Environmental Champions celebrated; Port Arthur LNG helping fund projects throughout the city

Published 12:20 am Friday, April 12, 2024

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For Coach Bradford Coleman wants his Port Arthur Jr. Bees to know there’s more to sports than the game.

Coleman teaches the youth about responsibility for the community and about giving back.

And now, as one of the recipients of the Environmental Champions Grant Initiative, Cole’s Jr. Bees and their families are going to take part in a McFaddin Beach cleanup this summer.

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The third annual Environmental Champions Grant Initiative powered by Port Arthur LNG and in partnership with The Port Arthur News held a reception Thursday honoring the organizations that were awarded the grants at the Museum of the Gulf Coast.

Another grant recipient, Bob Hope School, will use their grant funds to continue a high school agriculture program.

Kelsey Borza, fund developer, said the school is thrilled to be a recipient of another Charter Champion Award from Port Arthur LNG.

So far they have built a chicken coop with chickens, a goat enclosure with three goats and this year are building a greenhouse and hydroponic garden.

“The students are very excited about being able to grow vegetables year-round,” Borza said.

Kelly Prasser, director, external affairs, Sempra Infrastructure, introduced Port Arthur LNG General Manager William Gurrola and Chris Fortenberry, who will head operations at the facility.

Prasser also introduced representatives of Bechtel Energy Inc. who are constructing the terminal, and are partners in the grant initiative.

The goal

Prasser said Port Arthur LNG has spent more than $350,000 since 2019 on environmental projects in Port Arthur and Sabine Pass.

The idea behind Environmental Champions is to inspire innovation and involvement in making local communities cleaner, greener and a more sustainable place to work and live.

“And our focus, our goal was to find local organizations like yours, that align with our desire to really build environmental champions environmental stewards,” she said. “We’re thrilled to be able to distribute grants that are going to fund projects, ranging from community cleanups and beautification to garden projects and hydroponic systems, to hands on environmental experiences.”

Grant recipients

  • Port Arthur Jr. Bees — McFaddin Beach cleanup this summer for youth and their families
  • Chosen Generation Evangelistic Ministries – Renewal Roots project: Landscaping/lawn maintenance project throughout the summer serving veterans, elderly and disabled community members.
  • Golden Triangle Audubon Society – Beautification of wildlife preservation property and restoration of small native wildflower meadows.
  • Bob Hope School – Greenhouse project with their agriculture program. Greenhouse and hydroponics system to produce food to help maintain previously funded goat and chicken coop.
  • Triangle Community Outreach, Inc. – Vegetable and fruit garden project maintained by the kids in their programs. The produce is used in their food pantries.
  • Beaumont Dream Center – Greenhouse and aquaponics project to grow vegetables for their food pantry. Volunteers and residents in recovery programs maintain these gardens.
  • Dick Dowling Lions Club – Bert Karrer Lions Park maintenance, beautification and annual clean-up project.
  • Big Thicket Association – Free environmental field trip education classes for local school, STEM activities and field labs.
  • Friends of Sea Rim – Purchase and installation of refillable water bottle stations at Sea Rim State Park.
  • Museum of the Gulf Coast – Museum beautification and sustainability project.
  • S.A.L.T. Club – Sabine Area – Pleasure Island beautification project as well as their annual Pleasure Island Cleanup Tournament that encourages recreational fishing among students.

The grants were open to qualifying 501c3 and 501c4 community based organizations.