Omarama Makeover sets the bar for 2012

Close to 100 people from the Omarama community came in force last Saturday to muck in for Omarama School’s Treemendous School Makeover.

The Treemendous School Makeover programme is a joint initiative by the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson and sees four schools selected each year to receive a garden makeover using New Zealand native plants.
On Saturday, students, teachers, and the wider community restored the pond at Omarama Station. The planting of native trees around the pond will improve the water quality, while the construction of a pathway will lead to a ‘leisure and learning’ site.
“The pond at Omarama Station has been an excellent learning tool for our students. They have gained hands-on knowledge of environmental ecosystems and sustainability,” says Jane Severinsen, Relieving Principal of Omarama School. “Saturday’s makeover was a wonderful way to get the entire community involved in this project, while encouraging our students’ learning.”
Omarama School’s 27 pupils have been busy over the last two years clearing weeds from the area around the pond and taking measurements of water quality, with the help from DOC Twizel and Environment Canterbury. 
"Treemendous School Makeovers are an excellent way to enable students to learn about the environment and also encourage community spirit,” says Liane Donovan of the Mazda Foundation. “Omarama School’s makeover on Saturday was a perfect example of this, which is why the Mazda Foundation is proud to endorse the Treemendous programme.”
Bridget Abernethy, Executive Director for Project Crimson, says the shift in focus towards environmental learning in schools throughout New Zealand is very positive, and it was great to see the community supporting Omarama School students in this way.
Three other schools will receive a Treemendous School Makeover this year. They are Nuhaka School (Hawke’s Bay), Otaua School (Waiuku) and Tutira School (Napier).