Keep Houston Beautiful
Purpose: To achieve sustainable community improvement by providing programs that educate the public, combat blight, prevent litter, minimize waste and beautify Houston’s public spaces.
Programs: Adopt-A-Block and Adopt-A-Ditch Program; weekend cleanups and tool lending library; community beautification and edible community garden projects; civic leader and teacher training workshops. Teacher worksheets are available on the website for classroom use. Speakers are available, contact Amy Reed.
Major Events: Mayor’s Proud Partners
Awards and Luncheon; Great American Cleanup; Keep Houston Beautiful Day; Annual Bar Association Cleanup; Texas Recycles Day; Home Run for Astros Tree Plantings; America Recycles Day.
Children’s Activities: Keep Schools Beautiful Day; Lucky the Ladybug; Storm water Curriculum; Keep America Beautiful’s Water in Place Curriculum.
Volunteer Opportunities: Clean up and beautification weekend workdays, clerical, artists, special event information booths.
Publications: Clean Neighborhoods Manual; Guide to Earth Quilt Gardens; Recycling Activity Book for Kids; A Guide to Creating Environmental Outdoor Learning Centers; Enewsletter; Adopt-an-Esplanade Guide.
Amy Reed, Executive Director
Mike Aden, Warehouse Technician
Purpose: To promote the evolution and implementation of Plan Houston as the basis for planning the City’s future.
Blueprint Houston was founded in 2003 to build community support for a coordinated planning process to make improvements to Houston’s quality of life. Blueprint Houston seeks to initiate a coordinated planning process that leads to a general plan for the city’s future, based on citizens’ vision, values, and goals.
Programs: Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Program; Municipal Management District Study; Urban Geography curriculum.
Volunteer Opportunities: Civic Awareness Engagement Committee.
Martha Murphree, Hon. AIA, Executive Director
Houston-Galveston Area Council
Purpose: The Houston-Galveston Area Council is a region-wide voluntary association of local governments in the 13-county Gulf Coast Planning region of Texas. H-GAC’s mission is to serve as the instrument of local government cooperation, promoting the region’s orderly development and the safety and welfare of its citizens. Key governmental services include transportation planning, disaster resiliency, cooperative purchasing, homeland security, workforce development, air and water quality planning, forecasting, and mapping.
Programs: H-GAC engages in a variety of collaborative environmental planning efforts including watershed protection, solid waste management and air quality for sustainable development. It is also actively involved in education and public awareness programs, including Commute Solutions and NuRide, the Clean Waters Initiative, Regional Recycling Roundtable.
Volunteer Opportunities: H-GAC offers year-round volunteer opportunities through our Texas Stream Team volunteer water monitoring program, as well as at a one-day Trash Bash waterway cleanup event. For more information on opportunities, visit http://www.h-gac.com/go/getinvolved.
Kathy Janhsen, Public Outreach and Education Planner
Air Alliance Houston
Purpose: Houston’s leading health and clean air advocacy non-profit specializing in both the treetops and grass roots of environmental advocacy and organizing.
Air Alliance Houston’s mission remains to reduce air pollution in the Houston region and to protect public health and environmental integrity through research, education and advocacy.
Programs: Research, Education, and Advocacy, including Ozone Theater (air pollution education program with three curricula for grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8). Annual Earth Day Art Contest for grades 3-12, earthdayartcontest.org.
Volunteer Opportunities: Various opportunities and internships available.
Speakers Bureau: Yes. We will visit classrooms for presentations. Call or visit website for booking.
Publications: Please visit our website,
http://www.airalliancehouston.org, for a complete list of our reports.
Air Alliance Houston is the result of the 2008 merger between Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention and Mothers for Clean Air.
Dr. Bakeyah Nelson, Executive Director
Paige Powell, Director of Operations
Research and Policy Director
Community Outreach Director
Community Outreach Coordinator
Community Outreach Coordinator
For general inquiries, contact: [email protected]
Houston Climate Protection Alliance
Purpose: Houston Climate Protection Alliance connects residents of the greater Houston-Galveston region concerned about global warming so we can learn and act together.
Meetings: First Sundays of each month at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 5200 Fannin at Southmore. Time is usually 1:15 p.m., but please call to confirm and for topic information.
Programs: Speakers are available to give presentations to your class or school group.
Tim Mock, Co-Chair
Dr. Louis C. Smith, Co-Chair
Nancy Edwards, Treasurer
Native Plant Society of TX – Hou Chapter
Purpose: The mission of The Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) is to promote research, conservation and utilization of native plants and plant habitats of Texas through education, outreach and example.
