McGehee High School recently received five trees that were planted at the school playground as a part of a state program.

According to the McGehee-Dermott Times News, McGehee High School was one of 15 schools statewide to get the trees through the Shade Trees on Campus (STOP) program. The program originated in 2004 by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division to lower adult skin cancer risks by reducing exposure to direct sunlight where children play.

The newspaper reported that the school received two red maple trees, two blackgum trees and one Shumard oak tree that were planted on the school playground.

To qualify for the program, schools must lack shade, participate in a STOP workshop, agree to use Forestry Division provided curriculum to emphasize the importance of trees and forestry in Arkansas, hold a tree planting ceremony and agree to long term maintenance of  the planted shade trees.

The newspaper reported that trees for each campus are chosen by Forestry Service personnel to fit the unique region and condition of each playground, and are purchased from local nurseries and suppliers.