Each year Project Crimson’s Community Restoration Programme supplies trees to groups and individuals around New Zealand who aspire to create a long-term benefit to their local community through conservation projects involving the reestablishment of native trees. Peninsula Community Preschool in Wellington received over 100 native trees from Project Crimson to help complete an ambitious project which will see their entire outdoor area transformed into a space of wonder, exploration, discovery and beauty. It is ultimately about connecting the children to nature via a place-based educational approach.
On Tuesday, 14 June, the Preschool celebrated the work done so far on this project with a visit from Project Crimson Trustee, and “Bugman” Ruud Kleinpaste. Ruud talked to the children about bugs and ecosytems, and took them hunting through their outdoor space to look at habitats for insects.
Peninsula Community Preschool Manager Linda Sutherland says, “Our Preschool teachers, children and whanau have been working on this outdoor transformation project for the past year. We’re delighted to have the support of Project Crimson, and the children were buzzing with excitement during Ruud’s visit. Our new outdoor area will include such things as art expression and opportunities, hidden sensory areas, natural materials wherever possible, building habitats for creatures (for example lizard gardens, worm farms, weta hotels), revegetation of native trees, planting of fruit trees and vegetables, new play spaces and a significant amount of construction to realise our plans. We have been overwhelmed with the support we have received from our community to help fund this project.”
Joris de Bres, Chairman of Project Crimson says “Project Crimson has a strong focus on environmental education in schools throughout New Zealand. Encouraging children to take pride in their environment and to see the value of biodiversity is important to the Trust. We’re glad that we could help Peninsula Community Preschool with the donation of some native trees for their new space. The trees that were donated to the Preschool were all grown in Rimutaka Prison’s nursery. Not only are the plants of exceptional quality, but sourcing native trees from prisons has been something that Project Crimson has been doing since the Trust was formed 26 years ago. These partnerships with prisons have provided sound horticultural training for inmates whilst providing Project Crimson with a guaranteed stock of quality, ecologically-sourced trees to distribute to community groups for planting through our Community Restoration Programme.”