Meetings: 7:00 p.m., program at 7:30 p.m., the 3rd Thurs. of each month, Nov. Social & Seed & Plant Swap, Dec. holiday dinner, Jan. propagation workshop. Spring & Fall field trips.
Programs: Speakers present topics such as landscaping with natives, trees, and butterfly & habitat gardening.
Major Events: The Wildscapes Workshop is our largest annual event, usually held in September, and is open to anyone interested in learning. The program includes lectures, workshops, field trips, a native plant sale, and vendor and educational exhibits. Check our website for more details.
Volunteer Opportunities: Native Plant rescues, invasive plant removal, Native Plant Demonstration Garden workdays (monthly), school wildlife habitat programs, cooperative efforts with other non-profits and government entities. Display Booth.
Speakers Bureau: Contact Linda Knowles.
Publications: Quarterly State newsletter; local quarterly newsletter.
Wally Ward, President
Russ Kane, Publicity & Community Coordinator
Linda Knowles, Display Booth and Education Coordinator
Planned Parenthood of Houston & SE Texas
Purpose: To ensure the right and ability of all individuals to manage their sexual and reproductive health by providing health services, education, and advocacy. Founded in 1936.
Programs: Teen and Family/Community Education on sexuality and relationships. HIV education and medical services: affordable, preventive reproductive health services provided at 10 health centers in Houston and SE Texas; call (800) 230-PLAN or visit
Major Events: Luncheon to commemorate the Roe vs. Wade decision, January.
Volunteer Opportunities: Assistance is needed in health centers, administration, school programs, and public affairs. Contact Anitra Daniel, Director of Volunteers at (713) 831-6522 or [email protected].
Speakers Bureau: (713) 522-6240 or
Melaney Linton, President and CEO
Rochelle Tafolla, VP Communications and Marketing / Media/Press
Meryl Cohen, VP Education
Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy
Purpose: Founded in 2001, the Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy (WWGC) partners with the Harris County Flood Control District and the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department to enhance the 280 acre Willow Waterhole Park as a native plant and wildlife area and a passive recreational greenspace.
Programs: Music in Park performances, Movies in Park screenings, conservation volunteer work days on the second Saturday of each month, monthly bird surveys on the third Saturday of each month by Houston Audubon Society, and free environmental education series for kids and families.
Major Events: April Music Fest; Cross Country Meets & Fun Runs; Invasive Fish Round-up and Carp-a-thon in the fall.
Volunteer Opportunities: Historian, photographer, trail maintenance, cleanup days, event and festival volunteers, fundraising, guided hikes, children’s programs, Scout projects.
Speakers: Available for community and school groups.
Publications: Website, Facebook, and Newsletter
Ralph Rieger, CPA, CGMA, President
Purpose: To promote the preservation and appreciation of Houston’s architectural and cultural historic resources through advocacy, education, and committed action; thereby creating economic value and developing a stronger sense of community.
Regular Meetings: Walking tours, second Sunday of each month.
Programs: Preservation advocacy, Historic Neighborhoods Council, Realtor programs, heritage education program, heritage tourism promotion, Museum of Houston digital archive and online museum.
Major Events: Good Brick Awards, Jan./Feb.; National Preservation Month Luncheon, May.
Volunteer Opportunities: Tour docents and ticket sellers. Research and photography of buildings.
Speaker’s Bureau: Contact Ramona Davis
Formerly Greater Houston Preservation Alliance.
David Bush; Acting Executive Director
Kathleen Nuzzo, Membership Coordinator
Jim Parsons; Programs Director
Houston Community ToolBank
Purpose: The Houston Community ToolBank is a nonprofit tool lending program that stewards an inventory of tools for lending to charitable organizations to increase the impact of their mission-related efforts in the community. With year-round access to an inventory of tools for use in volunteer projects and facility and grounds maintenance, the ToolBank provide resources to enhance the charitable sector’s capacity to serve, facilitating hands-on volunteerism in the greater Houston area. Access to ToolBank tools eliminates the need for agencies to incur the expense of purchasing, repairing, and storing tools, reducing the costs associated with service projects and allowing these agencies to focus more of their resources on their mission.
Programs: Tools are deployed in many different capacities to organizations with mission critical areas such as community and school gardens, home repair, green space clean-up, tree planting, playground builds, and much more. The ToolBank offers knowledgeable staff to help member organizations plan a productive and positive project experience.
Membership is free and open to all nonprofit/charitable/tax exempt organizations. Members pay a handling fee equal to 3% of the retail value of the tool per week for up to 8 weeks. To become a member, apply online at http://www.houstontoolbank.org/borrow-tools.
Visit http://www.houstontoolbank.org to learn more about the Houston Community ToolBank and its upcoming events.
