FUNDING from NSW Ports’ Community Grants Program has helped an Illawarra school install a new garden.

Lake Heights Public School was one of 17 grantees that received funding from the 2022 program.

Environmental projects, multicultural and First Nations initiatives, social services and local sport and school programs also received grants.

NSW Ports’ funding initiative aims to support groups working in community participation, community infrastructure and the environment and sustainability.

NSW Ports communications manager Brooke Eggleton said the program supports local, grassroots organisations that do “tremendous community work” in the areas surrounding the ports and intermodal terminals.

“Port Kembla has a long and celebrated history in the Illawarra that dates back well over a century,” Ms Eggleton said.

She said 99% of the port’s workforce living in the neighbourhoods surrounding the ports and terminals.

“Lake Heights Public School students and teachers do a spectacular job maintaining their outdoor garden program, which teaches kids about sustainability, healthy living, nutritious food and working as a team to harvest their produce,” she said.

“We’re so pleased to support a flourishing future for kids in the Illawarra.”

Lake Heights Public School received a grant to install vegetable pods (contained, raised gardening beds) and watering equipment at their outdoor garden for students.

Lake Heights Public School Principal Kieran Corbyn said the garden program was a popular part of the curriculum.

“We teach our students to care for their community and their environment and the garden program is an excellent way in which to instil these lessons, while building practical skills and a sense of ownership and responsibility,” Mr Corbyn said.

“Our students have a terrific time maintaining their gardens, harvesting what they grow and cooking healthy meals with one another – it’s just a fantastic program.

“I thank NSW Ports for their contribution to support this initiative.”