MISSION: To foster dialogue, education, and collaboration on environmental issues in the Houston / Gulf Coast region.
Houston Environmental News Update March 4, 2014
- Urban Harvest Fruit Tree Sale. Come out for the next Urban Harvest Fruit Tree Sale on March 8, 2014, at the Eastside Farmers Market location (3000 Richmond Ave). The Fruit Tree Sale at the Saturday Farmers Market is a smaller version of the big sale Urban Harvest holds every January. There will be a variety of trees available for sale including, but not limited to: peaches, pomegranates, plums, apples, grapes, avocados, lemons, satsumas, and oranges. You’ll find an excellent selection and receive expertise on fruit tree care from the sellers while you do your weekly shopping at the farmers market. Get there early because supplies sell out fast! Find out more at http://urbanharvest.org.
- Stargazing at Jones Park. Come out to Jesse H. Jones Park and see the stars on March 8, 2014, at 7pm. Meet with a member of the North Houston Astronomy Club to discuss planets, stars, and constellations that are easily seen in the nighttime sky. Learn which points of light are stars, galaxies, other planets, and even satellites within our solar system. Participants are encouraged to bring their own telescope or binoculars, and guests of all ages are welcome. Reservations are required. www.hcp4.net
- Buffalo Bayou Regatta. Houstonians (ages 12 and up) are encouraged to participate in the 15-mile ACA sanctioned race along the scenic Buffalo Bayou at 9am on March 15, 2014. This is the largest canoe and kayak race in Texas! The starting line is at 7700 San Felipe (just west of Voss), and the race finishes at Sesquicentennial Park. You can enter competitively or paddle for pleasure. Those not wanting to paddle can catch the outdoor fun and cheer on the racers. Free live zydeco music, rock climbing, awards ceremony, and food and drinks will be available for sale at the finish line are at Sesquicentennial Park. Registration is $45 per person ($20 with student or military ID). Learn more at www.buffalobayou.org.
- Mercer Mart Plant Sale. March Mart is the largest plant sale in the Gulf Coast Region and serves as the major fund raiser for Mercer, Houston’s only botanic garden. There will be an enormous assortment of hard-to-find and unusual plants that thrive in Houston area gardens. Experienced horticulturists will assist in selecting that “just right” plant for your garden. The sale will be held March 13-15, 2014 at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens. Learn more at http://themercersociety.org.
- BTA Neches River Adventure. Enjoy a leisurely trip onboard the Ivory Bill on the ecologically diverse Neches River and into the Big Thicket National Preserve. The public nature tours are scheduled for each Saturday morning, March 1st through November 22nd, 10am-noon, and disembark at Riverfront Park in Beaumont. The tours include a Coast Guard certified captain, one first mate, and one BTA or National Parks facilitator. The tour boat is a 45 foot Coast Guard approved pontoon boat. The Ivory Bill’s amenities include a covered open air deck, comfortable perimeter seating for 48 people, on-board restroom, and public address system. Private Charters also available. Reservations are required, so call 409-651-5326 to reserve your seat! The next tour will be held on March 8, 2014. Learn more at www.nechesriveradventures.org.
- CWI Workshop: RESTORE Act. The next Clean Waters Initiative (CWI) workshop is set for March 12, 2014 from 1:30-4:30pm at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. Speakers include the Fish and Wildlfe Service, Katy Prairie Conservancy, Galveston Bay Foundation, and the National Wildlife Federation. Register now here. For more information, call 832-681-2524 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Houston Green Film Series: Bringing It Home. Houston Green Film Series presents Bringing It Home, on March 19, 2014, at the Rice Cinema Media Center. The film is about industrial hemp as a building material. Doors open at 6:30pm so you can enjoy conversation and a light dinner – graciously provided by Dr. Pat Speckand Dry Bones Cafe – before the movie screens at 7pm. The Bringing it Home website summarizes: “A father’s search to find the healthiest building materials leads him to the completion of the nation’s first hemp house. Hemp with lime is a non-toxic, energy efficient, mildew, fire and pest resistant building material. The drawback — industrial hemp is currently illegal to farm in the U.S.A. Industrial hemp is a non-psychoactive plant, grown in 31 other countries that makes 1,000′s of sustainable products and offers solutions for global warming, nutrition, poverty and deforestation.” More at www.facebook.com.
- Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition Annual Meeting. The Annual Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition Meeting will be held from 11:30am-1pm on March 20, 2014, at Hyatt Houston North. The keynote speaker is Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, who will speak about the issues affecting the region and our watershed. Join GBCC to honor Houston Mayor Annise Parker for her inspiring leadership on the Bayou Greenways Initiative. Outstanding volunteers, community partners, and sustaining members will be recognized. Come enjoy the company and hear about the great accomplishments of 2013! Individual seats are $75. Learn more at http://greensbayou.org.
- Garden Architecture: Design & Placemaking in the Bayou City. Architecture Center Houston is requesting submissions of Garden Architecture, Garden Designs and Installations for an exhibit to be held at Architecture Center Houston May 22, 2014 to July 18, 2014. ArCH is looking for projects that are representative of exceptional place-making through the lens of garden design in the Houston area. Categories for entry include built and un-built work. Private and public spaces will be considered. Projects will be evaluated based on quality of design, quality of construction for completed projects, and relevance to the Garden Architecture theme. The submission deadline is March 28, 2014. If you have any questions, contact email@example.com or (713) 520-0155. Learn more about submission requirements at https://aiahouston.org.
- Mercer Moments: Your Livable Garden Radio Show. Every Saturday or Sunday morning. Shawn and Blinda Kelley will chat and chuckle about various gardening topics and the best plants to grow in Houston, while featuring Mercer staff members on the show. The radio show airs Saturday mornings from 6-8am on Houston’s KSEV 700 AM and on Sundays from 9-11am on KPRC 950 AM. The next time to listen will be March 8, 2014, from 9-11am. Learn more at www.hcp4.net.
- Design the Prize. The Rice Design Alliance invites Houston-area architecture students and young design professionals to design and fabricate the prize that will be awarded to SPOTLIGHT winners for the next five years. Students at the Rice School of Architecture, the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston, the School of Architecture at Prairie View A&M University, and design professionals residing in the Houston area who graduated from an accredited program since 2000 may submit digital conceptual drawings and descriptions of their three-dimensional object January 27 through March 17, 2014. The competition will occur in two phases: design and production. Evaluated by a seven-member RDA competition jury, these phases will proceed according to the following schedule: Call for entries: January 31; Deadline: March 17; Announcement of semi-finalists: April 4; Deadline for semi-finalists to submit prototype: May 19; Announcement of winner: May 30; Deadline for winner to complete and deliver first award: August 8. The remaining four awards must then be delivered to RDA in Anderson Hall at Rice University by January 31, 2015. Learn more here.
- 2014 Arbor Day Award Nominations. Trees For Houston is asking for you to help them honor Houstonians who have demonstrated their commitment to planting, protecting, and promoting trees. Nominate people, businesses, community groups, governmental agencies, and foundations whose exceptional contributions in the last year have made Houston a greener city. Winners will be recognized at the thirteenth annual Arbor Day Awards. Nominations can be based upon donations, planting projects, and preservation work. Please be specific. Include the number of trees, where they were planted, how funds were raised, what plant protected trees, and what programs were adopted. Please send photographs. The deadline for nominations is April 1, 2014. Please fax (713-840-8734), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or mail (Post Office Box 270477 Houston, Texas 77277) nominations to Katherine Bravo, Trees for Houston. More at www.treesforhouston.org.
- Walk for the Woods Project – Save the Date! The 3rd Annual Walk for the Woods Project will be held on April 5, 2014, at 10am at Neighborhood Centers, Inc – Ripley House. Walk for the woods is a 5K walk that will take you on a journey through Houston’s historic East End, where many of The Woods Project’s students live and play. This walk raises money for The Woods Project, which is an organization that seeks to develop leadership capacity and life skills in low income youth through a series of outdoor education/environmental awareness programs at wilderness sites in the United States. Save the date for this great event and learn more at www.thewoodsproject.org.
- Rice Design Alliance Summer Study Tour of Santiago, Chile. Join RDA June 8-14, 2014 as members travel south to take in the architecture of Santiago, Chile. Rice School of Architecture Professor Carlos Jiménez and noted architectural historian Stephen Fox will be the guides for a one-week journey to the country’s capital and cultural, political, and financial center, as well as nearby Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. Please visit ricedesignalliance.org to read more.
