Cromwell Primary School creates blooming education space for students

Close to 100 people from the Cromwell community were out in force on Saturday to help out with Cromwell Primary School’s Treemendous.

The Treemendous programme is a joint initiative between the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson (a conservation charity) and sees four schools selected each year to receive a $10,000 area makeover using New Zealand native plants.

On Saturday, students, teachers, members of Cromwell community, staff from Macaulay Mazda, Mazda New Zealand, and the Project Crimson team including Devon McLean, Caroline Wallace and special guest ‘The Bugman’, Ruud Kleinpaste, transformed an unused area of Cromwell Primary School’s field into an educational and interactive space for the students to explore.
The makeover included constructing an amphitheatre styled outdoor classroom and stage for students to attend lessons. 300 native bushes were also planted, along with a special feature kowhai grove, providing food for bellbirds and tuis.
“The new outdoor classroom surrounded by the native flora and fauna will be a great learning environment for the students.  We are especially excited that we have laid the foundations for the development of a waharoa (entranceway) which will complete the makeover area." says Wendy Brooks, Principal at Cromwell Primary School.
“We had a great turn out and so much fantastic support from our local community including all those who kindly donated supplies and their valuable time to this project.”
Central Otago Mayor Tony Lepper and Local Councillor Clair Higginson both put on their gumboots and attended the event showing their support for the local community.  Ruud Kleinpaste also brought along his six-legged friends and showed them to the students educating them on all the bugs you can find in your back yard.
"This Treemendous has been great for community morale and everyone involved has devoted a lot of time to create this outdoor learning space for the students.  It’s good to see schools utilising their outdoor areas and taking care of the environment,” says Tony Lepper, Mayor of Central Otago.

Andrew Clearwater, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation, says, “Mazda is proud to be part of Treemendous.  It is great to see how eager the students are about learning in these enjoyable, interactive spaces.”

Cromwell Primary School is the first school to receive a Treemendous this year. Other New Zealand primary schools who were successful and will receive a makeover are Wainui Primary School, Silverdale in May, Naenae Primary School, Lower Hutt in June, and finishing with Pegasus Bay School, Waikuku in September.

Applications for the 2015 Treemendous are now open.  You can download an application form at here.

Cromwell Primary School and Project Crimson would like to acknowledge the local business that supported this Treemendous; Fulton Hogan, Cromwell New World, McNulty’s Transport, Cromwell Placemakers, Irrigation Services, Delta, Envirobark and Otago Polytechnic (The Horticulture Department).
For more information or images, please contact:

Sam Clemerson
Boyd PR
P: 09 379 2121

The Mazda Foundation is a public charity Trust which gives assistance to a broad cross-section of causes, including the improvement of our natural environment and the advancement of our young people’s education.

Project Crimson is a charitable conservation Trust that aims to protect New Zealand’s native Christmas trees – pohutukawa and rata. Since the Trust was formed in 1990, volunteers have successfully established hundreds of thousands of pohutukawa and rata trees around New Zealand.

For more information about the Mazda Foundation, or the Project Crimson Trust and their work visit or

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