Halfway Bush Primary School (Dunedin), Oakura School (New Plymouth), Porirua School and Whangamata Area School were visited by the Treemendous team in 2013 for a native tree planting working bee.
Have a look at their stories below. You can also read more on our News page, or see more photos on our Facebook page.
The Treemendous Team 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. Visit the Mazda Foundation's website for more details.
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.
Treemendous outdoor classroom for Oakura School
More than 300 members of the Oakura community gathered their gardening gloves and battled the rain to support Oakura School's Treemendous School Makeover on 16 June, resulting in one of the best turnouts in the five year history of the Treemendous programme.
The makeover consisted of; a pathway being created to the creek at the bottom of the hill, planting an orchard and over 1000 natives being planted. The newly created viewing platform will give the school children the perfect vantage spot to watch the native wildlife that visit the madeover area. The ambitious makeover required careful preparation during previous weeks by the school makeover team, Project Crimson and local businesses.
The school’s new outdoor learning environment features native pathways, a community orchard, a compost area with a worm farm, and a camping site. The school will look to use the area for hands-on experience in all aspects of the curriculum.
“The garden will make a big difference to the school community. This previously boggy area was a wasteland that lay unused, but the newly transformed garden will enable the students to get up close with nature and wildlife. “We want to develop a ‘learning to care’ culture so the students show an appreciation for their environment,” says Lynne Hepworth, Principal at Oakura School.
Project Crimson Trustee Ruud Kleinpaste, ‘The Bugman’, attended the event and took the students on a garden tour, educating them on all the bugs found in their backyard. New Plymouth Mayor, Harry Duynhoven, showed his support for the local community by digging in at the makeover and speaking to the volunteers, thanking them for their hard work. "This Treemendous School Makeover has been a wonderful event for the local community and I was blown away to see such a large turnout supporting the school. They’ve created something truly special for the students to learn from and enjoy,” says Harry Duynhoven, Mayor of New Plymouth.
Whangamata Area School creates a Treemendous space for students
On Saturday 6 July we completed the last Treemendous School Makeover for 2013 at Whangamata Area School. Students, teachers and the wider community, transformed a bare area of the school's grounds into an educational and interactive space for the students to explore. They were joined by staff from the local Mazda dealership, Ultimate Motor Group, and the team from Project Crimson.
The makeover converted the school’s grounds into a garden inspired by the local landscape, and featured plants that are found in the Whangamata ecological district. The makeover features a pathway that looks and feels as if you have walked from the beach and into the coastal forest. It also included a nursery for Pīngao plants and an outdoor classroom for students to observe the natural environment.
“The new learning space will provide the students with an educational area where they can gain hands-on knowledge of the environment that surrounds them,” says Ross Preece, Principal of Whangamata Area School. “Saturday’s makeover was a great success and we had a fantastic turn out from the Whangamata Community.”