Houston Environmental News Update June 12, 2019

National Pollinators Week, Houston Green Film Series: Don’t Panic, I-45 Expansion Meetings, Green Jobs, and more

Pollinators may be best known for making the large array of wildflowers blooming across Texas during spring and summer possible, but they also play a huge part in global food production. Without pollinators like honey bees, we would lose foods like apples, blueberries, coffee, mangoes and tomatoes, to name just a few.

That’s why it’s so important for us to celebrate National Pollinator Week (June 17-23) and Texas Pollinator Week (June 17-23) through events hosted by local organizations in the Houston area. As the human population increases, pollinators will become more and more crucial to feeding billions of people.

Unfortunately, many pollinator species are in decline globally due to habitat destruction, disease, pesticide exposure, and climate change. You can do your part by supporting Texas pollinators, bees, hummingbirds, and moths (among others), by using less pesticides, growing flowers on your property or providing specialized shelters, like bee boxes.

Here are a few local events you can attend to learn more about these helpful species:

  • On Saturday, June 22, at 9 to 10:30 am, join Sheldon Lake State Park rangers and volunteers as they plant important plants for pollinators. Afterwards at 11 a.m., hike through the park with magnifying glasses to discover local insect species. On Sunday, at 11 a.m., there will be a wildflower hike through the park.
  • The Environmental Institute of Houston hosts weekly “Habitat Work Days” and during National Pollinator Week, on June 18, volunteers can help maintain native plant pollinator gardens on UH Clear Lake campus from 9-11 a.m.
  • On June 22, the Katy community will celebrate the grand opening of a butterfly garden at Willow Fork Park. Starting at 9 a.m., Texas Master Naturalist, Diane Russell, will give a talk about the importance of butterfly gardens, which will be followed by a tour of the garden with a discussion of the roles of each plant in the space. This event will also include information on how you can start your own backyard butterfly garden.
  • On Wednesday, June 19, the Houston Chapter of the Native Prairies Association will host a Pollinator Workshop at the Lawther-Deer Park Prairie Preserve. The preserve will be showcased from 6-8 p.m. so visitors can get a chance to see how a fully protected Texas prairie flourishes.

CEC NOTES

Save the Dates: Green Films, Greater Houston Environmental Summit, Environmental Educators Exchange, Earth Day

  • Houston Green Films: Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, the Rice Media Center, and additional partners on June 19, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. for conversation, networking, and a light meal, followed by a film at 7 p.m. and panel discussion at 8 p.m. The June feature will be Don’t Panic: The Truth About Population, an infographic extravaganza with world-famous Swedish statistician/showman Hans Rosling. His main message – that our world is profoundly changing in ways most of us simply don’t realize, much of it for the better.
  • Greater Houston Environmental Summit: Friday, August 2, 2019, from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the United Way of Greater Houston’s Community Resource Center. In addition to excellent presentations, we will again offer small-format table talks. Details and registration will be available early summer 2019.
  • Earth Day Houston, part of the 50th worldwide observance, will be held at Discovery Green on Sunday, April 19, 2020.
  • The Environmental Educators’ Exchange next quarterly meeting will be on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. Location TBD.

Candidate Forums and Questionnaires

7 days of being engaged in the community

Are you organizing a candidate forum or questionnaire for the November 2019 election? CEC is gathering information about election-related activities within our environmental communities. Let us know what you are planning, and we’ll keep you in the loop. CEC is interested in either hosting, coordinating, and/or supporting the efforts of local environmental nonprofits leading up to the election. Send your comments to [email protected] Note: the filing deadline for the November City of Houston elections is August 26, 2019.


Interested in serving on the CEC Board or a Committee?

CEC is seeking individuals who might be interested in joining our board of directors in January 2020, or volunteering to serve on one of our committees starting this year. Over the next few months, we are hosting information sessions for prospective board and committee members to learn more about the commitment and opportunities. Upcoming sessions include the evenings of June 24, July 29, September 23, and October 15. For more information, please email [email protected]


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.

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CEC Welcomes Jasmine Singh as Environmental Policy Intern

Jasmine Singh is a sophomore at American University in Washington D.C. She is pursuing a double major in Communications, Legal Studies, Economics, Government (CLEG) and Environmental Studies. She was born in Lufkin, Texas and moved to Houston when she was 2 years old. For fun she likes to travel, hike, garden, swim, and do puzzles. She is passionate about sustainability and combining her knowledge about public policy and the environment to create impactful change. Jasmine is excited to work with CEC to unite Houston over issues threatening our planet. Jasmine can be reached at [email protected].

CEC Welcomes Naomi Wentz as Newsletter Intern

Naomi is a rising senior at Rice University, earning a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies. She was born in Houston and raised in Pearland, TX. Both of her parents have PhDs in biological sciences so from an early age, she has been exposed to environmental concepts and along with a variety of childhood pets, she began her passion for conservation and sustainability early on.

For leisure, she enjoys traveling, going to music festivals, spending time with her pets, going to art exhibits, and volunteering at local animal shelters. At Rice University, she participates in the Environmental Club, writes for the student newspaper, the Thresher, and organizes concerts for the student radio station, KTRU.

This is her first internship directly focusing on the environment and she is excited to learn more about the environmental issues that the local Houston community faces. She also wants to learn more about how non-profits operate and how to integrate conservation, environmental issues, and sustainability. Naomi can be reached at [email protected]