Se­cret val­ley ro­tunda gets bright mu­ral

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

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.

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