Twenty-three Arkansas Playgrounds Selected to Participate in Annual

Shade Trees on Playgrounds Program

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division is pleased to announce the expansion of the Shade Trees on Playgrounds program to celebrate the program’s 20th anniversary.  Twenty-three schools in 20 communities, more than double the number of schools in previous years,  have been selected across the state to participate in this year’s program. The selected schools for 2022 are as follows:
Park Avenue Elementary – StuttgartDrew Central Elementary – MonticelloJimmy Brown Elementary – Star CityStar City Middle School – Star CityStar City High School – Star CityOscar Hamilton Elementary – ForemanCaddo Hills Elementary – NormanBobby Barrett Elementary – Mount IdaEast Side School Kindergarten Center – MagnoliaEast End Elementary – East EndArkansas Arts Academy Elementary – RogersBerryville Intermediate School – BerryvilleClarksville Intermediate School – ClarksvilleButterfield Elementary – FayettevilleHeber Springs Middle School – Heber SpringsSacred Heart School – MorriltonLittle Rock West High School of Innovation – Little RockMcRae Elementary – SearcySouthwest Middle School – SearcyOak Grove Elementary – ParagouldM.D. Williams Intermediate – PocahontasBatesville Preschool – BatesvilleMarshall Elementary School – Marshall 
The Shade Trees on Playgrounds program (STOP) was organized to lower adult skin cancer risk by reducing childhood exposure to direct sunlight where children play, like school playgrounds. Winning schools receive up to five shade trees, mulch, watering supplies, and planting guidelines after participating in program training.
“The STOP program combines hands-on, outdoor experiences with classroom curriculum about the importance of trees and how to care for trees,” says Urban & Community Forestry Program Coordinator, Kristine Kimbro. “We hope this program not only improves the health of Arkansas students, but also leaves a lasting impression about the value of forests and how to be good stewards of our natural resources.”
Schools are invited to submit STOP applications annually. To qualify, participating schools must lack shade, participate in a virtual STOP workshop, agree to use Forestry Division curriculum to emphasize the importance of trees and forestry in Arkansas, hold a tree-planting ceremony with students, and agree to long-term maintenance of the planted shade trees. Forestry Division personnel assist with the transport and planting of the trees. Trees for each campus are chosen by local Forestry Division staff to fit the unique region and conditions of each playground and are purchased from local nurseries and suppliers. Learn more about the STOP program and other Urban & Community Forestry services and programs at With program questions, contact Kristine Kimbro at 479-228-7929 or, or Harold Fisher at 501-580-4054 or The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation. Visit The Arkansas Department of Agriculture offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.