AgriLife Extension Urban Farmer Lecture Series. The Urban Farmer Lecture Series of Harris County AgriLife Extension is an in-depth training opportunity designed to strengthen the knowledge of those operating a small agricultural business in an urban setting. This lecture series will apply to those operating on several hundred acres down to those operating on a few hundred square feet. Whether you are brand new to farming or have many years behind you or if you simply have an interest in farming; this lecture series will give you over 30 hours of valuable education on all aspects of farming, small animal production, and marketing your products. Topics include soil building and fertilization, goat production & management, food laws/organic vs. sustainable, aquaponics/hydroponics, small scale vegetable production, marketing for your products, garden weeds/IPM, fruit & nut production, and backyard poultry production. The fee for the workshop series is $250 per individual; 375 per couple. Tuition covers all meals, resource books, handouts, reference materials, and guest lecture transportation costs. The series will begin on March 4, 2014, and will continue on consecutive Tuesday evenings from 6-8:30pm through April 15, 2014. For more information and to register, call Diana at 281-855-5614. The series will be limited to the first 30 participants, so don’t hesitate to register!
- Renewable Energy: Need for Governmental Support? Join UH Energy for the last topic in the 2013-2014 Energy Symposium Series on March 4, 2014, from 6:30-8pm at the Hilton University of Houston, Waldorf-Astoria Ballroom. This presentation will feature guest speakers including Congressman Gene Green – 29th District of Texas, Robert L. Bradley Jr. – Institute for Energy Research, and Moderator: Jimmy Glotfelty – Clean Line Energy. The event is free and open to the public. Learn more and RSVP at www.eventbrite.com.
Emissions Banking and Trading Stakeholder Group Meetings. Emissions Banking and Trading Stakeholder Group meetings have been scheduled to discuss and seek stakeholder input on issues for consideration during upcoming revisions to the Emissions Banking and Trading rules in Chapter 101, Subchapter H, Division 1, Division 3, Division 4, and Division 6. The goal of the group is to seek stakeholder input on issues related to the Emissions Banking and Trading Programs in 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 101, Subchapter H. The stakeholder group is open to the public and anyone interested may attend these meetings. There will be three meetings in the Houston area. Two will be held on March 3, 2014, from 2-4pm and 6-8pm, and the third will be held on March 4, 2014, from 9-11am. These meetings will be held at the Houston-Galveston Area Council, Conference Room A (3555 Timmons, Suite 120). Find out more at www.tceq.texas.gov.
5th Annual Texas Green Home & Living Show. With the theme, “Water Matters” set for the 5th Home & Living Show, event organizers have booked LaVerne Williams, AIA, LEED AP, who is one of the nation’s top green building professionals and a Texas pioneer of energy-efficient green home design that strives for sustainability to keynote the show on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at the San Marcos Activity Center at 11am. The 5th Annual Texas Green Home & Living Show will bring together hundreds of homeowners and business people for a great day of exhibits, speakers and demonstrations focused on providing all participants with many tools and resources to help them move toward a cleaner and greener future. February 21st is the cut-off to receive Early Bird discount pricing on booth fees. Booth rental fees range from $225 – $325. In addition to great speakers and panel discussions, the Show will feature tips on water conservation and the growing use of gray water, recycling, and earth-friendly products. There’s something for everyone. And admission is free! www.texasgreenshow.org
Environmental Health and Safety Training 2014. The Environmental Health and Safety Training is a unique three day symposium which will cover a variety of environmental compliance-related topics and will present the most current regulatory information. The symposium targets HBCUs and others who have a need to know more about environmental compliance and provide the knowledge needed to avoid costly fines. The symposium will be held March 12, 2014 to March 14, 2014, at Texas Southern University; Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs. Learn more and register at www.dscej.org.
- Environmental Awareness Night at the Toyota Center. The Houston Rockets Events Department is looking for environmental awareness organizations to come out to the Toyota Center on March 17, 2014, to promote their organization. This is a great opportunity to discuss environmental concerns and educate Rockets fans on what they can do to improve the environment. Organizations are welcome to set up their area with exciting green decorations and displays. Many children will be in attendance, so organizations are encouraged to bring educational materials aimed at these younger fans. However, attending organizations must refrain from bringing flyers or making political speeches. To learn more, contact Deborah Khama by email, email@example.com, or phone, 713-758-7284.
