The students at Trentham School are excited to further their outdoor learning after becoming a TREEmendous School. Thousands of native trees and shrubs were planted on Saturday to create a new outdoor education space.
The school brought its outdoor learning dreams to life thanks to $10,000 from TREEmendous – a joint initiative between Project Crimson and The Mazda Foundation.
The planting was completed through the collaborative efforts of members of the school, local community, staff from local dealership Stevens Motors Mazda, the Mazda Foundation and the team from Project Crimson.
A previously unused field was transformed into an outdoor learning area filled with native trees. A pathway was constructed to lead students to the new learning area, where they can immerse themselves in the native plants and wildlife. The centre of the space also incorporates a brand-new meeting area with seating.
School Principal Suzanne Su'a says the school is grateful for the opportunity to strengthen its student’s connections with the tikanga of planting, caring, harvesting and using the harakeke.
“This area will form a wonderful outdoor space for teachers to bring their students. Mosaic pavers decorated to represent each of our Learning Hub icons - Kiwi, Weka, Tui, Pukeko, Ruru and Kea will decorate the hub.
“As our project continues to develop past the initial planting, we see the space providing context for continued learning - across the entire curriculum.”
Su’a also thanked members of the school community and staff who worked tirelessly on the project.
TREEmendous partner, Predator Free NZ, have also provided Trentham School with a specialised ‘school kit’, consisting of chew cards, tracking tunnels and rat traps. The kit will help to ensure the longevity of the new outdoor space.
TREEmendous Ambassador Ruud Kleinpaste brought along his insect friends and spoke with the students, educating them about native bugs and the importance of looking after the environment. Boh Runga, Mazda Foundation Ambassador, also got stuck in planting trees alongside students at the event.
Mazda Foundation Chairman, David Hodge, says Trentham School has a great sense of community and passion for nature.
“It is fantastic to see children get stuck into nature and I know this new outdoor area will be enjoyed by the school community for years to come,” he says.
Trentham School was the second school to be visited by the TREEmendous team this year, Clifton School in Bulls was visited in April and next up is Beckenham School (Christchurch) in June followed by Anchorage Park School (Auckland) in July.