Winners announced for a Treemendous School Makeover

Four New Zealand schools have been selected for the third round of the annual Treemendous School Makeovers, a joint initiative between Project Crimson and the Mazda Foundation.

Albany School (Auckland’s North Shore), Bucklands Beach Primary School (East Auckland), St. Joseph’s School (Waitara) and East Taieri School (Dunedin) were chosen from 94 applications to have their grounds enhanced with a native garden makeover.

“We’ve completed eight school makeovers so far and we’ve noticed how many schools are viewing environmental education as an important part of the curriculum with many using their makeover areas as outdoor classrooms,” said Andrew Clearwater, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation.

Albany School’s plan is to complete work on the school’s grove.  The area was originally an ‘out of bounds’ area for students but will now be transformed into an outdoor learning area with 500 native trees to attract native birds.

The other winning Auckland school – Bucklands Beach Primary School – will upgrade an area on the edge of the playing field.  The land once featured many pohutukawa trees, however it has deteriorated over time and today has no wildlife, worn grass and only three pohutukawa remaining. 

In Taranaki, St. Joseph’s School students plan to convert a grassy swamp area which floods every year into a native wetland to attract local birds and animals.  In Otago, East Taieri School will update its entrance and fence line with stylish boulders and native plants.   The new-look entrance will complement the school’s mural and the plants will attract skink lizards.  The school is working with the Department of Conservation and the University of Otago to preserve the local lizard population.