Our biggest Treemendous yet at Discovery School!

9/05/2016

Discovery School’s outdoor area was completely converted with a Treemendous School Makeover on Saturday 7 May. Over 200 members of the Whitby community came together to create three outdoor classrooms.

The Treemendous School Makeover programme is a joint initiative between the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson that sees four schools selected each year to receive a $10,000 makeover, transforming an outdoor space with native plants for students to enjoy and learn from.

Students, teachers, staff from Mazda New Zealand, Capital City Mazda, Mazda Foundation, together with the Project Crimson team joined the working bee.

The school transformed over 600 square metres of sloping bank into three interactive outdoor classrooms. Over 700 harakeke, kowhai and rata trees were planted which will attract more native birds to the area for the students to learn about. The School’s existing orchard of apple and fig trees was expanded, creating a larger food source for the students.

Rimutaka Prison’s horticultural unit supported the makeover by supplying native trees and plants, along with rustic bird houses, bird feeders and weta motels built by prisoners from re purposed pallet timber.

Discovery School teacher, Natalie Packer, says the new outdoor educational space looks fantastic and will motivate the students to learn more about native flora and fauna.

“There’s been plenty of research about the positive effects of learning in an outdoor setting and we’re really excited to introduce this new innovative space to the children. The students and staff are looking forward to using the new outdoor classrooms and harvesting crops from the orchard”

“We’d like to give a special thanks to all the parents, teachers, and families who came along on Saturday and made the day such a huge success, and those that helped out in the lead up to the working bee,” she says.

Project Crimson Trustee Ruud ‘The Bugman’ Kleinpaste brought along his weta friends much to the delight of the students. He spoke about New Zealand native bugs and the importance of looking after the environment.

Mayor of Porirua, Nick Leggett attended, showing his support by bringing along his spade and planting some trees.

“It’s always very rewarding seeing our local community come together for a great cause,” he said.

“The passion and enthusiasm for the environment was humbling, great job Discovery.”

Boh Runga, Mazda Foundation ambassador, says, “We had a great day at Discovery enhancing the outdoor area for the kids. Environmental education in schools is growing and it’s exciting for the Mazda Foundation to be able to play a role in this through the Treemendous programme.”

Applications for the 2017 Treemendous Makeovers are open now, for more information head to www.treemendous.org.nz

Check out all the pics from Discovery’s Treemendous makeover here