Save the Date! Planning for Disaster Resilience Symposium. This symposium commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center (HRRC) by bringing together past and current HRRC faculty fellows to discuss contributions to the fields of hazards and urban planning research, emphasizing the importance of the intersection of urban planning and hazards as critical for community resilience. Panel discussion topics include: Hazard Mitigation; Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning; Recovery and Adaptation; and Interpretations for Practice. The symposium will be held April 4-5, 2014, at the Texas A&M University at College Station, Langford Architecture Center. The cost is $100 ($35 for students). Learn more at http://hrrc.arch.tamu.edu.
- Request for Concept Papers for AmeriCorps VISTA Program. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Texas State Office seeks Concept Papers for the AmeriCorps VISTA program from innovative, high-performing and outcome-driven organizations that share the AmeriCorps VISTA mission to provide long term solutions to poverty. This Request for Concept Paper (RFCP) is for placement of VISTA members contingent on Fiscal Year 2014 federal budget decisions. Organizations interested in sponsoring an AmeriCorps VISTA project in Texas are invited to submit a Concept Paper to the Corporation for National and Community Service Texas State Office through the online eGrants system. Learn more at www.nationalservice.gov. The deadline for Concept Paper Submission is April 14, 2014.
- TV: Texas Parks & Wildlife. Broadcast on KUHT Channel 8 at 3:00 PM each Saturday and on municipal access cable channels in Baytown, Deer Park, Houston, Nassau Bay, Pasadena, Seabrook, Sugar Land, and on HCC TV. More info on the TPWD website (* indicates a segment about the Houston area).
- Chasing a Ghost – Ivory Billed Woodpecker
- 50 Years Later, Same Photo
- A Place to Hunt
- Lift, Drift, Pole, Troll
- Air Quality Forecast. http://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/monops/forecast_today.html. Houston Clean Air Network and Realtime Ozone Mapping: http://houstoncleanairnetwork.com.
- March 4, 2014: Green–Good. Moderate winds, cold temperatures, and low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the “Good” range statewide.
- March 5, 2014: Green–Good. Moderate winds and low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the “Good” range statewide.
- March 6, 2014: Green–Good. Moderate winds and low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the “Good” range statewide.
- Freight route study comes with environmental commitment (Dug Begley – Houston Chronicle, 2/26/2014)
Regional transportation officials Friday approved their part of a $2 million feasibility study for a freight route along the western side of the Houston area, pledging to include environmental groups wary of the road plan in the process. Members of the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s transportation policy board approved spending $500,000 to study the proposed Highway 36A, envisioned to stretch from Port Freeport to Texas 6. Southern stretches of the proposed road would mostly widen existing highways. It is the northern third of the project, which cuts through the Katy Prairie, that has drawn concern from local environmental and preservation groups. The prairie is one of the last pristine natural areas in southeast Texas, and home to significant bird and plant populations. In a nod to the concerns and the prairie, transportation officials in the resolution approving the study funding noted “protection and enhancement of these resources are a necessary outcome in the assessment of feasible transportation alternatives.”
- Green groups want city to trash recycling plan (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle, 2/25/2014)
Some environmental groups are urging the city to dump the “One Bin for All” plan, which would allow residents to mix trash, recyclables, yard clippings and other waste in one container. The refuse would be sorted automatically at a facility to be built and operated by a private firm as part of a larger effort to divert garbage from landfills. The Texas Campaign for the Environment and other environmental groups say the city’s plan is flawed because the messy mix of waste would contaminate recyclables and diminish their value. Also, the proposed plant potentially would burn waste and harm air quality for neighbors, the groups said. Instead the groups want the city to adopt a zero-waste strategy in which curbside recycling is expanded to all houses, apartment complexes and businesses.
- Map shows areas in Houston with higher risks of cancer (News Fix, 2/26/2014)
The Rice Design Alliance used data from the Environmental Protection Agency to create a map of the areas in Houston with higher risks of developing cancer. The neighborhoods closer to the Ship Channel and downtown are at the top of the list. Houston has a large spot of cancer risk at the 75-150 per million range on the East side of town. Pollution, toxins, and the presence of an industrial complex could be some of the causes.
- Urban Harvest seeks Director of Development
- ECONOTES 2014-03-04: Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region
- Galveston Bay Foundation Photo Contest – Call for Submissions
- Galveston Bay Foundation seeks Galveston Bay Report Card Coordinator
- Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge seeks students for summer employment
- Artist Boat seeks Educator/Interpreter
- Sign up for the Houston Rockets Environmental Awareness Night
- Houston Environmental News Update February 25, 2014
- ECONOTES 2014-02-25: Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region