MONIQUE BATSON — Port Arthur LNG leading nonprofit support with 2nd annual Environmental Champions

Published 12:36 am Friday, February 24, 2023

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At the beginning of the current school year, students at Bob Hope High School launched the first agriculture program in Port Arthur.

With an idea that formed early last year, the institution began the 2022-23 academic campaign with a new agriculture instructor to focus on principles of agriculture, livestock production and small animal care/equine science.

And now, with only months left before summer break, students are learning first-hand how food goes from the farm to the table. They’ve planted a garden and built a chicken coop that is producing fertilized eggs. The sprouts from the garden feed the chickens, and their excrement is used in compost to fertilize the plants.

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“We have zero waste,” said instructor MacKenzie Morris. “It’s 100 percent cycled through.”

And this incredible program was funded in part by a grant from the inaugural Environmental Champions Initiative powered by Port Arthur LNG.

Last spring PALNG partnered with The Port Arthur News to award $55,000 to area nonprofits working toward community beautification, sustainability, environmental education and restoration programs.

In total, 13 groups received funding.

With assistance from the grant program, the Memorial High School Life Skills Department was able to begin a garden project where students could work with plants from seed to harvest. It was a project organizers wanted to initiate for years, but was delayed through funding and the pandemic. Last year, the Environmental Champions grant brought students one step closer to learning how to grow their own food.

The Gulf Coast Youth Soccer Club received a grant to allow for the planting of trees to help shade the 34-acre, 26-field soccer complex at the corner of Hogaboom Road and Twin City Highway.

And the Saltwater Anglers League of Texas (S.A.L.T.) was awarded funds to help clean up the north levee on Sabine Pass.

This year, Port Arthur LNG and The Port Arthur News are joining again for the second annual Environmental Champions Initiative, granting $60,000 to non-profits in Port Arthur and immediate surrounding communities with funding for projects specifically tied to bettering the environment.

But it’s just one of many ways Port Arthur LNG has worked to assist the community.

In late 2021, they partnered with The Port Arthur News for the first grant initiative — Season of Giving. Through that program, $25,000 was awarded to local nonprofits. The program continued for a second time in 2022 — this time with $55,000 going out into the community. Local food pantries received money to stock and help those in need. Organizations that provide the less fortunate with holiday toys and food also received the support needed to do so.

As the current president of the Rotary Club of Port Arthur, I can attest to how incredible that support can be to a nonprofit working to help those around it.

Each year we work to provide boxes of everything needed for a complete Thanksgiving dinner that is then distributed to economically disadvantaged families. In 2021, we were able to provide 125. But last year, due to inflation, we were unable to use our usual supplier. And with our budget alone, we would only be able to create 55 boxes. But through the help of Port Arthur LNG, we not only increased to 150 boxes, but students from Bob Hope High School helped box and deliver them.

We were able to practice community service while also teaching it.

The Port Arthur News is thrilled to be a part of yet another grant initiative from Port Arthur LNG as they continue to lift and beautify Southeast Texas.

Grant applications open in early March.

Monique Batson is Port Arthur Newsmedia editor. She can be reached at