Horsham Downs School enjoys new Treemendous space

The local community was out in force at Horsham Downs Primary School when its outdoor area was transformed with a Treemendous School Makeover on Saturday 9 May. 

Students, teachers, staff from Fairview Motors Hamilton, Mazda New Zealand, Mazda Foundation, and the Project Crimson team; including special guest ‘The Bugman,’ Ruud Kleinpaste transformed the school’s grounds into an interactive learning space for students.

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,” says 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,” says Mr Missen.

Ruud Kleinpaste brought along his weta friends and showed them to the students, educating them about New Zealand native insects. Local MP, Tim Macindoe, brought along his spade and pitched in, showing his support for the community.

“It’s great to see an increasing number of schools encouraging outdoor learning,” says Macindoe. “The number of local businesses and community members that backed this project is truly heart-warming.”
Andrew Clearwater, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation, says, “What a fantastic start to the 2015 makeover programme. Mazda is incredibly proud to be part of Treemendous School Makeovers and the amount of passion that goes into these transformations never fails to astound me.”

Horsham Downs Primary School is the first school to receive a Treemendous School Makeover this year. Next is Havelock North Intermediate in June, Waikouaiti School in July, and Renwick School in August.
Applications for the 2016 Treemendous Makeovers are now open. You can download an application form here.

The school would like to thank Schick Construction. The company contributed to the makeover by delivering mulch and topsoil, and lending the school its diggers to break up the ground, preparing it for planting.