Houston Environmental News Update February 8, 2018

Looking for Valentine’s Day ideas?

  • RedBuds Date Auction: The 9th Annual Date Auction, on Feb. 8, 2018, will benefit Trees For Houston. Join them at Irish Cowboy for a chance to win a date package filled with treats from Houston’s most trending local spots to share with one of Houston’s hottest Bachelors or Bachelorettes. Visit facebook for more info.
  • Tapas on the Trails: For two nights, Feb. 9 and 10, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center’s always popular Tapas on the Trails is back for Valentine’s Day 2018. Bring your special someone for a romantic evening getaway without leaving the city. Learn more at houstonarboretum.org.
  • Valentine’s Dinner benefiting Friends of Texas Wildlife. Celebrate this romantic holiday by helping Friends of Texas Wildlife prepare for the upcoming baby season. Friends of Texas Wildlife’s 3rd Annual Valentine Dinner will be on Saturday, February 10, 2018, at The Woodlands Resort. Learn more on the Friends of Texas Wildlife Facebook page.
  • Frisky Fauna–Romance & Mating in the Animal Kingdom: Are you looking for an unusual and interesting way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? On Feb. 10, 2018, join Nature Discovery Center for a fun and slightly off-color presentation about love and courtship in the animal kingdom. Adults only! Learn more and register at naturediscoverycenter.org.
  • Valentine’s Day Dinner at Hermann Park: Bring your sweetheart to Hermann
    Park this Valentine’s Day for a charming evening on Pinewood Cafe’s terrace. Continue the fun on a half-hour cruise for two in a pedal boat on the lake. Learn more at hermannpark.org.
  • Mercer Society’s Valentine’s Day Rose Sale: Get your Valentine a beautiful Rose bush to jump start their spring planting season and bloom with your love. Learn more and order at themercersociety.org.
  • Happy Hearts at the Houston Zoo: Get ready for this February’s sweetheart safari! On Feb. 22, 2018, kids can fall head over paws in love with clouded leopards, cougars, and jaguars, then create your very own Valentine for a Houston Zoo Animal. Register at houstonzoo.org.
  • Adopt a Bat: Bat Conservation International’s Adopt-a- bat program offers a fun
    way to introduce the young and the young-at- heart to the world of bats. (Bat
    adoption is symbolic. You will not receive a live bat.) Learn more at batcon.org.
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.


VOX Culture: Launch Event and Beer Summit for 2018 ‘Homegrown’ Initiative on Environment
VOX Culture will be opening the new year with a special event to introduce it’s focus on tackling the topic of environment in Houston. The advocacy organization will be hosting its second annual VOX Beer Summit at Eureka Heights Brew Co. the evening of Friday, February 9th from 6:30PM to 8:30PM. The event will be the formal opening for the organization’s 2018 theme addressing environment, called ‘Homegrown’.

The Vox Beer Summit will provide a chance for guests to meet VOX Culture’s community partners for the year: HoustainableHouston Sierra ClubCitizens’ Environment Coalition, and Air Alliance Houston. The organizations will present information to the audience pertaining to their work, the current environmental challenges Houston faces and what is or needs to be done, innovative solutions that can have a positive impact on environment, and the push for a proper environmental policy for the City of Houston. Guests will also have a chance to network individually with the groups to inquire about their work, ask environmentally related questions, and potentially sign up for future volunteering or fundraising opportunities with these groups. Towards the end of the presentations, guests will be welcome to come express and talk about either the challenges or positives that they see in their neighborhoods and/or Houston overall, on the subject of environment, and voice what they would like to see done in Houston.

Entry is free but limited. Please select and print your ticket to reserve your spot at this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vox-beer-summit-ii-tickets-42116111423

A beer selection from Eureka Heights will be available for guests wanting to purchase beer. Soft drinks and water will also be available to purchase by guests, together with a food selection provided by a food truck on location.

The latest updates can be found by visiting the VOX Culture page on Facebook.


We have tried to confirm the events listed below, but not all organizations have updated their websites. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts.

