Center for Houston’s Future
Purpose: The Center for Houston’s Future furthers the Houston region as a top global communities in which to work and live. The Center brings business and community together to innovate leadership, and inform the public about critical indicators and the groundwork to be carried out to create and maintain a competitive and sustainable future.
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers, who are subject matter experts, participate in ‘data groups’ that oversee the development of the Center’s Indicator Reports. The topic of the 2013 Report is Healthy Communities.
Past studies and reports include air quality, billboards, green buildings, litter and graffiti, parks & trails, abandoned lots, trees, water quality, water supply, human capital development and resource use. Volunteers are also used to help organize and run the Center’s Annual Indicator Symposium. The 2013 Symposium will be held on February 22 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Publications: Counting on Quality of Life: An Environment Indicator Report (2007), Counting on Quality of Place: Air Quality, Parks & Trails, and Trees (2009), Counting on Quality of Place: Water Quality, Water Supply, and Green Buildings (2010), Human Capital: Early Childhood Development, K-12 and Workforce Preparedness (2012), published yearly with updated indicators.
Brett Perlman, President and CEO
Russell Richard, Vice President
John Wilburn, Director
City of Houston Office of Sustainability
Purpose: The City of Houston’s sustainability office encourages green development and lifestyles across the city by carrying out green projects, educating on pressing environmental issues, and promoting sustainable products and services.
Bikeways Program- The Houston Bikeways Program is a partnership among the Public Works & Engineering, Planning & Development, Parks & Recreation and Health & Human Services Departments and often coordinates with METRO, Houston Parks Board, Houston-Galveston Area Council and other partners. The program aims to make Houston a safer, healthier, and more bike-friendly city.
Brownsfields Redevelopment Program- The redevelopment of Brownfields benefits the communities in which they are located in many ways. By removing blight and facilitating environmental cleanup, redeveloping Brownfields address environmental, public health, and safety concerns. Redeveloping previously developed sites and reusing existing infrastructure, utilities, and roads allows open space and undeveloped land to be preserved.
City Hall Farmers Market- The public can enjoy a variety of locally prepared ready-to-eat or packaged to-go foods, pick up farm-fresh weekly groceries and at the same time support sustainable food, all amidst Houston’s dramatic downtown urban setting.
Green Building Resource Center- A project of the Department of Public Works and Engineering, offers economical, sustainable building solutions for the public through over 50 educational displays, a library of information, and samples of recycled materials to provide strategies for green building and in-home energy conservation..
For more information of these green projects and others, visit http://www.greenhoustontx.gov/cityprojects.html
Lara Cottingham, Deputy Assistant Director
Larissa Williams, Energy Manager
Council for Environmental Education
Purpose: CEE was founded in 1970 to partner education and natural resource professionals. CEE provides environmental education programs and services that promote stewardship and further the capacity of learners to make informed decisions.
Programs: CEE administers Project WILD and Project WILD Aquatic nationally, and co-sponsors Project Learning Tree and Project WET. WET in the City focuses on urban water issues. Team WET Schools empowers urban youth to become responsible stewards of our water resources. Flying WILD, bird education for middle schools. CEE’s Growing Up WILD, is an early childhood education program that builds on childrens’ sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. All WILD programs train educators as well to teach content in the classroom.
Publications: For purchase: Project WILD, WILD School Sites Guide, Taking Action Guide, Exploring School Nature Areas video, WET in the City Spanish Language Student Pages, and Water Watchers: Conserving Water at Your Home and School. Available only through a training workshop: Curriculum and Activity Guides such as Project Wild K-12 Activity Curriculum, Flying WILD, and Science and Civics.
Josetta Hawthorne, Executive Director
Coastal Prairie Partnership
Purpose: The mission of the Coastal Prairie Partnership is to promote the conservation and restoration of Coastal Prairie ecosystems. Coastal Prairie Partnership (CPP) is a private, nonprofit collaboration of governmental agencies, non-governmental institutions, private individuals, and landowners working to achieve common conservation and education goals. Our ultimate goal is to help foster a more connected and empowered prairie community in coastal Texas and southwest Louisiana.
Programs: Southern Plains and Prairies Conference, Attwater Prairie Chicken Week, PrairiePartner.org- a clearinghouse for prairie information, plant propagation workshops, teacher education, prairie restoration projects, and facilitation of prairie action meetings.
Major Event: Southern Plains and Prairies Conference
Volunteer Opportunities (ion website): Tabling events, electronic newsletter assistance, Facebook assistance, assistance with annual conference.
Speaker’s Bureau: Yes. Please contact Jaime Gonzalez at 281-660-6683.
Publications (on website): Coastal Prairie Plant Growers’ Handbook and others.
Video Content (on website): YouTube channel and prairiepartner.org/video.
Dr. Cassidy Johnson, President
Jaime González, Vice President
Scott Kiester, Secretary
Cypress Creek Flood Control Coalition
Purpose: A coalition of municipal utility districts, homeowner associations and other community organizations functioning as a steward between the residents, local/state government, land developers and non-profits to work on planning and implementation of improved flood protection and environment preservation throughout the Cypress Creek watershed.
