St Joseph’s Treemendous new outdoor space

11/04/2015

Over 100 members of the Temuka community attended a working bee last Saturday at St Joseph’s School and helped transform its outdoor area with a Treemendous School Makeover.

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, and Timaru Motors, Mazda Foundation, and together with the Project Crimson team pitched in to complete the makeover.

A previously disused area was brought to life by the planting of hundreds of native trees. Large boulders were used to form an outdoor classroom and a tree hut was constructed so the children have a place where they can observe, think, play, and immerse themselves in nature.

School principal, Bernie Leonard, said the project was led, designed and created by students and she couldn’t be more proud of the end result.

“The team, although now at high school, took immense pride in opening this area. It’s their legacy to St Joseph's for generations to come.

“We were overwhelmed with the support from the local community, parents and teachers who came along to support our students on Saturday. We would especially like to thank Midland Contracting, owned by former student Alan Jones, for their contribution. We now have a fantastic learning environment that the children and staff can’t wait to use!” she says.

Ruud Kleinpaste brought along his insect friends and spoke with the students, educating them about New Zealand native bugs and the importance of looking after the environment.

Timaru District Councillor Pat Mulvey brought along his spade and planted some trees with his granddaughter, a third generation St Joseph’s student.

"It was fantastic to see members of our tight-knit community come together and help out," he said. "Seeing the enthusiasm and readiness of businesses, organisations and individuals willing to provide assistance to various projects within our town is one of the best parts of my role, good job St Joseph’s!"

Andrew Clearwater, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation, says, “We understand the importance of educating children about the environment and we’re proud of the Treemendous School Makeover programme. It’s always great to see the students so excited and passionate about their new learning space,” he says.

View all of the photos from St Joseph’s makeover on our Facebook page.