Houston Environmental News Update May 16, 2018

Stump the Treehugger, CEC’s second annual environmental trivia contest, is this Sunday, May 20, 2018, at St. Arnold Brewing Company. You read this newsletter, so you know you like knowing stuff about the environment, so this fun event is for you.

And for those of your acquaintances who are not old enough for trivia at Saint Arnold, here are some summer camp ideas.

Not surprisingly, the Houston region offers a variety of summer camp programs with environmental themes. I haven’t sent my kids to all of the following camps, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about the following:

If you know of another camp about environment or sustainability, please let us know ([email protected]). Also, if you are with a camp looking for environment/sustainability resources (field trip opportunities, camp-room visits, education trunks, etc.), we can provide suggestions.
Banner Note: The photo above is the Student Conservation Association’s Houston Community Program, one of The SCA’s great summer (and school-year) programs for teens and young adults.


Tickets Now on Sale: Stump the Treehugger
CEC’s second annual environmental trivia contest will be a chance to join in friendly competition with other treehuggers at Saint Arnold Brewing Company on Sunday afternoon, May 20, 2018. To get the competitive juices flowing, visit Instagram for our weekly Trivia Tuesday contests. Individual and team tickets are now available on Eventbrite.

Paid & Volunteer Internships with CEC Houston
CEC hopes to hire several volunteer interns this summer, with meaningful work, a mentorship program, field trips, flexible hours, and a constant supply of chocolate. If you or someone you know is interested, please send a resume to [email protected] We’ve also been notified that we will be able to hire paid interns through the City of Houston’s Hire Houston Youth Program; Houston youth can apply at http://hirehoustonyouth.org/.

