Four New Zealand schools have been selected to receive a Treemendous School Makeover – a joint initiative by the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson Trust.
Tutira School (north of Napier), Omarama School (North Otago), Otaua School (Waiuku) and Nuhaka School (South of Gisborne) will be visited next year by the Treemendous team for a native tree planting working bee. Their outdoor areas will be transformed into renewed spaces for learning and playing.
“This year we had a fantastic response from schools across the country. It is great to see so many schools with a keen interest in environmental education and outdoor learning,” says Andrew Clearwater, Chairman for the Mazda Foundation.
“We really enjoy being part of the Treemendous School Makeover programme which has been responsible for the development of 15 outdoor transformations since 2004. We’re looking forward to visiting these latest four schools with the Treemendous team in 2012.”
Tutira School, north of Napier, will be converting a previously out of bounds area into a native planting area where they will grow a kaka beak nursery so that the seeds can be collected by DOC for planting locally. They hope to build an edible plot complete with fruit trees, a vegetable garden and chickens. They will also extend the existing playground with giant board games for the students to play with.
Kate Medlicott, Tutira School Principal, says, “The students and staff are thrilled to have won a garden makeover. We are looking forward to creating an inspirational learning environment for the children.”
Omarama School, North Otago, is choosing to restore a pond on a neighbouring station that students and staff have been working towards as part of the newly formed OSWE (Omarama School Waterways Enhancement group). Their Treemendous makeover will allow them to continue their planting around the pond which will improve the water quality.
Otaua School in the Waiuku region is transforming an overgrown area into an educational and interactive space for the students to explore in. They are hoping the restored outdoor classroom will encourage insects and birds to the school grounds
Nuhaka School, south of Gisborne, will be redeveloping land adjacent to the school which was originally a railway platform. The school is passionate about eco learning and has a long term plan to attract birds to the area, develop propagation skills and promote sustainability.
Nick Chapman, Nuhaka School Principal, says, “We are building a nursery to eco source seeds and propagate plants. Our students are also involved in planning the school landscaping with pathways, seating and signage and will be panting a large area with a variety of plant life.”
The four chosen schools will undertake their garden projects with help from their local communities along with the Treemendous Team in the New Year.
Bridget Abernethy, Executive Director for Project Crimson, said the calibre of applicants was extremely high.
“It’s wonderful to see so many schools applying for Treemendous makeovers. The judging panel had a tough job selecting four schools out of the 130 that applied. It was interesting to see entries that had considered the community and the wider environment.”