Treemendous School Makeovers, is a joint initiative between the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson, teaches children about the importance of caring for the environment through the development of outdoor classrooms.
Four New Zealand schools are chosen each year to have an area of their grounds turned into an outdoor classroom. It might include a lizard garden, native tree planting, creating bird habitats or more. The prize is worth $10,000 and all primary and intermediate schools can apply.
The latest lucky group of kids attend Reporoa Primary School and have had their playground transformed into a by members of the local community as part of the project.
Prime Minister Bill English made a surprise visit to the school on Saturday, for some last minute campaigning and to help turn an unused paddock into an outdoor learning facility.
The PM chatted with children, parents, teachers and other helpers, got up close and personal with George the Weta and planted a Hoheria Sextylosa ‘Purple Lace’ tree.
To celebrate the projects 10th year, five schools, instead of the usual four, were selected to receive $10,000 towards turning an area of its school into an interactive outdoor learning area.
More than 150 people from the school and local community, along with staff from Mazda New Zealand, the Mazda Foundation, Rotorua Mazda and Project Crimson, pitched in to transform the school grounds.
Mazda Foundation chairman David Hodge says it is inspiring to see such passion for the environment at Reporoa School from students and teachers alike.
“Reporoa School was a notable example of the passion and enthusiasm the students and the school have about the environment. It was a tremendous success and I can’t wait to hear how the students utilise the revitalised area, “ he said.