Halfway Bush creates blooming education space for students

More than 130 people from the Dunedin community were out in force on Saturday to help out with Halfway Bush School’s Treemendous School Makeover.

The Treemendous School Makeover programme is a joint initiative between the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson and sees four schools selected each year to receive a $10,000 area makeover using New Zealand native plants.

On Saturday, students, teachers, members of Dunedin community, staff from Dunedin City Mazda, Mazda New Zealand and special guest Project Crimson Trustee‘The Bugman’, Ruud Kleinpaste, transformed an unused area of Halfway Bush Primary School’s field into an educational and interactive space for the students to explore. The makeover included 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.”
Local Dunedin Councillors, Syd Brown and John Bezett both put on their gumboots and attended the event showing their support for the local community. Ruud Kleinpaste also brought along his six-legged friends and showed them to the students educating them on all the bugs you can find in your back yard.
"Treemendous School Makeovers are a brilliant way of bringing the local community together and everyone has worked really hard in creating this outdoor space for the students. It’s good to see how much emphasis schools place on the importance of outdoor learning and the environment,” says John Bezett, Councillor for Dunedin.
Andrew Clearwater, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation, says, “Mazda is proud to be part of Treemendous School Makeovers. It is great to see how enthusiastic the students are about learning in these fun, interactive spaces.”
Halfway Bush Primary School is the first Makeover of the year followed by Porirua School, Porirua in May, Oakura School, New Plymouth in June, and finishing with Whangamata Area School, Whangamata in July.