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 City Waterkeeper
Purpose: To protect and restore the integrity of our bayous, rivers, streams, and the bays through advocacy, education, and action.
Bayou City Waterkeeper (formerly Galveston Baykeeper) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to ensure that every waterway is swimmable, fishable, and drinkable from Lake Livingston through the Bayous of Houston down to Galveston Bay. Bayou City Waterkeeper is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a global environmental movement which began in 1966 with the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association and grew to encompass waterways around the world.
Programs: Pollution Hotline, Wetland Watch, Save Our Gulf.
Volunteer Opportunities: We need citizens to report pollution and possible Clean Water Act violations. We also need administrative, fundraising and community event volunteers.
Publications: The Bay Times, an electronic newsletter.
Speakers Bureau: Pesticides 101, Where Have All the Wetlands Gone? and wetland education to municipalities. Contact website for booking a speaker for your classroom or student group.
Jordan Macha is the Executive Director and Waterkeeper
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
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
Brian Chen, President
Texas Campaign for the Environment
Purpose: Empowering Texans to fight pollution through sustained grassroots organizing campaigns that shift corporate and governmental policy. The TEC envisions a Texas free from pollution. As the largest environmental group in Texas organizing support through door-to-door canvassing, grassroots is both who we are and what we do.
Programs: Advocates for local, state and national policies that hold manufacturers responsible for recycling the toxic products they create (such as electronic waste or “e-waste”); works to strengthen environmental and health standards for Texas landfills; educates residents and builds grassroots support through a year-round neighborhood canvassing program; and works toward recycling for all Houstonians.
Job Opportunities: Full and part-time paid Community Organizer positions available year round.
Volunteer Opportunities: Call Rosanne Barone.
Publications: Annual report and regular email action alerts to TCE members. Visit the website http://www.texasenvironment.org to view past reports and join as a member.
Robin Schneider, Executive Director
Rosanne Barone, Program Director
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
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:
Jeff Reese, President
Don Cook, Vice President
Brenda Padilla, Volunteer Coordinator
Danielle Niangar, Communication Secretaries
Cheryl Crosier, Treasurer
Dave Atwood, At-large
Jasmin Patel, At-large
Joe Marcincowski, At-large
Shawn McFarland, At-large
Evan Silverman, Development Director
Houston Canoe Club
Purpose: Established in 1964, the Houston Canoe Club’s members are interested in all types of paddlesport from canoeing to kayaking, quietwater, whitewater, touring and racing. We do it all and have fun doing it. Canoe safety presentations are available for school groups.
Meeting Time: 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Bayland Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet Street, Houston, TX 77074.
Volunteer Opportunities: Waterway clean-ups, habitat restoration, boating race safety/judging, water quality issues.
Publications: Monthly newsletter, The Waterline.
Bob Naeger, Commodore
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
Endangered Species Media Project
Purpose: The Endangered Species Media Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization chartered in Texas in 1989 to promote greater understanding of how the quality of human life is enhanced by preservation of our natural heritage of wilderness and wildlife. The organization was founded to establish a partnership with schools, corporations and private individuals.
Mission: To create conservation programs and productions for literary, artistic, inspirational and educational purposes; encouraging and promoting works that foster a thoughtful perspective toward stewardship of Earths ecological treasures.
Programs: Public education and hands-on challenges, conservation activities, Buffalo Bayou canoe expeditions and clean-ups, dolphin expeditions, young artist exhibitions, film projects. Speakers and presentations are available to be booked and held in the classroom or for your student group. Contact website for booking.
Publication: Vanishing Wildlife of Texas
Michael Hunt, Vice President
Stephanie Day, Secretary
Richard Salzhandler, Treasurer
Jan Campbell, CPA
Chris Sheridan (Dec’d.)
Frank Salzhandler (Dec’d.)
