Horsham Downs Primary School recently saw a remarkable transformation, turning what was once a farmer’s paddock into a lively school sports field.

This ambitious project involved not only professional expertise but also the enthusiastic participation of the school’s students, making it a true community effort. The project was more than just landscaping; it included significant earthworks to create raised mounds on two sides of the field. These mounds serve a dual purpose: they block the view of the nearby Waikato Expressway and help reduce the noise, creating a more pleasant environment for the students.

When discussing the planting phase, the school suggested involving their EnviroSchool students. This idea sparked a wonderful opportunity to create an educational experience for the kids. To enhance their learning, the project leader [Michael Budd] prepared plant identification sheets with fun facts, making the process both informative and enjoyable. The planting days were held on Tuesday, 2nd and 3rd of July. On the first day, 90 students from various classes participated in three waves off about 30 kids each, spending between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours planting. The second day saw around 25 senior students contributing for about two hours. The students’ efforts were impressive, as they managed to plant the majority of the greenery, leaving only the more challenging areas for our Green by Nature team.

To show appreciation for the students’ hard work, our team donated Green by Nature drink bottles to all participants. The kids’ excitement upon receiving the bottles was heartwarming, showcasing the positive impact of involving them in such projects. Their enthusiasm was evident throughout the process, and they even affectionately nicknamed one of the project leaders [Michael Budd] “Mr. Green By Nature “.

The project was supported by a steady presence of parent helpers and teachers, ensuring the children were guided and supervised at all times. The collaborative effort extended beyond the students and professionals, making it a true community initiative. The school greatly valued the opportunity for their students to be involved in the planting process. After observing the construction of the sports field, the children had a chance to contribute to its completion, giving them a sense of ownership and pride in their school’s new facility. The standard of planting was exceptional, and the students’ commitment to the task was commendable. This project at Horsham Downs Primary School is a testament to the power of community involvement and the lasting impact of hands-on, educational experiences for young learners.

A special thank you to Steve Dunsmore (Horsham Downs School Principal), as well as Lisa De Vargas (School Representative) for allowing us to undertake a project like this.