Celebrate groups chosen to receive $55K in Environmental Champions grant funds

Published 12:40 am Sunday, March 27, 2022

Several service groups in Mid and South County will be receiving grant money next month as part of the Port Arthur LNG Environmental Champions Initiative powered by The Port Arthur News.

The partnership, anchored to Earth Day, is dividing $55,000 in grant money to area groups that are working to better the environment.

“As a company committed to environmental stewardship, Port Arthur LNG wanted to continue to encourage community organizations to engage in projects to help make our communities a greener and cleaner place to work, live and play,” said Sempra LNG Senior Manager of External Affairs Kelly Prasser.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“The quality of the environmental programs proposed by the organizations that applied was impressive, and we look forward to the positive impact they will have on the community.”

Applications were open from March 1-15, and on March 23 a panel of five community representatives met to select the winning organizations and the amount they would receive.

“I am privileged I had the opportunity to represent Port Arthur LNG in this outreach to local organizations working to beautify and improve our environment in the Mid County area,” said Kenneth Klutts, Port Arthur LNG lead environmental inspector.

Klutts served alongside Port Arthur Councilman Thomas Kinlaw, Bob Hope High School Campus Director Jesus Acosta, OTRA Hispanic Media Owner Fernando Ramirez and Port Arthur Newsmedia Sports Editor Chris Moore.

Together, the panel selected the following groups to receive funding:

  • The Willie Carter Outreach Center, located in Port Arthur, is a non-profit that provides free peer-based recovery support in mental health and substance abuse. The Carter Outreach Center requested funding for the Juneteenth 2022 Goes Green beautification projects, for which they will restore information boards, replace flowerbeds, paint bleachers and refresh playground equipment at Barbara Jacket Park.
  • Memorial Life Skills operates within Memorial High School science department. With the funds, department leaders plan to build a garden as a cooperative effort between special education and general education students. The goal, according to their grant application, is to teach the children how to grow food from seed to vegetable.
  • The Golden Triangle Audubon Society will be working to remove invasive, non-native species at Sabine Woods Bird Sanctuary and replace them with native plants.
  • Port Arthur Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. is a non-profit with plans to show Top Teens about the importance of volunteering by adding flowers to Carver Terrace Park and sponsor monthly park cleanup events.
  • Bob Hope High School will be creating a sustainable garden and chicken coop. In the application, Director of Development Kelsey Borza said, “One goal of this project is to introduce students to the environmentally friendly creation of a garden on school property. Another goal is to teach high school students how raising chickens for egg production can help the environment.”
  • The Gulf Coast Youth Soccer Club is planning to add up to two dozen oak trees to the complex to provide shade as well as beautification to the area at the corner of Twin City Highway and Hogaboom Road.
  • Dick Dowling Lions Club in Sabine Pass plans to upgrade landscaping at the community center, replace lost trees in the area, and add landscaping to Lions Park.
  • Sea Rim State Park will be rebuilding the Gambusia Nature Trail and Boardwalk that had to be removed. While the entire project that creates an almost mile-lone ADA friendly nature walk will cost $500,000, the group has been soliciting grant funds from a multitude of organizations in order to meet their goal.
  • Salt Club, which is a Pleasure Island cleanup organization, will be working to clean North Levee and South Levee roads while also educating youth on the effects littering has on the environment.
  • The Nederland Economic Development Corp. will be landscaping and adding trees along Atlanta Avenue where it has recently purchased property to construct new businesses.
  • Building Our Children Ministry Inc. is an education program that hosts field trips for students in kindergarten through 8th They hope to organize more cleanup initiatives and plant trees and flowers.

Representatives from each organization will be presented with checks during a reception April 6 at the Texas Artists Museum.