Sheldon State Park and Envir. Learning Center
Purpose: Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center is a 2,800-acre outdoor education and recreation facility located in northeast Harris County. It offers year round adult and family programs and activities as well as field trip opportunities for students of all ages. Beginning in 2003, the park is became an important restoration site for tall grass prairie. The park is open to the public daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The lake, its banks, and levees are open from sunrise to sunset.
Programs: The park offers a variety of nature and ecology programs to organized groups on a reservation basis. Park staff and volunteers provide programs on nature/ecology, nature walks, catch-and-release fishing in two stocked ponds (fishing poles provided), pond ecology, native plant gardening, hunter education, composting and recycling. Programs range in time from one to two hours each.
Events: For a complete listing of the park’s daily events, please visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/sheldon-lake/park_events
Activities: Sheldon Lake is open every day to public fishing with appropriate licenses. Birding, wildlife/nature study, hiking, and fishing for children. The park includes a 0.5-mile self-guided nature trail that passes 28 naturalized ponds that contain alligators and other wildlife. (Binoculars are recommended for best viewing.) Free catch-and-release family fishing is permitted for children accompanied by adults, in the two fishing ponds. Alternative energy technologies and green building techniques (photovoltaic, solar hot water, wind turbine and ground coupled-geothermal) are demonstrated at the Pond Center. A wildscape demonstration garden shows techniques for using native plants and wildflowers to attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife to your backyard.
Volunteer Opportunities: For information on volunteer opportunities at Sheldon Lake, contact the park at (281) 456-2800
Bayou Preservation Association, Inc.
Purpose: Founded in 1966 to protect and restore the richness and diversity of our waterways through activism, advocacy, collaboration and education. BPA monitors water quality, plans clean-ups for bayous, restores habitat, reviews permit applications and sponsors seminars on flood reduction.
Programs: Board Meetings have speakers. Committees include Project, Water Quality, Paddle Trails, and Development and Nominations.
Major Events: BPA Gala, Fall; Water Symposium, Fall; Trash Bash, Spring; Project a Month (year round bayou and park clean up started in 2010).
Publications: Newsletter; Bayou Planting Guide; Quick Guide on Flood Management. Call BPA office
Sarah P. Bernhardt, President & CEO
Robert L. Rayburn, Board Chair
Linda R. Shead, Board Vice Chair
Eric Ruckstuhl, Habitat Restoration
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
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]
Purpose: The mission of BikeHouston is to promote safe bicycling and to improve the quality of life in the Houston area. Our goals are to:
-secure equitable access to regional facilities, lands and roads
-educate the public about rights and responsibilities of bicyclists
-promote public awareness of the personal and community benefits of cycling
We will do this by forming broad coalitions with individuals and groups wherever a common purpose can be found.
Meeting Time: Varies, see website.
Programs: Offer a free bike safety class to students from their website.
Major Events: Houston Moonlight Bicycle Ramble, Bike Month and Bike to Work Day in May; Effective Cycling (adult safety/skills) classes.
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers are welcome to join any aspect of the organization, especially the Moonlight Bicycle Ramble and other rides.
Clark Martinson, Executive Director
Bowen Roberts, Volunteer Coordinator
Jessica Wiggins, Advocacy Director
Houston Parks Board
Purpose: The Houston Parks Board creates, improves, protects and advocates for parks in the Greater Houston region.
Programs: Parkland acquisition and park capital improvement projects; collaboration with other green groups; neighborhood partnership program; commemorative benches and reforestation fund for Houston-area parks.
One of the most exciting initiatives to come along in recent years is the Bayou Greenways Initiative. As we continue to successfully serve our mission of adding equitably distributed parkland to the greater Houston area, we have joined several other public and private partners to embark upon this bold initiative focusing on Houston’s bayous, specifically the potential of connected greenways and park spaces along ten of our major bayous.
Speakers Bureau: Contact Executive Director.
Publications: Annual Report.
Beth White, President and CEO
Rachel Compton, Public Relations
Tina Clayton, Development 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 Botanic Garden
Purpose: To establish and sustain a premier botanic garden to promote public appreciation and understanding of plants, gardens, and conservation of the natural world through education and scientific enquiry. Through discovery, education and the conservation of plants and the natural environment, the HBG aims to enrich lives, serve as a model for sustainability, and inspire all who visit to become environmental stewards.
Programs: Current programs entail fundraising and implementation of Phase I of the Houston Botanic Garden master plan. Once open, partnerships with area schools and universities will make the garden an exceptional classroom, and HBG looks forward to partnering with garden clubs and many civic organizations across the City of Houston.