Erika Hornsey, Executive Director
Dee Wells, Facility & Program Manager
Texas Assoc. of Environmental Professionals
Purpose: The Texas Association of Environmental Professionals (TAEP), incorporated in 1988, is the premier organization for environmental professionals in the State of Texas. With 300+ local members and a subchapter in Austin, TAEP focuses on the advancement of the environmental profession and providing a forum to discuss environmental issues.
Meetings: Monthly luncheons on the 3rd Thursday at Brady’s Landing.
Programs: Chuck Glore Memorial Scholarship program. In 2011, TAEP awarded a total of $10,000 to students at 5 different schools. Annually support Texas Envirothon and the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston. Young Environmental Professionals (YEP) is a networking opportunity for young people new to the profession.
Major Events: Annual Environmental Challenges and Innovations Conference (ECIC): Gulf Coast (Oct); Winter Holiday Social; Annual Regulatory Update (Jul.).
Volunteer Opportunities: Conference and other event planning committees; TAEP Board of Directors.
Publications: ECIC conference proceedings with abstracts.
Jim Dobberstine, President
Kathleen Garland, Secretary
Mike McClellan, Programs Director
Pamela Embody, Membership Director
White Oak Bayou Association
Purpose: To promote greater public awareness, appreciation, and enjoyment of White Oak Bayou, its tributaries and environs by advocating the preservation, restoration, and maintenance of the natural wildlife habitats thereof, while promoting compatible educational and recreational opportunities within the area. White Oak Bayou Association was founded in May 1986.
Meetings: Monthly: 2nd Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. except November; Annual: November (Location, date, and time to be announced); Please confirm meeting location, date, and time by calling (713) 864-3008.
Programs: Field trips, tree planting, bike ways, storm water quality and environmental advocacy, participation in Harris County Flood Control District stakeholder committees, coordination with City of Houston Floodplain Management office, and education. Coordination with Bayou Preservation Association – http://www.bayoupreservation.org.
Tom Gall, President
Christina Hughes, Vice President
Bob Lee, Vice President
Tom Dornbusch , Vice President
Teresa Matlock, Treasurer
Doug Shannon, Secretary
Houston History Archives (UH-HHA)
Purpose: Founded 2005 as part of the Houston History Project (now the Welcome Wilson Houston History Collaborative), UH Center for Public History, UH-HHA is a public repository for books, documents, oral histories, and images related to the Houston region’s growth and development from 19th century to present. Particular areas of collection interest include energy development, environmental history and activism, and documentation of Houston’s ethnic diversity and activism. (see websites:
Environmental Collections Open to the Public: The Outdoor Nature Club, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Bayou Preservation Association, Scenic Houston, The Park People, the papers of Sarah and Army Emmott, Terry Tarlton Hershey’s papers (a partial accession). Kay B. Crooker Papers, Hana Ginzbarg Papers, Collections still in processing include Terry Tarlton Hershey’s Papers, papers of Dr. David Marrack, Brandt Mannchen, and the Keep Houston Beautiful records.
Consider donating your collections of environmental, city planning, or development history to UH-HHA where records and papers will be preserved, studied, and available to the public. Let your organization’s accomplishments become part of Houston’ history!
Speakers: Presentations on Houston’s environmental past, contact Dr. Teresa Tomkins-Walsh.
Dr. Teresa (Terry) Tomkins-Walsh
Houston Peace and Justice Center
Purpose: The Houston Peace and Justice Center provides networks and resources for organizations and individuals to advance peace and social justice.
Programs: Links and resources to various social justice movements happening in the area.
Volunteer Opportunities: Fill out an application online to become a volunteer.
Speakers Bureau: See website for events and speaker bookings.
Publications: Blog posts, e-mail newsletter.
HPJC Executive Committee:
Constance Gray, President
Don Cook, Vice President
Brenda Padilla, Recording Secretary
Nic Carlson & Danielle Niangar, Communication Secretaries
Cheryl Crosier, Treasurer
Dave Atwood, At-large
Jasmin Patel, At-large
Joe Marcincowski, At-large
Evan Silverman, Development Director
Houston Parks and Recreation Department
Purpose: To enhance the quality of urban life by providing safe, well-maintained parks and offering affordable programs for the community. Member: Commission for Accreditation of Park & Recreation Agencies.