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. Regional Recycling Roundtable
    On May 17, 2018, from 10 a.m. to noon, the Houston-Galveston Area Council will host a Regional Recycling Roundtable on the subject of recent policy changes with Maia Corbitt, governmental affairs director with Booth, Ahrens, & Werkenthin, P.C. For more information and to register, visit constantcontact.com.
  2. SPARK Park dedication at Channelview’s Harvey Brown Elementary
    The SPARK School Program works with schools and neighborhoods to develop community parks on public school grounds throughout the Houston/Harris County area. This spring, the program is dedicating five new parks as part of its park desert initiative. The first will be at Harvey Brown Elementary, 16550 Wallisville Road in Channelview on May 17, 2018, at 1 p.m. For more information on all of the openings, visit sparkpark.org.
  3. “Manta Rays of the Flower Gardens Banks” webinar
    On May 17, 2018, beginning at 6 p.m., the NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary will present a webinar with Joshua Stewart, a NOAA ONMS Nancy Foster Scholar and an associate director of The Manta Trust, on the latest manta research being conducted in the sanctuary. To register, visit register.gotowebinar.com.
  4. Break Free from Plastics U.S. Grassroots Tour
    EARTHWORKS, one of several organizations working to reduce plastic pollution in the U.S., has organized a speaking tour with communities and stakeholders affected by plastics pollution in key locations across the country, including Texas. The tour seeks to dig deeper into the various processes where plastic pollution should be mitigated. In Houston, EARTHWORKS has teamed with t.e.j.a.s. Barrios and Texas Campaign for the Environment to host a panel discussion on May 17, 2018, from 7-8:30 p.m. at First Unitarian-Universalist Church, 5200 Fannin Street. For more information, see the Facebook event.
  5. Kinder Institute’s Urban Reads: “Market Cities, People Cities”
    On May 17, 2018, from 7-8:30 p.m., Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research will present Michael Emerson, professor of urban studies at North Park University in Chicago, and Kevin T. Smiley, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Buffalo, in a discussion of their new book, Market Cities, People Cities: The Shape of Our Urban Future. The event will take place at the BioScience Research Collaborative, 6500 Main Street. For more information and to register, visit kinder.rice.edu.
  6. Houston Bike to Work Day
    On May 18, 2018, the City of Houston will celebrate “Bike to Work Day” with a 20-minute, 3-4 mile celebratory bike ride to begin and end at Hermann Square in front of City Hall. The ride will head east, utilizing Rusk, Walker, and the Columbia Tap off-street paved pathway then west on Polk and Lamar, utilizing the Lamar Cycle Track. Meet in Hermann Square at 7 a.m. to hear opening remarks and safety tips. The ride starts at 7:20 a.m. There will be sponsor booths and activities taking place in Hermann Square both during and after the ride. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com
  7. Tree Farm Community Event at Houston Botanic Garden
    On May 19, 2018, from 8 a.m.-noon, the public is invited to help set up the first of two tree farms at the new Houston Botanic Garden, 8205 N. Bayou Drive. This first public event at the garden is in partnership with Trees for Houston. Eventually, the 2-acre tree farm will consist of a variety of tree species and native trees including pines, oaks, magnolias and sycamores. Parking will be available in the clubhouse lot. For more information and to RSVP, visit hbg.org.
  8. Nature Heritage Society Hill Hike at Sims Greenway
    On May 19, 2018, beginning at 8:45 a.m., join the Nature Heritage Society-Houston for a hike on The Hill, as well as kite-making, at Sims Greenway, starting at the Bessie Swindle Community Center, 11800 Scott Street. All ages welcome. For more information, see the Facebook event.
  9. On-Site Sewage Systems Homeowner Education Course
    On May 19, 2018, from 9 a.m. to noon, the Houston-Galveston Area Council, the Galveston Bay Foundation, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension are co-hosting a free course to teach homeowners how to maintain their septic systems to save money and help keep our waterways healthy and clean. The course offers an overview of the two types of systems; information on system maintenance and inspection; and details on available resources to maintain, repair and replace aging systems. The course will be held at Bayou Vista MUD 12 Building, 2929 Highway 6, Suite 300. For more information and to register, visit galvbay.org.
  10. Greater Third Ward, Midtown & Museum District Ambassador Training
    On May 19, 2018, from 10 a.m.-noon, Bike Houston will host a Ambassador training meeting and ride starting at Emancipation Park. The training will start with a brief overview of proposed projects, elected officials, and an introduction to tactical urbanism.The ride component of the training will be based on where you ride currently and where you’d like to ride, but don’t feel safe doing so now. Information will be recorded this information and relayed it to city and county officials to ensure what you need gets done. For more information and to register, visit bikehouston.org.
  11. “Earthworms!” at Mandell Park
    On May 19, 2018, from 10 a.m.-noon, Friends of Mandell Park (1501 Richmond Ave.) will host a reading of a children’s book about Otto the earthworm, then answer any questions visitors have about earthworms. Finally, participants will be able get to dig for and add more than 100 earthworms to the park’s garden. For more information, see the Facebook event.
  12. Ecology Walking Tour of Buffalo Bayou Park
    On May 19, 2018, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., the Buffalo Bayou Partnership will offer a free walking tour of Buffalo Bayou Park highlighting the landscape and ecology of 19th century Texas that created Houston, as well as the importance of prairies in rebuilding this astonishing and all but vanished ecosystem. For more information, visit buffalobayou.org.
  13. Houston Hackathon 2018
    On May 19-20, 2018, Sketch City and its partnering organizations are hosting the sixth annual Houston Hackaton, “where tech, data, and policy nerds come together to work on projects that make Houston a better place to live.” This year’s Hackathon will focus on projects related to Census 2020, disaster response and recovery, public safety and criminal justice, and environmental advocacy. Seventeen environmental projects have already been proposed, relating to topics such as single use plastic in restaurants, superfund sites, bacterial contamination of waterways, green infrastructure, tree planting, water leaks, and community gardens. The free event will be held at The Cannon, 1336 Brittmoore Road. For more information and to register, visit houstonhackathon.com.
  14. Urban Harvest Sunday Supper
