Houston Environmental News Update March 7, 2018

Worried about what to do with the kids? Get back to nature this spring break!

  • Spring Break Camp: Mammals, Friend or Fur? This all day event is for human mammals ages 4-12. Come and learn more about this diverse and fascinating group of creatures and get to know some of the special mammals that live right here in Texas. Visit the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center website to sign up.
  • co-Art Camp – Artist Boat 2018:  Campers ages 5-12 will experience true science and art enrichment with the creation of shark mania Eco-Art, running March 12-16. Each camper will create high quality art projects to inspire people to conserve our Gulf Coast. Visit artistboat.org to learn more, or register by calling 409-770-0722.
  • Spring into Nature–Spring Break Camp in Baytown: We only have one Earth! Discover ways to keep it beautiful and clean. Explore water, land, and air during this week of appreciating Earth’s natural beauty. Learn more and register at Baytown.org.

Of course, this is when the number of environmental outings really ramp up. The Memorial Park Conservancy Brunch Run, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta, Mercer Arboretum’s March Mart, the Tour de Houston, Trash Bash (T), Bayou Greenways Day, the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb, the Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium, Houston ToolBank’s Hammers and Ales, and the Boomin’ and Bloomin’ Attwater Prairie Chicken Festival are just are just a few of the big upcoming events. And then, of course, there’s Earth Day Houston on April 22, 2018. Check out the CEC online calendar for hundreds of events in the area. (And, if we are missing anything, email [email protected] with the scoop.)

Photo Credit: Tiffany Norman of the Houston Parks Board share this photo–from last year’s Bayou Greenways Day. This year’s event, on the 24th, is just one of many amazing events coming up.


Earth Day Houston: Call for Exhibitors, Speakers, and Sponsors

Please mark your calendars for Earth Day Houston on Sunday, April 22, 2018, from noon to 6 pm at Discovery Green park! Hosted in partnership with the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Discovery Green’s citywide Earth Day celebration–presented by Green Mountain Energy–is designed to inspire, educate, and encourage action. The event features displays, exhibits and booths on topics ranging from alternative energy to recycling methods, a foodie farmers market, Canned Acoustica, recycling, and more.

The Citizens’ Environmental Coalition is currently accepting applications for exhibitors for the Earth Day festival. If you are interested in being a sponsor or corporate volunteering, please email [email protected]

Houston Green Film Series: Before the Flood – April 21, 2018
If you could know the truth about the threat of climate change — would you want to know? Before the Flood, presented by National Geographic, features Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand. He goes on expeditions with scientists uncovering the reality of climate change and meets with political leaders fighting against inaction. He also discovers a calculated disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful special interests working to confuse the public about the urgency of the growing climate crisis. With unprecedented access to thought leaders around the world, DiCaprio searches for hope in a rising tide of catastrophic news. April 21, 2018, at Rice Media Center. 6:30 PM conversation, networking, and a light meal; 7:00 PM screening. Free to the public, though donations are kindly appreciated. Learn more on the Facebook event page.

Scroll down to read notes from our member organizations and the community, or view the emailed version of the newsletter, which includes a green job listing.

We have tried to confirm the events listed below, but not all organizations have updated their websites. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts.

