TREEmendous – a joint initiative between the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson, teaches children about the importance of caring for the environment through the development of amazing outdoor classrooms for teachers and students to reconnect with nature.The initiative is about encouraging environmental education in schools, along with teaching children and the wider community about the importance of caring for the environment.Ruud Kleinpaste, the ‘Bugman’, is an ambassador for the project who takes environmental education to the next level at TREEmendous events. Ruud brings his insect friends along and teaches the children about New Zealand’s native bugs and the importance of looking after the environment.Check out treemendous.org.nz for more information and examples.
- a classroom space with tree logs and rocks for seating and tables and an outdoor blackboard
- timber wigwam/teepee structures formed as a basic frame of timber and then left for students to add ‘cladding’ in the form of branches and leaves etc.
- a forest clearing beneath existing mature native trees. This space will be flexible and encourage creativity, imaginative play, ‘loose-parts’ play and general ‘free-play’ as well as being a ‘zen’ space for mindfulness and contemplation during quieter times
- pathways that link the outdoor classroom, the forest clearing and the beehive area
- native planting throughout the TREEmendous area and the plant species will be those that provide habitat and food to native birds, lizards and insects
- a wildflower meadow to provide food for our bees and for other pollinators, insects and butterflies
- fruit trees and a vegetable garden will be planted for morning tea and lunchtime harvesting
- a rainwater harvesting feature connecting to a nearby downpipe to water the vegetable garden, the fruit trees, the native planting and to fill up drinking water stations for the birds, lizards, insects and bees
- we will undertake ongoing pest monitoring using tracking tunnels, chew cards and wax tags
- students will construct bird houses, insect hotels and lizard habitat using recycled and natural materials.
We are very excited that we are going to become a TREEmendous school. Congratulations to the Eco-Warriors!