Treemendous space created for Pegasus Bay students

9th September 2014

Over 100 people from the Pegasus Bay community were out in force on Saturday to help with Pegasus Bay School’s Treemendous makeover.

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.

After the Christchurch earthquakes, many red zoned families moved into the Pegasus Bay area. The extra families and the realignment of smaller schools, including 141 year old Waiuku School, created the need for a bigger school, which opened at the beginning of term 2 this year.

Students, teachers, staff from Blackwells Mazda, Mazda New Zealand, Mazda Foundation, and the Project Crimson team; including special guests ‘The Bugman,’ Ruud Kleinpaste and Boh Runga-Project Crimson Ambassador, transformed the school’s new grounds into an educational space for students to explore.

Everyone pitched in to construct walkways layered with crushed shells flanked by native trees and a variety of gardens.  The vegetable plots were planted in recycled tractor tyres and the orchard will be home to many fruit trees.  The students will be able to enjoy the visually stunning sunflower patches along with butterfly and flower gardens.  The new outdoor area enhances Pegasus Bay School, the first ‘Zero Nett Energy’ school in New Zealand.

“We designed and created a very eclectic garden to ensure it reflects the needs of our pupils and the community, but also aligns with our eco-focus.  We encourage our students to be a kaitiaki (guardian) of the school, the wider community and the environment they live in,” says Roger Hornblow, Principal, Pegasus Bay School.

“We’re so grateful for all the support we’ve received to make this project a success.  There is a lot of goodwill in our school whanau and wider community.”

Ruud Kleinpaste brought along his six-legged weta friends and showed them to the students, educating them on all the bugs you can find in your back yard.  Local Mayor, David Ayers, put on his gumboots and planted some trees, showing his support for the community.

"I’m really impressed with how many community members have shown up to help out and offer their support.  This makeover has created a truly amazing environment for the students to learn in,” says Ayers.

Andrew Clearwater, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation, says, “This makeover is one of our most inspiring yet and it’s great to see so many students passionate about caring for the environment. Mazda is incredibly proud to be part of the Treemendous programme.”

Pegasus Bay School is the final school to receive a Treemendous makeover this year, after Cromwell Primary School in March, Wainui Primary School in May and Naenae School in June.

Applications for the 2015 Treemendous makeovers are now closed and judging is underway.

The winners will be announced on our website

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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