Making the Shade Program

Making the Shade Logo

The Making the Shade Program, created by the Georgia Forestry Commission in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, is designed to create healthier, shaded playground areas on elementary school campuses throughout Georgia. Traditional elementary school campus designs often eliminate the health benefits provided by shade trees. The Georgia Forestry Commission encourages communities to maximize the benefits of trees, while minimizing any relevant risks. Technical and financial assistance, up to $5,000, is available to plant trees on school grounds. A dollar for dollar match is required.

Program Objectives

Through the strategic planting of shade trees this program hopes to:

  • Reduce surface temperatures of school yards and playground equipment which can cause serious and painful burns to students
  • Reduce ultraviolet radiation which causes skin damage
  • Reduce ground level ozone by cooling play areas
  • Decrease temperatures on playgrounds which will improve air quality and lessen the risk for children with asthma and other lung related issues
  • Allow activities in green settings which can reduce the symptoms of AD/HD and improve test scores
  • Increase energy conservation by shading air conditioning equipment, windows and buildings.

Program Components

  • Program participants are required to contact and work with their local Sustainable Community Forestry Program (SCFP) Forester.
  • Participating schools are required to incorporate information about the program and the benefits of trees into their curriculum.
  • Tree planting must be for associated health benefits, not for beautification.
  • Participating schools or their project partners must agree to maintain the trees. Funding is not provided for maintenance.
  • Milliken & Company provides funding to selected schools in communities where there are Milliken facilities.


The following organizations are eligible for funding up to $5,000:

  • Elementary schools
  • Elementary school Parent-Teacher organizations
  • Community tree groups
  • Neighborhood associations


Schools and groups interested in the program can get involved at any time by contacting their local SCFP Forester.

Grant Application and Guidelines

Making the Shade Program grant application form and guidelines.

Program Participants

More Information

Contact the Sustainable Community Forestry Staff