Halfway Bush Primary School (Dunedin), Oakura School (New Plymouth), Porirua School and Whangamata Area School will be visited by the Treemendous team in 2013 for a native tree planting working bee. Their designated outdoor areas will be transformed into renewed spaces for students and teachers to enjoy.
Have a look at their stories below. You can also read more on our News page, or see more photos on our Facebook page.
Halfway Bush creates blooming education space for students
More than 130 people from the Dunedin community were out in force to help out with Halfway Bush School’s Treemendous School Makeover on 13 April, kicking off the 2013 Treemendous Schools Makeovers.
This makeover transformed an unused area of Halfway Bush Primary School’s field into an educational and interactive space for the students to explore - including a reading area, native planting and an edible garden alongside a bird watching area for students to learn about different species of bird.
“The new learning space will provide students with a fantastic opportunity to gain hands-on knowledge of native fauna and flora including fruit, vegetables and herbs,” says Winnie Cornelissen, Principal at Halfway Bush Primary School.
“We had a great turn out and so much support from our local community including all those who kindly donated supplies and their valuable time to this project.”
A big thank you to everyone that came along to help out on this wonderful project.
Porirua School creates treasured garden space for students
Our second Treemendous School Makeover for the year was at Porirua School on 18 May.
More than 80 people from the Porirua community rallied together to support Porirua School with their makeover and transformed a rugged patch of Porirua School’s ground into an educational and interactive garden for students to enjoy. The space had been carefully prepared over the previous weeks by the Project Crimson team and Community Probation teams.
The theme of the makeover was “Nga Taonga o Tane” (the treasures of Tane), who is the guardian spirit of the forest. The transformation featured construction of a pathway through an area of extensive native plantings, along with a lizard lounge and a pond. It is hoped the students will learn about the different types of creatures that will be attracted to the garden.
“The new space will serve as an interactive learning tool for our students. The garden has an array of educational features including a rainbow garden, a butterfly garden and a lizard lounge, which will be a safe area for lizards to sun themselves in full view of students,” says Tali Tiatia, Principal at Porirua School.
“The support we have had from the Porirua community has been overwhelming. I’d like to thank all those who donated supplies and their valuable time to this project, especially Porirua City Council and the Department of Corrections.”
Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett showed his support for the local community by speaking to the volunteers and thanking them for their hard work. Ruud Kleinpaste, ‘The Bugman’ attended, along with his collection of pet wetas and thrilled the students, educating them on all the bugs they can find in their back yard.
Next stop Oakura!
On 16 June, Oakura School in New Plymouth will enhance an unutilised plot of hillside with native planting to attract native birds and other wildlife. The school hopes to use the space as an outdoor learning environment, focussing on teaching students about native species.
And last but not least, the Treemendous team visit Whangamata Area School on 6 July and are hoping to create a garden that will reflect the local landscape, complete with plants, shrubs and trees that are found within the ecological district, as well as paving, walkways and seats. They would like to develop their own eco source nursery with the plants they grow for local sand dune restoration.
The Treemendous Team will carry out these makeovers with help from the local school communities, parents and pupils. These four winning schools take the total number of schools awarded Treemendous School Makeovers to 23.
Any New Zealand primary or intermediate school can apply for a Treemendous School Makeover. All finalists receive $500 for their school and the winning four schools will receive a $10,000 Treemendous School Makeover. Entries for 2014 are open now, visit the Mazda Foundation's website for more details.