O.P. the Risk of Skin Cancer in Children

To participate in the STOP program a school must: 

  • Apply during the application period and be selected to participate.  Applications will be available on this page when the application period is open.
  • Lack shade on the playground.
  • Participate in a STOP workshop.
  • During the week leading up to the tree planting event, use AFC curriculum materials to emphasize the importance of trees.
  • Hold a tree planting ceremony.
  • Be willing to maintain the trees.

The AFC will select up to 10 schools to participate in STOP each year

The schools selected will:

  • Receive five large hardwood trees. The species of tree each school receives will depend on the location of the school
  • Receive instruction on how to plant and maintain the trees. AFC personnel will help schools prepare for tree planting, and will be present to supervise the planting.
  • Be able to have AFC personnel talk about the importance of trees to people and to the environment. These programs include hands on projects about trees.
  • Receive recognition in the local media.

The AFC encourages schools to have a school-wide ceremony when the trees are planted.