Kids create Treemendous Kakabeak nursery

The Tutira community came out in force on Saturday 30 June to help transform many areas of Tutira school grounds as part of the Treemendous School Makeover project. 

Over 80 students, teachers and members of the wider community took part in an extensive makeover, which converted a previously out-of-bounds area. The previous wasteland was transformed with a native planting area, a fruit tree orchard, vegetable gardens and chickens. The existing playground was also extended with giant board games for students to enjoy.

Another part of the makeover was the creation of a kakabeak nursey that will provide the Department of Conservation and Forest and Bird with seeds for local planting of these locally endangered species. Kate Medlicott, Principal of Tutira School, says, “Saturday’s makeover was a great success and the students really enjoyed themselves. "The renewed spaces will educate the children on the importance of native plants. They will also learn how to grow fruit and vegetables and gain hands-on knowledge about insects and birds.”

Special guest, and Project Crimson trustee, Ruud Kleinpaste, ‘The Bugman’ attended and taught the children about insects and plants found in the garden and introduced them to his pet wetas.

The specially planted kakabeak nursery will be used to provide the Department of Conservation with valuable seeds, which the children will collect and the Department of Conservation will plant locally.

MP for Napier, Chris Tremain, attended the event and showed his support for the local community by getting stuck in and helping out with the makeover. “The local community, school and students really got behind this ambitious makeover and the results are fantastic,” says Chris Tremain, MP of Napier. “I’ve attended previous local Treemendous School Makeover and they always do a really great job of bringing the local community together.”

Gordon Hosking, Spokesperson for Project Crimson, says, “I am very impressed with the results of the makeover. There was a lot to do because the makeover included so many different aspects. It was great we were able to work with the Department of Conservation to set up a programme with the school that will benefit both the children’s education as well as protect New Zealand’s native species.”

Connie Miller, Trustee for the Mazda Foundation, says, “Mazda always loves to help create these fun, interactive spaces which enable students to learn in a creative way. We’re always proud to be part of these Treemendous School Makeovers.”

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 garden makeover using New Zealand native plants.

Tutira School was the final Makeover this year following Otaua School in May (Waiuku), Nuhaka School (Hawke’s Bay) in April and Omarama School (Otago) in March. Entries are now open for next year’s makeovers.