Bowen Rail Company sowing the seeds for a healthier local community
Queens Beach State School’s kitchen garden program is blooming thanks to a new grant from Bowen Rail Company (BRC) to support the region’s littlest green thumbs.
The Bowen state school was one of four recipients of the latest round of funding from BRC’s Community Partnership Program, which is designed to assist not-for-profit organisations and community groups with the purchase of small assets that can make a big difference.
Queens Beach is part of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program and teacher Bec Trask said the children learned about food through hands-on gardening, harvesting, and cooking.
“Thanks to the grant we’ve been able to expand the garden and have a bigger variety of fruit and vegetables for the kids to cook with,’’ Ms Trask said.
“That’s been a huge benefit to the students and the program, and it wouldn’t have been able to happen without Bowen Rail Company’s support.”
BRC General Manager Brendan Lane said the Community Partnership Program was one of the ways the organisation gave back to the community, which had so strongly supported the company as it established itself in Bowen.
“We’ve gone from having five or six staff in town in 2020 to well over 150 today as we safely run our rail operation from right here in Bowen,” Mr Lane said.
“As we have grown, so too has our connection to our community. We now have kids who go to school here, we have elderly parents who live here, and all of that drives the desire our people have to give back to Bowen.
“That’s why we’re so excited to see our Community Partnership Program used to support the delivery of activities and services that make a tangible contribution to this place we’re so lucky to live and work in.”
Bowen Rail Company’s Community Partnership Program was launched in 2022 and is awarded bi-annually in November and May.
In addition to the Queens Beach State School, other recipients from the May 2023 round included the Bowen Neighbourhood Centre, which BRC assisted to fit out its large meeting room with audio visual equipment to support community groups and small businesses to hold meetings and conferences.
Mr Lane said the Bowen Cricket club also received a grant to install lighting around the cricket nets so play can continue safely into the evening and Bowen Flexi Care used its grant to purchase new power tools including a leaf blower, lawn mower and whipper snipper for clients to use on gardening days.
For more information about Bowen Rail Company’s Community Partnership Program, or to apply, head to www.bowenrail.com.au/sustainability/community/
For more information about the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program visit www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au