Secret valley rotunda gets bright mural
The Secret Valley in Pukerua Bay just got even brighter.
A project driven by artist Charlotte Sterck and Pukerua Bay School pupils has seen a mural painted in the rotunda of the Secret Valley bush walk.
It was completed in May after six weeks’ work by Sterck and the 24 pupils, who ranged in age from 5 to 11. The bush scene mural features weta and tui and native plants and trees.
Pupil Stella Gould said watching the project come together, from design to sketch stage to painting, was very satisfying.
‘‘I loved being part of it and was really glad to be part of the chosen group involved,’’ she said.
Pupils were down there over a number of Friday afternoons to complete the painting in April and May.
Pupil Eleanor Barr-Burns said animals on the mural were seen in the valley regularly and backgrounds were painted to match where the sun shone into the rotunda.
‘‘It was so cool to see it finished and knowing what we did towards it,’’ she said.
Pukerua Bay School principal Tara Taylor-Jorgensen said the mural ticked a number of boxes for her.
‘‘There was the art element of the curriculum, the sustainability message it was pushing, getting the kids out of the classroom, and having them participate in the community,’’ she said. ‘‘We want to have flexibility in how we teach and they learn, and something like this project achieves that.’’
The rotunda was often the victim of vandalism and rubbishdumping, but it was hoped the mural and recognised effort from the children would put this off, she said.
A follow-up activity for the pupils would be a stream cleanup, Taylor-Jorgensen said.
A planting project and clean-up of the Secret Valley was initiated by Pukerua Bay resident Tony Jackman in 2004. He said at the time that the area was so untidy and full of so much refuse that children were forbidden to play in there.
The Secret Valley is signposted at the end of Takutai Rd, near the entrance to Pukerua Bay railway station. The five-to-10 minute walk follows the Waimapihi Stream and there are sculptures and other things of interest to look out for.
Stella Gould, left, and Eleanor Barr-Burns from Pukerua Bay School in front of the mural inside the rotunda in the suburb’s Secret Valley.