A $10,000 win has moved an outdoor classroom and native tree shelter belt off the wish-list for Horsham Downs Primary.
The school is one of four in New Zealand chosen for a Treemendous School Makeover.
News of the funding boost had enviro team leader and teacher Julie Herbert jumping up and down.
“I went into the staff room and said to principal Phil Missen ‘We’ve got it’ and everyone cheered,” she told the Waikato Times.
The objective is to restore and extend a small forest remnant to a healthy, weed-free native plant area that will provide opportunities for education, be visually appealing, provide habitat and food for indigenous plants and animals, as well as being a stepping stone for mobile birds such as tui and kereru.
Weta boxes will be installed, along with bird feeders throughout the area, especially near benches.
“We envisage an area of seating – enough for up to 30 students to sit together in an amphitheatre – that we will call the outdoor classroom. A place where classes can go to observe, think, draw, listen, feel, breathe and immerse themselves in the native bush.”
Work began on a small “bush remnant” at the school in 2001 with the removal of a fence to bring it back into the school grounds. So far progress has been largely reliant on donations or grants.
“To be able to plant 900 trees in one go and really do what we want with the place will be awesome,” she said.
Now the vision for the bush area is to extend it along the back fence and make a healthy, weed-free native plant area.
Click here for the full story in the Times. And enjoy these pics –