For Immediate Release
Posted: March 05, 2024


Shelly Angers, NH Department of Natural & Cultural Resources
(603) 271-3136 |

Program brings trees – and how to plant them – to NH schools

The N.H. Division of Forests and Lands’ Urban and Community Forestry Bureau is seeking applications for its 2024 Schoolyard Canopy Enhancement Program, which provides schools in need with trees, teaches students how to take care of them and underscores the importance of trees in a variety of settings, including schoolyards.

Schools selected for the Schoolyard Canopy Program will receive approximately three to six trees dependent upon available planting space at the requested location and how many schools participate in 2024. Schools with the greatest need for tree canopy improvement and their ability to care for the trees once planted will be given priority consideration.

“In 2023, we piloted the Schoolyard Canopy Program by selecting 11 schools to participate,” said A.J. Dupere, urban forester at the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands. “Even though New Hampshire is the second most-forested state in the country, it’s important to know that there are schools that only have a few trees on their campus. Some even have none.

“This program allows kids to learn about trees, to take part in making trees part of their daily experience, and to start thinking about the world around them in ways they might not have otherwise.”

Trees are delivered to participating schools by Community and Urban Forestry staff or by a participating nursery, usually on the day of or a few days before the planting event. They average six to 15 feet tall and their roots are several feet in diameter, either “balled and burlapped” or in large containers. The program provides mulch and, if needed, stakes, ties, additional soil or compost and any tools need to plant the trees.

Schools interested in participating must submit a one-page application, providing information about who will participate in planting the trees, the number of students involved, who will take care of the trees once planted and which tools they might be able to provide at the planting event. As part of the applications process, Urban and Community Forestry staff will schedule a visit to the school to assess whether a site is appropriate for tree planting.

The deadline to apply for the 2024 program is March 25. All plantings must be completed by June 30, 2024 and will need to be scheduled in advance.

There is no cost to participate in New Hampshire’s Schoolyard Canopy Enhancement Program. For more information, contact Liz McKinley, community forester,

Community and Urban Forestry runs the program in partnership with UNH Cooperative Extension. Funding is provided by the USDA Forest Service.

New Hampshire's Division of Forests and Lands is part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. NHDFL’s mission is to protect and promote the values provided by trees, forests and natural communities. This mission is accomplished through responsible management of the state’s forested resources; by providing forest resource information and education to the public; and through the protection of these resources for the continuing benefit of the state’s citizens, visitors, and forest industry.