Loading store
Loading store
WishlistStore FinderGift Cards

Sensory garden for Blaketown School

Date: December 2022

Helping Hand: Mitre 10 MEGA Greymouth

Project: New sensory garden for Blaketown School

 

Blaketown School kids in Greymouth are thrilled to have a new sensory garden, courtesy of Mitre 10 MEGA Greymouth Helping Hands and local community support.

The low decile school on the west coast has several students with sensory processing disorders, and so Principal Christine Smith planned the creation of the garden to provide therapeutic benefits for the kids to enhance educational outcomes.

Knowing it would take an age to fundraise for the project, the school planned to build it in stages over a number of years. However, after approaching the local Mitre 10 MEGA store for discounted timber, Owner Dave Smith decided to fund the initiative as a Mitre 10 Helping Hands project. 

As well as providing a connection with nature, and challenges to help build motor skills, importantly the garden would help academic learning through increased concentration from the soothing effects of the sensory experiences, which include sound instruments.

“I’ve already seen kids better able to focus on tasks through finding comfort in this little oasis. They feel it’s a calming, peaceful and safe space. Kids now choose the garden for quiet time to concentrate on their work, instead of escaping to the trees in the field,” said Christine.  “Another has said he feels the social nooks are like a big hug.”

Mitre 10 MEGA Greymouth supplied materials and plants as well as volunteers, BBQ lunches and Building Consultant Stan Scott to help complete the community effort which took three days. Students, teachers, parents and local Polytechnic students also got stuck in, as well as Dan Miller from Onus Projects who spearheaded the project on behalf of the school. 

Store Owner Dave Smith said “Being a west coast-owned business, we’re big on local community support and love to get behind projects that make a tangible difference to people’s lives.”

As well as rocks and native plants, the garden includes balance beams and stepping logs, timber social nooks for interacting, a giant xylophone (donated by West Coast Community Trust), a rainmaker machine, tyre planters, pergola, a patio and stage and a colourful mural made from plastic bottle tops - designed and made by the kids. The gravel was kindly supplied by Westroads.

Christine said the garden is open to the wider community outside of school hours, and already local elderly residents have expressed delight at being able to sit in it for hours for peace and solace. 

 
Before
Before
Before
After
After
After
After
After
After
After
After
After