Treemendous School Makeovers is a joint initiative between the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson. The project teaches children about the importance of caring for the environment through the development of outdoor classrooms. Canopy was recently involved in providing help with a concept and developing the Plan that was successful in receiving a $10, 000 grant for Central School. This is a big deal considering 100 schools applied and only 5 receive a grant.
In the words of Lynley Walters – Central Schools Enviro leader, teacher and securer of school makeover:
“Our vision is to create an area where the children can play and learn amongst the fauna and flora whilst also providing a natural home and ecosystem for local bird and animal life. Our school is part of a biodiversity corridor that connects local reserves and parks to the city. We are currently working in partnership with the Waimaori stream care project to develop and maintain the corridor, and the children have adopted a nearby stream to support this. We see this not only as a responsibility and also a taoanga.
The physical properties of the prospective area are based on the concept of a sensory garden. Each area within the design has been carefully thought through to stimulate each of the five senses. This stimulation occurs courtesy of the plants and materials used. These areas engage sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. Sensory gardens are becoming popular for both adults and children internationally, and are beneficial for all children particularly those with processing and sensory disorders.
When consulting with the children it was very apparent that they dreamed of a new magical and mysterious play area. School playgrounds can be somewhat one dimensional and not always stimulating or exciting for children. If not happily engaged in play, disputes and conflicts can occur.”
I am particularly keen on the planned quiet hammock space and am hoping to take my high energy kids here at the weekend once its up and ready. Lying back and watching the leaves sway in the wind sounds like an ideal weekend activity with the kids! but knowing my luck they will be more attracted to the noisy activities....