Fifty-eight trees recently planted in two schoolyards in Bacon County, GA will improve the appearance and safety of those properties. Through its Making the Shade partnership, the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) is partnered with Milliken & Company, the City of Alma, and Bacon County Board of Education to implement the program in that county.
GFC announced its first three Making the Shade partnerships, including Milliken, in 2007 on Georgia Arbor Day. Today, nearly 500 trees have been planted, with the program expanded to benefit more than 9,000 students at 14 schools in 13 counties throughout Georgia.
“We are very grateful to our partners who helped achieve healthier and more attractive school playgrounds by planting 13 species including oak varieties, maple, poplar and cypress trees,” said Daniel Westcot, Georgia Forestry Commission community forester.
The 58 trees were recently added to the Bacon County Elementary and Bacon County Primary School campuses, which had offered very limited shade areas for faculty and students. Adding shade trees to the landscapes will reduce the effects of high temperatures and related health and safety concerns, while those shading HVAC equipment will improve energy efficiency.
“As a major employer in the community, Milliken is pleased to have worked with our local schools and the state to implement the Making the Shade program,” said Vance Burkett, Bacon County Board of Education member and Milliken associate.
Milliken supports Making the Shade as part of its Trees For All initiative, reflecting concerns for healthy environments—indoors and out. Milliken demonstrates its commitment to improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) with its adhesive free TractionBack® modular installation system, which eliminates offgassing. Outdoors, the company nurtures millions of trees and is certified carbon negative through reduced emissions and carbon sequestration in its forests, without purchased credits.
The Georgia Forestry Commission research indicates compelling reasons to add shade trees to the landscape:
- Traditional elementary school campus design often eliminates the health benefits provided by shade trees.
- Children are more susceptible to ground level ozone because they often play outside on hot, muggy days.
- Children’s skin damage can occur in as little as 15 minutes of overexposure to the suns ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
- Elevated playground temperatures reduce air quality and increase risks for children with asthma and other lung related issues.
- Elevated surface temperatures of school yards and playground equipment can cause serious and painful burns to students.
To see other companies involved in planting trees, visit the Arbor Day Foundation.