21 May 2021

Recycling, gardening and monitoring for invasive fish species are among 11 school environmental projects set to receive a $1,000 boost under North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation’s (NQBP’s) 2021 EcoPorts program.

Each year, NQBP’s environmental grants program provides grants of up to $1,000 to schools within NQBP’s port communities. This year, NQBP received 11 outstanding applications and all were successful in qualifying for the grants.

NQBP Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Fertin congratulated all the schools on their initiatives and said each of the projects will promote sustainability within their schools and communities.

“After pausing the EcoPorts program last year, it was very pleasing to be able to support schools from across our North Queensland port communities once again.”

“These grants will help establish kitchen gardens and recycling programs and assist students in monitoring water quality and invasive fish species in local waterways,” Mr Fertin said.

EcoPorts grant recipients: Walkerston State School

“Importantly, the projects will help local students grow their knowledge and appreciation of the environment.

“Each year, we enjoy seeing our EcoPorts grants at work, assisting a diverse range of sustainability projects.

Walkerston State School principal Darren Russell said the school is delighted to be selected to participate in this year’s EcoPorts grants program.

“As a first-time EcoPorts grant recipient, we’re extremely excited to be part of this year’s program and, together with NQBP, create a herb and vegetable garden at our school,” Mr Russell said.

“Our environmental project will teach our students about sustainable gardening and show them that growing food or creating a new garden is good for the environment and is easy to do. This is something I believe each student can take home and put into practice within the community.”

NQBP’s EcoPorts grants are offered annually to schools located in NQBP’s port communities of Hay Point, Mackay, Bowen and Weipa.

2021 EcoPorts grants recipients


  • Mackay District Special School – A "Cash for Cans" recycle program for students with disabilities. This project will also lead to future post-school options for students on Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement pathways, either in volunteer or paid work.
  • Holy Spirit College (secondary school) - Recycling stations. Implementation of several recycling stations around the school to promote the importance/benefits of recycling.
  • Mackay Christian College - School Garden/Interactive Play Space – i.e. converting a long, tyre-based retaining wall into class gardens and play spaces. This project would promote the importance of recycling materials (tyres) in creating practical and sustainable solutions.
  • St Joseph’s Catholic School – Chicken Coop and Vegetable Garden. This project will encourage children to engage with nature and animals and will help them understand the importance of sustainability, and responsible and positive environmental practices.
  • Walkerston State School - Kitchen Garden, Composting and Worm Farm Extension. This will help teach students about sustainable gardening and shows them that growing food or creating a new garden is good for the environment and easy to do.
  • Mackay North State High School - Compost and Recycling Bins. The project would promote composting and recycling throughout the school, saving unnecessary items going into landfill.
  • Pioneer State High School - Aquatic Drone Program. The program teaches students the technical elements of piloting a tethered drone and is linked to environmental management and resource use. Funding would allow the expansion of the program to involve Slade Point State School and to subsidise the cost of excursions to the Mackay Marina.
  • Glenella State School – Fish in Schools Project. The project will work with the Fish in Schools program, an Australia New Guinea Fishes Association initiative aimed at conserving local freshwater fish species and educating students about the impact of invasive fish.


  • Bowen State School – Kitchen Garden. The Kitchen Garden will teach students how to grow fruit and vegetables and promote healthier food messages to the school community.
  • Queens Beach State school - Kitchen Garden. Students will learn how to grow vegetables, fruit and herbs that will be used in classroom recipes to encourage children to eat healthier.


  • St Joseph’s Weipa – a Shade Cover for existing school garden (a previous EcoPorts project). A shade cover will provide shade for plants that are not hardy and sun tolerant and will offer sun protection for students looking after the garden.

Image for download

  • Image | Caption: Celebrating their EcoPorts grant - Walkerston State School students Jasper, Montana, Logan, Jonathon, Cooper, Charlize and Gemma and Principal Mr Darren Russell.

North Queensland Bulk Ports Contact:
Lorelei van Dalen | Community Relations Advisor
0459 788 235 | lvandalen@nqbp.com.au