  1. Sierra Club’s Young Adult Sustainability Program
    Please join the Houston Regional Group of the Sierra Club to be inspired by local students at our February 8, 2018 general meeting. Participants include young people, from high school to college, from all parts of the city, and from all races and economic groups, to celebrate their common interests in sustaining the planet for future generations. These talented young adults will share a range of interests from post Harvey environmental conservation, veganism, and biodiesel for school buses to air quality. Students from Kingwood High School, Cesar Chavez, Energy High School and Furr HS have been invited. Each presenter will receive a certificate of recognition, a gift card, and a one-year membership to the Sierra Club. The event is free and open to the public at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 1805 W Alabama, in Pecore Hall. Main Program starts at 7:30 PM (doors open for an informal social period starting at 7:00 PM). Visitors always welcome! Learn more on Sierra Club’s Facebook page.
  2. Conservation, Ecology, and Environmental Career Forum
    Last February, more than 100 students attended the first annual Conservation, Ecology, and Environment Career Forum. Anyone interest in environmental careers, education, internships, etc. should plan to attend. Questions about this event can be sent to Dr. Cassidy Johnson at [email protected] Co-presented by HCC Biology Department, University of St. Thomas, and Coastal Prairie Partnership. Learn more on the Career Forum’s facebook page.
  3. Mardi Gras in Mandell Park
    It’s carnival time and everyone’s having fun in Mandell Park! We’ll have king cake and beads and masks and a parade. Kids and adults should wear costumes. Learn more on the Mandell Park Facebook page.
  4. Houston Urban Gardeners: What to Grow Now
    Learn how to grow some of your own food. Quarterly “what to grow now” so you know what to plant when in our year round gardening climate. Fruit trees, edible natives, soil health, tips from local farmers & more. 2nd Monday of each month. Check website &/or subscribe to newsletter at houstonurbangardeners.org.
  5. EJ Ingrained – the Practice of Environmental Justice at EPA
    The University of Houston Law Center is proud to welcome Matt Tejada as its Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Lecture Series speaker for Spring 2018, on Thursday, February 15. Dr. Tejada has served since 2013 as the Director of U.S. EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, and this presentation will offer his perspective on the past five year’s experiences and recent changes in federal policy. Dr. Tejada is already well known in Houston as the former Executive Director of Air Alliance Houston, where he spearheaded the consolidation of Mothers for Clean Air with the Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention into a new powerful advocacy group with a doubled operating budget. He will offer his personal perspectives on how environmental justice has become ingrained into the practices and cultures of federal agencies, and how it will continue to play a role in the future of environmental protection. Learn more and register online.
  6. PACE: Liftoff in Houston
    Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, is not yet an everyday term, but it is gaining traction in Houston. Texas PACE enables property owners to finance 100% of their energy saving, water conservation, and distributed generation improvements with little to no capital outlay. PACE enables commercial property owners to lower their operating costs, increase net operating income and the quality of the asset as the idea is what you save in utilities will be greater than your payments.  A voluntary land-secured assessment that is paid off over time, often up to 20 years or more, the City enabled PACE as a way to incentivize sustainability and resilience upgrades to commercial, industrial and multifamily properties. Partnering with US Green Building Council, PACE: Liftoff in Houston is a free education seminar, open to the public. Feb. 28, 2018, 6:00-8:00pm at the Green Building Resource Center. The panel will be discussing the first few successful PACE projects in Houston. CEU’s available. Please RSVP to Steve Stelzer at (832)394-9050 or [email protected]. For more information, visit codegreenhouston.org.
  7. HNPAT Presents Professor, Environmental Lawyer, and Author Jim BlackburnJim-Blackburn-HGAPS
    The Houston Chapter of Native Prairies Association of Texas (HNPAT) has the honor of hosting Jim Blackburn on Feb. 28, 2018, from 6:30-8:30pm, at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion at Hermann Park. Blackburn will discuss the Texas Coastal Exchange, a system developed at the Severe Storm Prevention, Education and Evacuation from Disaster (“SSPEED”) Center at Rice University, for buying and selling ecological services such as carbon sequestration, water supply enhancement, flood mitigation and fish and wildlife enhancement. Restoration of coastal and inland prairies is a key driver of Texas Coastal Exchange, and this restoration along with certain grazing techniques could revolutionize conservation thinking as well as the farm and ranch economy and the oil and gas industry. For more information, visit houstonprairie.org.
  8. Interfaith Environmental Study in 2018
    The Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston, a Houston affiliate of the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, invites you to join with people of other faiths for an Interfaith Environmental Study in 2018.  A group for the study is forming now and considering several resources for use in the study.  Date/times for the study will be set by group preference. Contact Lisa Brenskelle at [email protected] if you might like to participate or would like more information on the study resources under consideration.
  9. Save the date: Faith Climate Action Week
    Religious communities around the country use the week from Apr. 14 to 22, 2018, to focus their attention on ways to green their facilities and homes, take action locally, and advocate for state and local governments to move towards a sustainable, 100% renewable energy future. Faith Climate Action Week will encompass the week leading up to Earth Day and will focus on how communities can take action to protect our climate. This year the theme is “Charged with Faith: Leading the way to a clean energy future.” Pre-registration for community engagement packages are now open.
  10. TV: Texas Parks & Wildlife
    Broadcast on KUHT Channel 8 at 3:00 p.m. each Saturday and on municipal access cable channels in Baytown, Deer Park, Houston, Texas City, Galveston, Nassau Bay, Pasadena, Seabrook, Sugar Land, and on HCC TV. More info on the TPWD website (* indicates a segment about the Houston area). For a preview, visit TPWD’s YouTube Page.

    • In Memory of Jacob Krebs: A young man’s dream to become a Navy Seal and serve his country ends too quickly, but his values and family and community love sparks new opportunities and even life for many others. The Harper WildlifeAssociation Youth Hunt in Memory of Jacob Krebs is now an annual event providing first time hunting opportunities to youth who come from a military background.
    • Lone Star Land Steward: El Carmen Land & Cattle Co.: A wildlife refuge along the Texas-Mexico border protects vital dispersal corridors for large mammals and is a major migration corridor for birds. Wildlife managers Bonnie and Billy Pat McKinney are busy restoring this precious piece of Chihuahuan Desert.
    • Parrot People: Bird-enthusiasts in the Rio Grande Valley are turning their attention to a bird with a strong personality about which researchers know very little: the Red-Crowned Parrot. Threatened by habitat loss and the pet trade, the Red-Crowned Parrot has moved to the cities of south Texas, while researchers and volunteers are just now learning the basics about this quirky bird.

Additional Upcoming Events