    On May 20, 2018, from 6-9 p.m., Urban Harvest will host its first Spring Sunday Supper at Weights + Measures, 2808 Caroline Street. Experience one-of-a-kind dishes when Houston’s top chefs partner with area farmers to create a fresh, seasonal supper with creative combinations that speak to Urban Harvest’s mission of cultivating thriving communities through gardening and access to healthy, local food. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit urbanharvest.networkforgood.com.
  15. “Sunday Evening Conversations on Creation” webinar
    On Sunday, May 20, 2018, from 6-7 p.m., Christ the King Lutheran Church will present a webinar titled “Care and Stewardship of the Wildlife & EcoSystems in Our Communities,” presented by Anja Machado, executive director, and Victoria Hepburn, education/outreach coordinator, of the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (TWRC). For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.
  16. H-GAC Brown Bag Lunch:  Port of Houston
    On May 21, 2018, from noon-1 p.m., the Houston-Galveston Area Council will host a Brown Bag Lunch talk by Richard Byrnes, chief infrastructure officer for the Port of Houston Authority, titled “Port of Houston: Looking Ahead.” Subjects will include plans for the port’s growth through 2040, its role in regional mobility, impacts from Hurricane Harvey, and environmental stewardship. The event will be held at the H-GAC offices, 3555 Timmons Lane, Conference Room B, 2nd Floor. Bring your own lunch, no RSVP necessary.
  17. Galveston Bay Foundation’s Summer Kickoff Event
    On May 21, 2018, from 5:30-7 p.m., the Galveston Bay Foundation will host its Summer Kickoff Event, “Oysters, Water, and Boaters,” where GBF staffers will discuss its Galveston Bay Bacteria Reduction Plan to ensure that the Bay remains fishable and swimmable, both this summer and for many seasons to come, at Tommy’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar, 2555 Bay Area Blvd. For more information and to register, visit galvbay.org.
  18. American Lung Association’s “Fight for Air Night”
    On May 22, 2018, from 5-8 p.m., the Houston branch of the American Lung Association will host its second annual LUNG FORCE Reception, “Fight For Air Night” at Churrasco’s River Oaks, 2055 Westheimer Road. LUNG FORCE is an initiative by the American Lung Association, to defeat lung cancer and unite women and men to stand together with collective strength and determination to defeat lung cancer. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.
  19. “Building City-level Climate Resilience” webinar
    On May 23, 2018, beginning at 1 p.m. CST, the climate resilience consulting firm Four Twenty Seven will present a webinar titled “Building City-level Climate Resilience,” which will provide insight into concrete actions cities can take to more effectively to attract investor financing for climate adaptation and resilience and familiarize participants with an approach for assessing city-level physical climate risks. For more information and to register, visit zoom.us.
  20. Kinder Institute Forum: “Resilience and Opportunity Following Disruptive Events”
    On May 23, 2018, from 7-8:30 p.m., the Kinder Institute Forum for Urban Research at Rice University will host a presentation by Amy Liu, vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, titled “Resilience and Opportunity Following Disruptive Events” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. For more information and to register, visit kinder.rice.edu.
  21. Jim Blackburn discusses the Texas Coastal Exchange
    On May 23, 2018, environmental attorney Jim Blackburn, with the Severe Storm Prevention, Education and Evacuation from Disaster (SSPEED) Center at Rice University, will discuss the center’s Texas Coastal Exchange initiative, during the monthly meeting of the Native Prairies Association of Texas Houston Chapter at the American Red Cross building, 2700 Southwest Freeway. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., and the presentation begins at 7 p.m. For more information, visit texasprairie.org.
  22. Mayor Sylvester Turner on the “State of Mobility”
    On May 24, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Transportation Advocacy Group – Houston Region will host Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in his annual “State of Mobility” address at The Houstonian Hotel, 111 N. Post Oak Lane. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.
  23. Gong Green Lecture:  Regional Water Planning
    On May 24, 2018, beginning at 7 p.m., The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. will host a free Going Green Sustainability Lecture titled “Regional Water Planning; What Is It And Why Is It Important To Me?” at the offices of the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), 8801 Gosling Road. Jason Afinowicz, P.E., an associate and project manager with the engineering firm Freese and Nichols, who is managing the development of the Region H long-range water plan, will be the guest speaker. For more information, visit thewoodlandsgreen.org.
  24. Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors Program
    The Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District encourages area high school students entering the 9th, 10th, or 11th grades in the upcoming 2018-2019 school year to apply for the Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors Program. The program is a unique opportunity to gain advanced knowledge and practice leadership skills related to the science, technology, engineering, and management of water in Texas.
    Registration deadline is May 20, 2018. To register, visit fs4.formsite.com.
  25. Texas A&M Forest Service acquires 5,500-acre easement in East Texas
    A conservation easement in Jasper County, recently acquired by Texas A&M Forest Service for $2.7 million, will permanently protect nearly 5,500 acres of sustainably managed timberland in East Texas. The easement is located north of Jasper in the area known as Longleaf Ridge, a line of hills which supports some of the only remaining longleaf pine forest in Texas and is home to the region’s best spring-fed creeks, waterfalls and thriving wildlife populations.  Protection of this tract is part of an ambitious conservation effort to connect the Angelina and Sabine National Forests. Learn more about the Longleaf Ridge Phase II conservation easement and the Forest Legacy Program by visiting texasforestservice.tamu.edu and see photos on flicker.com.
  26. 2018 Wildlife Care, Conservation, and Research Fund Small Grants Competition
    Texas State Aquarium is pleased to announce its 2018 Wildlife Care, Conservation and Research Fund Small Grants Competition. With a ceiling of $20,000, these funds are meant to serve as seed money for projects related to the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean animals and habitats exhibited at the Aquarium. For more information and the online application, visit texasstateaquarium.org.
  27. TV: Texas Parks & Wildlife
    Broadcast on KUHT Channel 8 at 3 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.

    • Watch the sunken Texas Clipper become a home for marine life
    • How a devastating accident led Jim Adams to become a game warden
    • Mountain biking at Cedar Hill State Park outside Dallas

Additional Upcoming Events