  1. Sierra Club Monthly Meeting: Prairie Presentation
    On Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018, join Houston Sierra Club for the monthly meeting. Doors open at 7:00 PM, and the program starts at 7:30 PM. Everyone is welcome. Guest speakers will be Stephen Benigno and Andrew Newman of the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD), who will update us on their prairie restoration projects. As many prairie enthusiasts know, no two prairies are the same. HCFCD manages a handful of sites with the intent to restore coastal prairie habitat. And while the restoration of a diverse, resilient, and functioning prairie is the ultimate goal, the reasons for restoring them are vastly different. Mr. Benigno and Mr. Newman will discuss the means, methods, and outcomes for restoring these coastal prairies, as well as the benefits they provide to Harris County. Learn more at sierraclub.org.
  2. PictureMemorial Park Conservancy Brunch Run
    Memorial Park Conservancy’s Brunch Run will be held on Mar. 10, 2018, at the East Memorial Loop, south of Arnot. The morning will begin with the Kid’s 1K race, followed by the 4-mile run/walk. Registration includes participation in the race, a t-shirt, a free fundraising page, and access to the post-race party, featuring food trucks and other vendors. The Memorial Park Conservancy will also present multiple awards to the Brunch Run’s top racers. To register for the Run or to sign up to volunteer, visit raceroster.com.For more information, visit brunchrun.org or contact [email protected]
  3. 46th Annual Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta
    Join the Buffalo Bayou Partnership for Texas’ largest canoe and kayak race – the 46th Annual Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta on Mar. 10, 2018, from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. Paddlers, ages 12 and up, are encouraged to participate in the 15-mile race along the scenic Buffalo Bayou. Whether you are entering competitively or paddling for pleasure, you won’t want to miss out on this longstanding Houston tradition! Trophies will be awarded to the top three paddlers in Teams, Recreational Canoe, Recreational Kayak, and Unlimited Divisions. For more information, visit buffalobayou.org.
  4. City of Houston to Consider Floodplain Ordinance–input deadlines extended
    The City of Houston is considering revisions to Chapter 19 to ensure new dwellings are built high enough to save lives and property in the event of flooding. The public is encouraged to provide input on the proposed changes to Chapter 19 through March 5, 2018. Learn more about the proposed changes at houstonrecovers.org. The ordinance will be presented to Council on March 21, 2018.
  5. Houston Wilderness’s Great Green Quest Scholarship Opportunity
    Houston Wilderness is excited to announce a new “Careers in Conservation” graduate-level scholarship program that will be open to interns and staff of their Network Partners. Houston Wilderness is planning to offer five $1,000 scholarships in 2018.  Download the 2018 Great Green Quest Scholarship Application. Deadline to submit is Friday, March 9, 2018.
  6. Mercer Arboretum’s March Mart
    Due to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey to Mercer Botanic Gardens, the NorthSide Growing Compound and The Mercer Society Gift and Plant Shoppe, the 2018 March Mart will be abbreviated to a one-day event with a special VIP Membership Level Reception and Pre-Sale event on the evening prior to the sale.The following dates have been set for the March Mart Plant Sale and Fundraising event: Friday, March 16, 2018 – VIP Membership Level Reception and Pre-Sale 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm and Saturday, March 17, 2018 – All Membership Level Sale – 8:00 am – 10:00 am – General Public – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. For more information. visit themercersociety.org.
  7. Tour de Houston
    Tour de Houston, presented by Apache Corporation, is a fundraising bike ride that benefits Houston’s Reforestation Program. The ride will take place Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 7:00 a.m. This annual event offers Houstonians and visitors a unique way to view the city with bike routes winding through Houston’s historic neighborhoods, scenic districts and parks. With three ride length options, the Tour de Houston is the perfect event for leisure riders or cycling enthusiasts. In addition, it is a BP MS 150 recommended training ride. To register, visit www.houstontx.gov.
  8. Brews for Big Bend
    What could be better than celebrating Big Bend National Park with a cold Saint Arnold’s beer? Join the Big Bend Conservancy for an enjoyable evening on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Your $35 admission gets you two hours beer, snacks, opportunities to win valuable prizes, and great company! There are limited tickets available, and no tickets will be sold onsite. For more information, visit bigbendfriends.org.
  9. 7th Annual Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium
    The Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium “Conservation’s Potential and Promise in Changing Times” will be held at the United Way Community Resource Center on Mar. 22, 2018 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. The Symposium provides water professionals with the information needed to implement successful water conservation programs, effectively engage customers, and plan for the future. Learn from state and national experts about the latest approaches, what is coming next and best practices for maximum efficiency gains. Registration is $45 and includes conference materials, continental breakfast, and lunch. For more information, contact Jennifer Walker at [email protected] or visit eventbrite.com.
  10. Bayou Greenway Day
    Get to know your bayou at Bayou Greenway Day, a FREE outdoor festival with games, music, giveaways and more. Experience the beauty of the Bayou Greenways while enjoying free activities, hosted by Houston Parks Board and other community organizations. Saturday, March 24, 2018, at Tidwell Park along Halls Bayou Greenway. Learn more at houstonparksboard.org.
  11. Texas Wildlife & Woodland ExpoTexas Wildlife & Woodland Expo postcard
