Mazda foundation

2015 Makeovers

Horsham Downs School - 9 May

First stop this year on the Treemendous School Makeover tour was Horsham Downs School, near Hamilton. Everyone got stuck in and planted 1000 native trees and shrubs, expanding on the school’s existing bush area. The space now boasts its own microclimate and will attract more native wildlife to the school grounds such as tui and kereru.

The school also held a competition to see who can design and build the best weta hotel, bug motel, bat house, and bird feeder. Judging was tough but the winner’s projects now take pride of place in the garden. Students will use them to study the life cycles and habitats of indigenous animals and insects.
“We’re so grateful to everyone who turned up and helped out on the day,” said Phil Missen, Principal at Horsham Downs Primary School.

“Our outdoor area has been a significant work in progress for many years and the Treemendous makeover has been the most exciting project to date. The new learning space has created a strong sense of pride amongst the school community. We can’t wait to use the outdoor classroom so students can observe, think, draw, and immerse themselves in nature,” said Mr Missen. 

Check out the photos from the Horsham Downs makeover here >>

Havelock North Intermediate School - 6 June

Havelock North Intermediate celebrated its 40th birthday along with a Treemendous School Makeover. The school converted a disused long narrow strip of land along the boundary of the school by adding native plants, creating pathways for children to explore the area along with adding in seating and a stage. They also planted spring wild flowers to attract more bees to the area.

Teacher Jane Bassett worked hard to organise the makeover and says she’s completely delighted by the amount of people who gave up their Saturday morning to help. “We’re so grateful to everyone that pitched in, the day was a huge success! The children are excited to experience the outdoor classroom and we can't wait to enjoy recitals and concerts on our stunning new performance deck with the majestic backdrop of Te Mata O Rongokako. It's great we've been able to enrich our Havelock North community by planting over a thousand native trees to bring more bird life into our school,” she says.

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule attended the makeover, showing his support for the community.
“It was fantastic to see so many community members and local businesses get behind this wonderful project,” he said. “Everyone has contributed to create a truly wonderful space for the children to interact with and learn from.”

Check out this amazing video with footage from the day - taken on a time lapse camera and a drone!

Check out some photos from the Havelock North Treemendous event here >>

Waikouaiti School - 25 July

Waikouaiti School’s outdoor space now boasts flowers, fruit trees and herbs and the existing vegetable garden was replaced and expanded. A woodchip pathway runs through the garden leading to an outdoor classroom, a place where students can go to observe, think, draw, and immerse themselves in nature.

School principal, Trudy Pankhurst, said there has been a very dedicated and amazing team of parents and whanau working hard to get the makeover underway, and was overwhelmed with the support from the community on Saturday morning.

“We are so thankful to all the helping hands that turned up and those who have assisted us in the lead up to the very last working bee and celebration. The children and staff are excited to use the new outdoor classroom and can’t wait to harvest the crops from the vegetable garden and tunnel house.
The day was a huge success and we couldn’t be happier with the results of the makeover. It’s going to be a great platform for the students to learn more about the environment,” she says.

Check out some photos from the Waikouaiti Treemendous event here >>

Renwick School - 7 August

The final stop on this year's Treemendous makeovers was at Renwick School in Marlborough.  Over 2500 natives were planted at Renwick School, making it one of our biggest Treemendous makeovers to date.

Pathways and viewing platforms now run alongside the creek and the area is lined with carved Poupou. An amphitheatre was also built as an outdoor classroom where students can go to observe and immerse themselves in nature.

Part of the Renwick Community Creek which runs through the school was restored. The creek was in a state of neglect, full of litter and weeds. Students picked up the rubbish and cleared the weeds, turning it into a suitable habitat for local bird life.

It doubled as a science project for the students, who measured the water quality and recorded creature activity leading up to the makeover. They will re-examine the area soon to observe the changes the clean-up has made.

Check out the photos from the Renwick Treemendous event here >>

These four winning schools take the total number of schools awarded Treemendous School Makeovers to 31.

Joris de Bres, Project Crimson Trust Chairman, said it was wonderful to see so many schools passionate about the environment and eager to create their own educational outdoor area.

“Since the program’s inception in 2008, 31 schools have benefited from an outdoor transformation and we are looking forward to seeing even more creative environmental initiatives from around the country, during this year's judging for 2016 makeovers.”

All Primary and Intermediate Schools can apply for a Treemendous School Makeover. Finalists will receive $500 for their school and the winning four schools will receive a $10,000 school makeover. 

Please visit the Mazda Foundation for more information.