SPRINGHILL — Springhill Elementary School students planted five trees on Friday as part of the Arkansas Forestry Commission’s Shade Trees on Playgrounds (S.T.O.P) program.

It was one of 11 schools in the state that qualified for the program. Criteria to qualify for the program included having a playground that calked shade, agreeing to use the commission’s curriculum to emphasize the importance of trees and forestry in the state, holding a tree-planting ceremony with students involved and agreeing to maintain the planted shade trees long-term.

On Friday, members of the Arkansas Forestry Commission helped the kids plant five oak trees — one for kindergarten and first grade and one each for second through fifth grades.

“Years from now, 10 or 20 years down the road, you can come back and visit and say, ‘That’s my tree; I helped take care of that tree,’” the commissioner told students in an assembly prior to the tree planting.

While most grades named their trees after something related to shade — Shadow, Shady Lane, etc. — people attending the assembly got a laugh when the fifth graders announced they named their tree Bob.

The other schools chosen for the program for 2018 were Acorn Elementary Schools Ascent Children’s Health Services, Bradley Elementary School, Gandy Elementary School, Harmony Grove Elementary School, Lonoke Elementary School, Parkview Elementary School, St. John’s Catholic School, Viola Elementary School and Weiner Elementary School.

The application period for the 2019 S.T.O.P program will start April 2019.

To learn more about the program visit www.agriculture.arkansas.gov/stop-program or contact Krista Quinn at 479-228-7929 or krista.quinn@agriculture.arkansas.gov.