    Bring your family out on Mar. 24, 2018 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm to “learn, explore, and discover from the experts.” Texas Wildlife & Woodland Expo and Spring Fling – a free, how-to event – affords families, youth and adults, a chance to get outdoors – learn about the natural environment – recognize the significance healthy forests, trees, wildlife, and pollinators have on clean air, clean water and our overall health. This event is designed to bring experts from the natural resource professions to one location for you to ask questions and learn through live demonstrations and hands-on application. And for the little ones, the adventure area is where they can participate in archery, kayaking, fishing, digging in the dirt with earthworms, make a birdhouse and so much more. At Expo & Spring Fling, you’ll play for a day but learn for a lifetime. To register for a booth space at no charge, to sign up to volunteer, or for more information, visit lonestar.edu.
  12. Open Enrollment for Solarize HoustonHREG -
    Solarize Houston is a grassroots, volunteer, non-profit group organizing Houstonians in a group purchase of solar panels and installation for residents and businesses in Houston. Solarize Houston’s mission is to increase awareness and accelerate the use of solar energy for electricity generation in Houston. Enrollment for Solarize Houston ends on Apr. 1, 2018. Once you’re enrolled, you will be contacted by Solarize Houston volunteers with further details about the project. For more information, visit houstonrenewableenergy.org.
  13. Scenic City Certification Program
    The Scenic City Certification Program, a project of Scenic Texas in cooperation with H-GAC, Texas Municipal League, and additional partners, is accepting 2018 applications through Mar. 31, 2018. The program supplies cities an objective review of existing infrastructure ordinances for public roadways and public spaces, evaluated against the Scenic City model. Any Texas city may apply to the Scenic City Certification Program for an objective, points-based review of existing municipal infrastructure ordinances. For more information, visit sceniccitycertification.org.
  14. Help Scenic Texas Oppose the New TxDOT RuleEast Texas tall billboards
    On Feb. 22, 2018, the Texas Transportation Commission voted unanimously to double the height of approximately 20,000 existing billboards along Texas’ federally-funded roadways, effective as of Sept. 9, 2019. However, this new rule goes against thousands of Texans and their support for more scenic and safer roads. Help Scenic Texas persuade Texas State House and Senate members to support maintaining the existing billboard height of 42.5 feet. To tell your Senator and Representative about how you feel about TxDOT’s new rule, or for more information, visit senic.org.
  15. California State University Channel Islands’ Public Survey on Drones 
    Students and faculties of California State University Channel Islands are kindly asking for your thoughts on drones. They are exploring the public perception of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which are also known as drones, through a large-scale, anonymous survey. The survey takes approximately 7 minutes, and you do not need to have used a drone nor know anything about drones prior to taking the survey. Take the survey at csuci.qualtrics.com. Results will be posted in April. For more information, contact Dr. Sean Anderson at [email protected].
  16. H-GAC Now Accepting Applications for Solid Waste Grants
    Each year, H-GAC receives pass-through funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to fund solid waste grant projects throughout the 13-county region. Funds for this program come from a portion of the money collected as tipping fees at Texas landfills. H-GAC will award $516,157 for solid waste grant projects during the fiscal year 2019. The application period begins on Mar. 7, 2018, and closes on Apr. 19, 2018, at 5 p.m. On Mar. 19, 2018, H-GAC will host a grant application workshop/webinar from 9 a.m. to noon to provide information about the application process, including how to complete the application and what information the scoring committee might be looking for. For more information about the grant program, visit h-gac.com or contact Erin Livingston at [email protected] or 832-681-2525.
  17. EPA Environmental Education Grants
    Under the 2018 EE Local Grant Program, 10 Requests for Proposals were issued nationally, one in each of EPA’s ten Regions.  EPA expects to award three or four grants from each of the EPA’s 10 Regional Offices for a total of approximately 30 to 35 grants nationwide. All RFPs are available on www.grants.gov, where applications must be submitted. To provide applicants with time to modify their proposals in light of the new amendments, EPA has extended the deadline until April 11, 2018.
  18. Keep Texas Beautiful Now Accepting Award Nominations
    Each year, Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) honors extraordinary students and educators working to improve and beautify their communities. Youth and Educator Awards nominations are due Apr. 30, 2018, at 5 p.m. First-place winners in each category will be selected and recognized at the annual KTB Conference, receiving a cash prize and award. For more information, visit ktb.org.
  19. Beer Bottles for chemical engineering students
    Do you have pop-top glass bottles and want to recycle them?? The Chemical Engineering Brew Club, affiliated with the student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers – South Texas Section – at UH is looking for bottle donations. The club brews 2-3 times a semester. In addition to utilizing their technical knowledge, the club is currently preparing for a competition and other professional events, but needs bottles for their bubbles. Your donations can be dropped off at the CEC office (call first–713-524-4232) or call Hannah (CEC’s fabulous intern) at (713) 853-9474 for an off-site pickup. #cheersfortheplanet #everydayisEarthDay
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  21. TV: Texas Parks & Wildlife
    Broadcast on KUHT Channel 8 at 3:00 p.m. each Saturday and on municipal access cable channels in Baytown, Deer Park, Houston, Texas City, Galveston, Nassau Bay, Pasadena, Seabrook, Sugar Land, and on HCC TV. More info on the TPWD website (* indicates a segment about the Houston area). For a preview, visit TPWD’s YouTube Page.

    • College Climbers: Meet some of the students on the national champion University of Texas club climbing team, and see what it takes to excel at this demanding sport.
    • Sinking Trees: See how recycling Christmas trees for underwater habitat for fish makes for improved angling opportunities.
    • The Turkey Dude: Meet the man who is the driving force behind successful turkey restoration efforts in East Texas.

Additional Upcoming Events