Jan – Arbor Day; Youth Tennis classes begin
Feb – Salt Grass Trail Ride; Adult sports leagues begin
Mar- Tour de Houston, Metal & Muscle Expo; Lake Houston Wilderness New Entry
Apr- Houston Children’s Festival, Japan Festival, Houston International Festival
May- Challenge Day, Summer Pool Opening
June – Summer Food Program begins, Golf Tournament; Hershey Track & Field Meet
Jul- Freedom Over Texas; Houston Pops July 4th Celebration
Oct- Asian-American Festival; Wildflower seed planting
Nov- Via Colori
Dec- Heritage Society Candlelight Tour, Holiday Tree Lighting
Year round – Lake Houston Park Nature Center events
School year – After School Enrichment Program
Volunteer Opportunities: Oneika McCarthy (832) 395-7030
Publications: Activities Catalog – Winter/Spring Issue Dec 1, Summer Issue
Apr 1,and Fall Issue Aug 1.
Steve Wright, Director
Estella Espinosa, Division Manager, Communications
Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
Purpose: To provide education about the natural environment to people of all ages and to protect and enhance the Arboretum as a haven and as a sanctuary for native plants and animals.
Programs: Adult classes on nature and wildlife, art, photography, food and wine, and more. We also offer special events, membership drives, and educational encounters with live wild critters. See website for details
Major Events: Arbor Day in January, Tapas on Trails in February, Earth Day in April, Annual BBQ in June, ArBOOretum in October, Wicked Woods Party in October, Winter Solstice Party in December.
Children’s Activities: Tyke Hikes for 18 mo- 3 years, Tadpole Trooper classes for 3-5 years, Naturalist Explorers for 5-8 years, summer, winter and spring nature camps for 5-12 years, birthday parties, and home school. Guided Field Experience & Discovery Room for schools. Boy and Girl Scount badge programs.
Volunteer Opportunities: We use individual volunteers for conservation, gardening, Discovery Room, lobby/gift shop, epcial events, educational programs, outreach events and more. Group Opportunities available.
Publications: Website; quarterly Program Guide, e-newsletter: the Leaflet.
Debbie Markey, Executive Director
Pat Marks, Associate Director
Christine Mansfield, Marketing and Development
University of Houston: Office of Sustainability
Purpose: The University of Houston Office of Sustainability serves as the hub for campus sustainability efforts. Engaging the campus and community, the office fosters collaboration and educates individuals about social, economic and environmental factors that impact today’s society and generations to come. On-campus sustainability initiatives include academic programs and research, educational events, the campus community garden, single-stream recycling, water bottle refill stations, renewable energy use, sustainable transportation, green building and more.
Programs: Sustainability Task Force, Sustainability Meetups, Student Sustainability Team and Campus Community Garden
Events: Cleanup Day, Sustainability Fest, Bike to UH Day, Electronics Recycling Drive, RecycleMania and Earth Week,
Volunteer opportunities: Gardening, Campus and community events, Cleanup events
Publications: Blog: uhsustain.wordpress.com, The Sustainable Coog Newsletter: http://www.uh.edu/sustainablecoog,
Michael Mendoza, Sustainability Program Manager
Melissa Halstead, Sustainability Coordinator
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
Houston Access to Urban Sustainability
Purpose: The HAUS Project was formed in late 2010 to provide affordable, sustainable, cooperative housing in the accessible, urban core of the Houston region within close proximity of Houston’s growing light rail transit system. Our goal is to open 5 green coops in 5 years.
The mission of HAUS Project is to
Provide affordable housing operated cooperatively by residents.
Provide greener, more sustainable lifestyle options.
Educate the general public about cooperative organizational principles and greener, more sustainable lifestyle options.
Assist other cooperative and sustainability efforts in the Houston region and elsewhere.
Programs: The first house, Rosalie, opened on January 1, 2011 in Midtown and now houses ten people in its ten rooms. We’ve since expanded to include a second 15-bedroom house on Ruth St. We intend to develop houses of various sizes and appropriate for various lifestyle options, including at least one student focused house, and at least one house appropriate for children and families.
Volunteer Opportunities: We are always looking for future members and are especially looking for people who are excited about being on the front lines of developing our next house. Come over ANY Sunday – Wednesday at 7pm for dinner (bring $5 to cover your food costs) and we’d love to have you. E-mail [email protected] to let them know that you’re coming.
Marissa Ramos, Member Co-Coordinator and Board Representative
Houston Renewable Energy Group
Purpose: HREG is a local chapter of the Texas Solar Energy Society, with a mission to further the development of renewable energy and related arts, sciences, and technologies, with concern for the ecological, social, and economic fabric of our community and state. Members support local events, host the Houston Renewable Energy tour, and in general work to educate the community on the benefits of renewable energy. We were founded in 2000.
Meetings: Third Thursday of April, July, Oct. See website for details.
Volunteer Opportunities: Call or
e-mail [email protected].
Programs: Teacher workshops are available on issues regarding renewable energy. Speakers from the group are also available to give presentations to a school or student group.
HREG is the local chapter of the Texas Solar Energy Society.
Events: Solar Tour
Violeta Archer, President