Meetings: Third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 p.m., at Lake Forest Utility District, 14223 Lakewood Forest Dr.
Programs: Flood Protection: Research, consultation, advocacy and education. Preservation: Greenway trails/ park development focused on preservation of floodplain lands. Reforestation projects. Speakers are available to give presentations to your class or student group upon request. Contact website for booking information.
Major Events: Annual meeting featuring guest speakers and forthcoming watershed plans. Sponsor scout reforestation and water quality projects.
Volunteer Opportunities: Both outdoors and indoors. Retired folks in high demand. Grant applications.
Richard D. Smith, President
Peter R. Smullen, Vice-President.
Cypresswood Water Conservation Garden
Purpose: Harris County Water Conservation and Improvement District (WCID) 132’s Water Conservation and Demonstration Center showcases efficient, sustainable water techniques and practices, which are aimed at providing solutions applicable to suburban landscapes whose owners desire to conserve water while sustaining beautiful plant materials.
The Center’s focus – water conservation in the landscape – is shared through presentations, site features, and plants. Presentations on water saving and sustainable practices include watering established plants with captured rainwater and air conditioner condensate, mulching to conserve moisture, working with the soil’s capacity to hold water, eliminating invasive species, and composting. Site features and materials, approximately 20 found in each of the 16 demonstration areas, include rain barrels, rain gardens, rain chains, and reused and recycled materials.
William Papp, President
Jim Dow, Vice President
Cindy Lane, Secretary
Gary Toll, Asst. Secretary
Mary Bonetati, Asst. Secretary
Citizens’ Climate Lobby 3rd Coast Region
Purpose: To build political will for Congress to act on climate change.
Program: Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a non-profit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change.
Our consistently respectful, nonpartisan approach to climate education is designed to create a broad, sustainable foundation for climate action across all geographic regions and political inclinations. By building upon shared values rather than partisan divides, and empowering our supporters to work in keeping with the concerns of their local communities, we work towards the adoption of fair, effective, and sustainable climate change solutions.
In order to generate the political will necessary for passage of our Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal we train and support volunteers to build relationships with elected officials, the media and their local community.
Houston – Briar Memorial
Houston – Heights
Houston – Missouri City
Houston – Montrose – Rice University
Houston – West University
Katy – South
Meetings: Monthly international calls held on the second Saturday of each month at noon central time, contact specific chapters for meeting location and details.
CCL Community: CCL’s national social network of volunteers engaged on climate change
CCL University: webinars about climate change, energy, lobbying, outreach, etc.
Annual International Conference in Washington DC (late June)
Annual Regional Conference (in TX, LA, MS, or AL)
Local talks given by volunteers, tabling events, etc.
Volunteer Opportunities: Develop a relationship with your members of Congress, engage the media through letters to the editor/opeds, outreach in the community
Speakers Bureau: Provide speakers upon request.
Third Coast Region (TX, LA, MS) Coordinator: [email protected]
Refer to individual chapter pages for local contact information.
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition
Purpose: CEC works to connect our environmental community. Our mission is to foster education, dialogue, and collaboration on environmental issues in the Houston/Gulf Coast region.
Major Events: Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour (winter), Greater Houston Environmental Summit (early spring)
Volunteer Opportunities: Writing, research, clerical, special events, graphic desing, website assistance, tabling, IT consulting. Public relations, attorneys, accountants, and fundraising experts for board and committees.
Annual Environmental Resource Guide
Environmental News Update, a free weekly environmental e-mail newsletter. Please visit cechouston.org to sign up.
Our website, cechouston.org, features a compilation of news headlines, green job postings, a comprehensive calendar of local environmental events of interest to our member groups, and archives of our weekly newsletters.
Information & Referral: CEC serves as a call and email service center to help direct environmental inquiries to appropriate organizations and agencies.
Rachel Powers, Executive Director
Mr. Maurilio “Moe” Flores Sanchez, President
Center for Recycled Art
Purpose: Founded in 2009, our mission is to reduce the amount of reusable material in Houston’s landfills, to promote environmental awareness, to stimulate creativity, and to provide opportunities to create recycled art.
Programs: Divert reusable clean scrap from Houston’s solid waste stream and make it available at low cost to educators and non-profits in the Greater Houston area. Promote awareness and stimulate creativity through workshops, creative reuse demonstrations and speakers.
Major Events: Monthly Teacher Warehouse shopping event for educators and other non profits.
Children’s Activities: The Center for Recycled Art hosts structured activities for school groups and other nonprofit organizations. Programs are designed in conjunction
with your group’s leadership and may be easily tailored to ongoing classroom curriculum. Each class offers an age-appropriate opportunity to express creativity and complete the project in the allotted time. Programs may be held at your location or at the Texas Art Asylum, near downtown. Speakers available for all ages, Contact Ramona Brady for booking.
