Four New Zealand schools have been selected for the second annual Treemendous School Makeovers, a joint initiative between Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson.
Glenavon School (West Auckland), Papatoetoe North School (South Auckland), Malfroy School (Rotorua) and Hedgehope Primary School (Invercargill) were chosen from 158 applications to have their grounds enhanced with native tree gardens.
Mazda Foundation chairman Andrew Clearwater says the response from schools has been excellent. “Every application we received was unique with a lot of creativity and effort put in by both teachers and pupils at the schools which made the judging process tough. It was also very encouraging to see that many of the schools intended to include the makeover area as an ongoing part of the curriculum.”
“The Mazda Foundation is committed to the Treemendous School Makeover initiative. We see it as an important way to support environmental initiatives and educate our children about the importance of looking after the environment at a young age,” said Clearwater.
The four school communities along with the Treemendous team will complete the makeovers in the new year.
Glenavon School’s plan is to convert a large flat area in the centre of the school grounds which is currently muddy all year round and not suitable for the children to play on into an area filled with native trees, a boardwalk with a statue reflecting the school’s values.
Papatoetoe North School’s makeover will provide them with an outdoor classroom with a walkway through native flora and fauna leading to an open glade with a seating area.
Malfroy School plans to develop the lawn area surrounding the newly built confidence course. The confidence course has replaced the old adventure playground which had been previously declared unsafe.
In the deep south, Hedgehope Primary School also intends to create an outdoor classroom where the children can view the local native birds up close such as the tui, bellbirds, kereru and fantails.
Bridget Abernethy from Project Crimson said the high number of applications demonstrates the importance that many schools are now placing on the environment.
“We feel heartened by the commitment schools around New Zealand are making to the environment and look forward to fostering this commitment through the Treemendous programme,” says Bridget.
All of this year’s unsuccessful applicants have been invited to have their entries automatically forwarded into next year’s competition and will be contacted again before the closing date to make any changes to applications.
About Project Crimson
Project Crimson is a charitable conservation Trust that aims to protect New Zealand's native Christmas trees - pohutukawa and rata. Since the Trust was formed in 1990, volunteers have successfully established hundreds of thousands of pohutukawa and rata trees around New Zealand. Meridian Energy is the principal sponsor of the Project Crimson Trust. See www.projectcrimson.org.nz
About the Mazda Foundation
The Mazda Foundation was established by Mazda New Zealand in 2005 as a public charitable trust to give assistance to a broad cross-section of causes, including the improvement of our natural environment and the advancement of our young people’s education. See www.mazdafoundation.org.nz