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Work to do...Penni Naylor views the mural design. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

by Chris Tobin

Once Grantlea Downs School is fully operational, pupils will have an exciting project to complete.

The school was one of 10 from around New Zealand which won Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards for their environmental mural designs.

Schools, early childhood centres and youth groups were asked to submit a mural design celebrating either nature conservation or local history, and the winners were decided by a public vote.

“Our mural is still in the initial development stage and unfortunately the lockdown for Covid-19 meant that we were unable to complete [painting] it,” Grantlea Downs teacher aide Penni Naylor said.

“Our mural is celebrating the diverse culture of Grantlea Downs school whanau as well as the beautiful area [of] Timaru.

“It’s portraying the message we are all one nation and can live happily in harmony, despite our diverse cultural backgrounds, in our beautiful clean green country.”

Miss Naylor said the school had children from 20 different nationalities.

“So to help celebrate this, we decided to incorporate plants and animals from each of these countries, combining them with our local and national landscape into one mural.”

The mural was to be painted on the wall of a school building.

“It’s very exciting to be one of the winners. It’s great to be able to start back at school with such a positive project. We look forward to getting stuck in.”

The school received a $750 Resene paint voucher, a drop cloth and high vis vests to help it bring its design to life.

One other South Canterbury school, Glenavy School, was also among the 10 winners.