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
Tina Clayton, Development Coordinator
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
Rice Design Alliance
Purpose: Dedicated to the advancement of architecture, urban design, and the built environment in the Houston region through educational programs, the publication of Cite, and active programs to initiate physical improvements. By sponsoring lectures, seminars, symposia, exhibits, and tours, RDA seeks to involve the public.
Volunteer Opportunities: Docents needed for house tour, gala, and other events.
Publications: Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston, published quarterly, Ephemeral City: Cite Looks at Houston (2003, UT Press).
Maria Nicanor, Executive Director
Angie Chen, Interim Executive Director
Raquel Puccio, Administrative Coordinator
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
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 Archeological Society
Purpose: To foster enthusiastic interest and active participation in the discovery, documentation, and preservation of cultural resources (prehistoric and historic properties) of the city of Houston, the Houston metropolitan area, and the Upper Texas Gulf Coast Region. The Houston Archeological Society (HAS) is a non-profit organization that serves the professional, student and avocational archeological community of Houston.
Programs: The HAS holds monthly membership meetings on the third Thursday of each month with invited lecturers who speak on various topics of archeology and history. All meetings are free and open to the public. HAS members engage in fieldwork throughout the year. Artifacts recovered from those sites are then analyzed in the laboratory and interpretive reports are written.
Volunteer Opportunities: Available in the field, the lab, and at training and other events. Field work consists primarily of excavations and screening, and occasionally surveying, testing and monitoring, and involves physical labor such as digging, chopping, carrying and lifting. Training provided.
Publications: In addition to a monthly newsletter The Profile, the annual Archeological Review, and various bulletins and reports, the HAS supports two reference libraries: at the Rice University Fondren Library and the Adriance Library and Research Center located at the Brazoria County Historical Museum.
Linda Gorski, President
Larry Golden, Vice President
Bob Sewell, Treasurer
Beth Kennedy, Secretary
Brays Bayou Association
Purpose: To reduce the risk of flooding in the Brays Bayou watershed.
Meetings: Open meetings are held the third Monday of every month, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room., The Gathering Place, 5410 South Willow Drive, 77035
Major Events: Annual meeting in March.
Volunteer Opportunities: Contact Bob Schwartz.
Speakers Bureau: Speakers available to give presentations in classrooms or to groups. Contact Bob Schwartz.
Publications: Articles in various media.
Bob Schwartz, President
Charles Goforth, Vice President
Bob Marshall, Vice President Emeritus
Don Hickle, Secretary
Charles Goforth, Acting Treasurer
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
Wildlife Center of Texas
Purpose: WTC was formed to care for injured, ill and orphaned wildlife through rehabilitation, public education and release in the Greater Houston / Upper Gulf Coast region. Each year the WCT cares for over 10,000 thousand injured or orphaned wild animals including over 300 different species. The WCT is Houston’s first trauma hospital that accepts all native injured, ill and orphaned wildlife. The Center is funded by the generous donations of the general public and corporations and receives no government funding.
Meetings: Monthly volunteer orientation meetings (excl. Dec. & Jan.) on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 10 a.m.- 12 noon. For information and to RSVP contact Margaret at [email protected].
9-6 M-F; 9–4 S & S Mar-Aug; 9-4 daily Sept-Feb
Programs: Wildlife rehabilitation, environmental education, oiled wildlife training and response for the Gulf coast states and wildlife disaster response.
Major events: Annual Fundraiser Golf Tournament in the spring. Annual Open House in the fall.
Publications: On-line newsletter.
Speakers Bureau: Trained speakers are available on the following topics: peaceful coexistence; responsible environmental stewardship; how to tell if an animal requires intervention; reuniting moms and babies; dealing with “nuisance” animals, and oiled wildlife response training workshops.
Sharon Schmalz, Executive Director
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, walk tours, bat tours, Second Saturday Boat cruises, Twilight tours, Seasonal 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: Monthly Volunteer Day,Tree planting, cleanups, Adopt-A-Spot, help with events, office work.
Anne Olson, President
Trudi Smith, Director of Public Relations and Events