Schools’ embrace outdoor classrooms

Creating a bush trail, developing a sensory garden, planting fruits trees and developing a Maori medicinal garden are just some of the ideas put forward by ten schools from across the country who are the finalists in the Treemendous outdoor classroom project, a joint initiative between the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson.

The ten finalists, selected from over 80 entries, are Anchorage Park Primary School (Auckland), Beckenham School (Christchurch), Clifton School (Bulls), Howick Primary (Auckland), Kerikeri Primary School (Northland), Rangeview Intermediate School (Auckland), St Leonard’s School (Dunedin), Tahatai Coast School (Bay of Plenty), Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Manawatu (Palmerston North), and Trentham School (Wellington).

They are now busy working on a more detailed plan and budget to be in with a chance to win one of four $10,000 grants, that goes towards creating an outdoor learning space for their school.

Now in its 10th year, the Treemendous team will, by the end of this year created 40 outdoor classrooms at schools across the country and each year the level of creativity and thought that goes into the entries continues to astound David Hodge, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation.

“It’s fantastic to see the children at the schools taking such an active role in developing the plans that showcases their passion for the environment and a desire to use the outdoors as part of their education.”

The four winning schools will be announced in November and the remaining finalists will be awarded $500 as a recognition for making the finals. The makeovers will take place in 2018 with the help of local communities and volunteers.

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