Volunteer Opportunities: Contact the general email for volunteer opportunities.
Claudia Gee Vassar, President and General Counsel
Jose L. Leal, Office Manager
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
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
Purpose: Scenic Houston works to eliminate visual blight because all Houstonians are entitled to a green, uncluttered, visually appealing city. Scenic Houston promotes sign control, billboard reduction, freeway landscaping, scenic byway development, and enhanced design standards for public projects. Our success improves the quality of life for all Houstonians.
Major Events: Scenic Visionary Awards Dinner, October.
Volunteer Opportunities: Young Friends Initiatives, Scenic Action network, assisting with special events, outreach. Contact the office for more information.
Publications: Scenic Views e-newsletter, legislative alerts as needed, brochures, articles, blog.
Anne Culver, President
Sherry Weesner, Director of Projects
Texas Southern University, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs
Purpose: The Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs has a reputation as a comprehensive center for sound academic research. Scholars focus on a broad range of topics, including voting behavior, American foreign policy and international relations, political communication, criminal justice attitudes and behavior, police violence, environmental justice, race and crime, race and governance, policy studies, leadership, E-government, homeland security, urban transportation, housing and community development, Diaspora studies, environmental planning, economic development and the fiscal responsibility of urban governments.
Check online for information about degrees offered at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
Programs: Research, Policy Advocacy, Campus Sustainability Initiatives, Educational Seminars, Lectures, and Workshops
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteer and student internships; study abroad
Dr. Michael Adams, Interim Chair for Dept. of Political Science
Dr. Gautam Nayer, Interim Chair for Admin. of Justice
Dr. Sheri Smith, Interim Chair for Dept. of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy
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-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
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
Purpose: 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
Environmental Institute of Hou – UHCL
Purpose: EIH is the environmental education, outreach, and research component of the University of Houston system. It serves as a contact point for the community to access the expertise and resources of the university. Additionally, EIH partners with agencies, community and environmental groups, and businesses to conduct research and outreach projects in the Houston region. EIH focuses on four areas: pollution prevention, environmental policy, natural resource conservation, and environmental education.
Programs: Activities include teacher workshops, facilitation and public outreach, conferences, and service learning. The Texas Envirothon program is an environmental education competition open to all students in grades 9-12. Students study forestry, wildlife, aquatics, soils, and a current issue that changes annually. The Envirothon program is administered by the Environmental Institute of Houston (EIH) at the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL). The mission of the Texas Envirothon is to develop knowledgeable, skilled, and dedicated citizens who are willing and prepared to work towards achieving a balance between the quality of life and the quality of the environment. Please contact Wendy Reistle at [email protected] for questions about participation in the program.
Dr. George Guillen, Executive Director
(281) 283-3950; [email protected]
Wendy Reistle, Environmental Education Program Coordinator
(281) 283-3045; [email protected]
Sierra Club – Hou. Regional Group
Purpose: To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
Meetings: Second Thurs., 7:30 p.m., St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 1805 West Alabama at Woodhead. OPEN TO PUBLIC.
Major Events: Trips, workshops, outings, and classes; Yard Sale, spring; Annual Auction, at December meeting.
Recreational Outings: Open to members and non-members. See listing on website.
Children’s Activities: Inner City Outings program. Contact Lorraine Gibson at [email protected].
Volunteer Opportunities: Issues include water & air quality, watershed, sustainability, energy, forestry, and parks & wildlife; Political Committee endorsements; legislative issues and letter writing; trail maintenance on Lone Star Hiking Trail; training for leading outings.
Publications: Bayou Banner, monthly (call for free copy or print PDF version from website).
Art Browning, Executive Committee Chair,
Evelyn L. Merz, Conservation Chair,
Carol Woronow, Bayou Banner and Newsletter Editor,
Melanie Oldham Air Quality
Brandt Mannchen, Forestry and Big Thicket
Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Purpose: Buffalo Bayou Partnership is the Houston non-profit organization revitalizing and transforming Buffalo Bayou, our city’s most significant natural resource. Coordinating the integration of major improvements into the Bayou greenway, the Partnership seeks increased community involvement through pedestrian, boating and biking amenities, art installations, and other natural and built attractions.
Major events: Buffalo Bayou Regatta, kayak tours, history hikes, bat tours, Second Saturday Boat cruises, Nights on Blue Bayou events along the Sabine Promenade.
Children’s Activities: Kids’ Day on Buffalo Bayou, Second Saturday Boat Cruises, bat tours and kayak tours. Speakers are available to give presentations to your school classroom or group. Contact Trudi Smith for booking.
Volunteer Opportunities: Tree planting, cleanups, Adopt-A-Spot, help with events, office work.