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Winners Announced for Treemendous School Makeovers

Media Release

30 November 2009

Four New Zealand schools have been selected for the third round of annual Treemendous School Makeovers, a joint initiative between the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson.

Albany School (Auckland’s North Shore), Bucklands Beach Primary School (East Auckland), St. Joseph’s School (Waitara) and East Taieri School (Dunedin) were chosen from 94 applications to have their grounds enhanced with native tree gardens.

“The response we’ve had for the Treemendous initiative has been outstanding,” said

Andrew Clearwater, Chairman, Mazda Foundation. “We’ve completed eight school makeovers so far and we’ve noticed how many schools are viewing environmental education as an important part of the curriculum with many using their makeover areas as outdoor classrooms.”

The four school communities along with the Treemendous team will complete the makeovers during March and April 2010.

Albany School’s plan is to complete work on the school’s grove. The area was originally an ‘out of bounds’ area for students but will now be transformed into an outdoor learning area with 500 native trees to attract native birds.

The other winning Auckland school – Bucklands Beach Primary School – will upgrade an area on the edge of the playing field. The land once featured many Pohutukawa trees, however it has deteriorated over time and today has no wildlife, worn grass and only three Pohutukawa remaining.

In Taranaki, St. Joseph’s School students plan to convert a grassy area which was previously swamp into a native wetland to attract local birds and animals. The area currently floods every time there is heavy rain.

In Otago, East Taieri School will update its entrance and fence line with stylish boulders and native plants. The new-look entrance will complement the school’s mural and the plants will attract skink lizards. The school is working with the Department of Conservation and the University of Otago to preserve the local lizard population.

Bridget Abernethy, Executive Director, Project Crimson said the calibre of the applications was extremely high.

“It’s fantastic to see so many schools applying for the Treemendous programme. The judging process certainly wasn’t easy with the schools that applied puting so much creativity into their entries.”

All of this year’s unsuccessful applicants have been invited to have their entries automatically forwarded into next year’s competition and will be contacted again before the closing date to make any changes to applications.

About Project Crimson

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. Meridian Energy is the principal sponsor of the Project Crimson Trust. See http://

About the Mazda Foundation

The Mazda Foundation was established by Mazda New Zealand in 2005 as a public charitable trust to give assistance to a broad cross-section of causes, including the improvement of our natural environment and the advancement of our young people’s education. See http://


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