Volunteer Opportunities: Receiving and sorting Houston’s cast-offs, de-constructing mechanical and electrical items; creating inspiration projects from cast off materials, demonstrating/leading creative reuse projects.
City of Houston Environmental Health Division
Purpose: HDHHS’ Environmental Health Services division provides a variety of programs and services relating to air and water pollution, occupational health and food establishments.
Programs: The Environmental Health Division provides three main programs, which provide support and education to the community, and responds to complaints:
Bureau of Community and Children’s Environmental Health-childhood lead poisoning, indoor air quality, occupational health, medical waste, radiation compliance and smoking.(832) 393-5141
Bureau of Pollution Control and Prevention-air and water quality, landfills, industrial and municipal wastewater treatment plants, illegal dumping, illicit discharges and storage of solid/hazardous waste.
Bureau of Consumer Health Services-food safety, swimming pool safety, charitable food services, and special waste and complaints.
Patrick Key, Assistant Director
Houston Health Department Director
City of Houston Green Building Resource Center
Purpose: To enable the public to experience and learn more about healthy and energy, water, and material conserving design and construction; also known as Green Building.
Programs: The public can have their interim building plans reviewed for opportunities to add green strategies to save energy and water, and make their building healthier. Customers can peruse the shelves and over 50 displays, touch and feel samples, and learn about green building options in a relaxed setting. Free educational seminars (generally) scheduled on the fourth Wednesday evening of the month; check the GBRC calendar on the website.
Tours for groups: Available by appointment for your school field trip or group outings. Student activity package (with answer key for teachers) is available.
Speakers Bureau: Steve is available for speaking engagements.
Volunteer Opportunities: Yes, contact the Program Director to discuss.
Steven M. Stelzer, AIA, LEED AP, Program Director
Christmas Bay Foundation
Purpose: To promote increased understanding and appreciation of the Christmas Bay Estuarine System and the Texas Gulf Coast; to promote conservation of the natural resources of the Christmas Bay Estuarine System and the Texas Gulf Coast; to contribute to the usefulness of the Bay and its tributaries for recreational and commercial purposes; and to sponsor such activities and events as may contribute to the general welfare of the Christmas Bay Estuarine System and its tributaries.
Programs: Ecotours of Christmas Bay system; coordinate on bay projects with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Major Events: See website
Children’s Activities: Call for information or see website.
Volunteer Opportunities: Guides for ecotours, Red Cross-certified kayak instructors, wildlife biologists, and marine biologists.
Jim Olive, Executive Director/Founder
Children’s Museum of Houston’s EcoStation
Purpose: Founded in 1981 to transform communities through innovative, child-centered learning and to develop good environmental stewards for Houston’s future.
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sundays Noon – 6 p.m., and open for free every Thursday from 5 – 8 p.m.
Major Events: Environmentally themed weekends and free family nights throughout the year.
Children’s Activities: More than fifty hands-on activities in the area of environmental science in addition to thirteen other galleries of interactive exhibits for children ages 0-12 years.
School Programs: Field trips for elementary school classes, curriculum. Teacher Workshops available and cooperate with TEKS requirements.
Volunteer Opportunities: Contact (713) 535-7209 or http://www.cmhouston.org/volunteers/ for volunteer opportunities.
Publications: Annual report.
Henry Yau, Director of Public Relations and Promotions
Tammie Kahn, Executive Director
Central City Co-Op
Purpose: Our mission is to support sustainable, chemical free farming practices through offering both 1) sustainably raised local and 2) certified USDA organic national produce and farm goods to our community at the fairest prices possible. We were founded in September 2001.
Publications: Weekly newsletter, sign-up through the website, http://www.centralcityco-op.org
Programs: Co-op markets held every Wednesday, occasional health and nutrition related seminars during Wednesday co-op.
Volunteer Opportunities: Plentiful! Mostly Wednesday & Saturday, some committee work and other hours available.
Citizens’ Transportation Coalition
Purpose: Founded in 2004, the CTC is an all-volunteer grassroots transportation advocacy organization. The Citizens’ Transportation Coalition advocates for a broad-based public educational and planning process to identify neighborhood aspirations, influences projects to achieve the best transportation options, and engages our communities in designing a complete multimodal transportation system that serves us all.
Meetings: Board meets on 4th Thursdays from Jan. through Oct. at 6:45 p.m. at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, in the upstairs community room. Member meeting in March, holiday gathering in December. All meetings open to interested individuals.
Publication: Free periodic eNews with project updates and meeting notices. Email
[email protected] to join the list.
Volunteer Opportunities: Attend public meetings of transportation agencies and then share reports in CTC’s online forum; project proposals; author project fact sheets and web content; give talks to civic clubs; meet with elected leaders regarding timely transportation issues.
Speaker’s Bureau: CTC delivers sharp PowerPoint talks on topics including urban transit and transportation alternatives for all.
Dexter Handy, Chair
Carol Caul, Advocacy Chair
Ed Browne, Science and Technology Chair