Houston Environmental News Update September 19, 2018

Each fall, the environmental community starts buzzing with activity, and this fall is no exception. And a lot of the buzz is about (and in and around) prairies. The 2018 regional celebration of Prairies and Pollinators kicks off this Saturday. September 22, 2018, with four events involving prairie planting, hummingbirds, wetland restoration, and NPSOT’s sold-out Wildscapes Workshop. Events continue into November. Check out the full schedule at prairiepartner.org.

But prairies and pollinators are not the only things abuzz. Read on to learn about Climate Action, Harvey, birding, Jazz at Jones, Harvey, hydrogen cyanide, compost, energy, small homes, street safety, a candidate forum, and much more. Read on for more.


Wild About Houston: A Green Film Festival
Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, Rice Media Center, and additional partners on October 17, for “Wild About Houston, A Green Film Festival,” to showcase local short films telling environmental stories. Email [email protected] if you have a film to submit.

6:30 p.m. conversation, networking, and a light meal, followed by the screening at 7:00 pm. Free to the public, though donations are kindly appreciated. For more information, see the Facebook event.
And be sure to mark your calendar for January 30 & 31, 2019, when we’ll be hosting the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour.

CEC Seeks Board & Committee Members
The CEC is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on our 2019 Board of Directors and on board committees (programs, publications, membership, governance, finance, and development). Our Governance Committee will be hosting informational open houses for potential board members September 24 and October 22, 2018. If you are interested, please send an email with your résumé to [email protected]

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.


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. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announces Climate Action Plan
    On Sept. 13, 2018, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner officially announced the city’s Climate Action Plan during an appearance at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. The city is working with the HARC on the plan, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and establishing a pathway to meet the Paris Agreement goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The full plan is expected to be released by the end of 2019. For more information, visit greenhoustontx.gov.
  2. Houston Audubon offers birding classes through December
    Houston Audubon is offering several classes in birding through December, including Gulf Coast Birding, Nature at Night, Introduction to Birding, and Wintering Birds. The classes are taught by Glenn Olsen. For more information and to register, visit houstonaudubon.org.
  3. 2018 Prairies & Pollinators: A Regional Celebration
    From late September through early November, the Coastal Prairie Partnership is sponsoring “2018 Prairies & Pollinators: A Regional Celebration,” a set of events allowing attendees to learn about and help plant pollinating plants in prairies across the region. For a full listing of the planned events, which start on Saturday, visit prairiepartner.org.
  4. Northwest Food Information Forum 
    On Sept. 20, 2018, from 6:30-8 p.m., the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce will host a forum called “Prop A Passed – What Next?” featuring Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle and representatives of the Harris County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The forum will be held at Cypress Creek Christian Church, 6823 Cypresswood, Spring. For more information and to register, visit houstonnwchamber.org.
  5. Native Plant Society of Texas meeting
    On Sept. 20, 2018, beginning at 6:45 p.m., the Houston chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold its monthly meeting featuring a presentation by Carolyn White, conservation manager at Memorial Park Conservancy, titled “A Plan for Houston’s Greenspace Future: Using Native Plants to Restore Local Ecosystems.” The meeting will be held at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. For more information, visit npsot.org.
  6. Valero Refinery Public Meeting
    On Sept. 20, 2018, beginning at 7 p.m., t.e.j.a.s. (Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services) will host a public meeting on Valero’s permit application for increased hydrogen cyanide emissions from its east Houston refinery. The meeting will be held at Hartman Park Community Center, 9311 East Avenue P.
  7. Houston Area Master Composter Program
    Houston-Area composting enthusiasts who want to enhance their skills and spread the sustainable practice can become a Master Composter through a training hosted by the Houston Green Building Resource Center, Sept. 20-23, 2018.  For more on this workshop, visit codegreenhouston.org.
  8. Urban Harvest’s Saturday Farmers Market moves to NEW LOCATION!
    On Sept. 22, from 8 a.m.-noon, Urban Harvest will hold its Saturday Farmers Market at its new location, the parking lot of St. John’s School, 3401 Westheimer at Buffalo Speedway. This new location doubles the market’s current footprint and boasts a parking garage with over 550 parking spaces. More than 60 vendors provide local produce and prepared foods at Houston’s largest producers-only farmers market. Urban Harvest’s City Hall Farmers Market is also open after taking the summer off.
  9. Hobart Taylor Park Prairie Habitat Restoration
    On Sept. 22, 2018, from 9 a.m.-noon, the Houston Parks & Recreation Department’s Natural Resources Management Program will hold a volunteer event to help restore urban prairie habitat at Hobart Taylor Park, . Gloves and shovels will be provided. Be sure to bring plenty of water, along with shoes and clothes that can get muddy. To RSVP, please call 832-395-7090 or email [email protected].
  10. Take Me Outdoors Festival at Discovery Green
    On Sept. 22, 2018, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Texas Parks and Wildlife and other organizations will co-host the 10th annual Take Me Outdoors Festival at Discovery Green. This family-friendly event will include birds of prey demonstrations, aquatic touch tanks, a nature sensory safari, and more. For more information, visit discoverygreen.com.
  11. Jazz Up Jones for National Public Lands Day
    On Sept. 22, 2018, 9 a.m.-noon, the Bayou Land Conservancy, Jesse H. Jones Park, and REI will host Jazz Up Jones Park for National Public Lands Day. This is the largest single-day volunteer effort on public lands in the U.S. Volunteers will help clear unwanted, under-story vegetation, remove invasive plants, and pick up trash to “Jazz Up Jones”. To sign up or for more information, visit bayoulandconservancy.force.com.
  12. Mason Park Bridge Grand Opening
    On Sept. 22, 2018, the Houston Parks Board, Houston Parks and Recreation and other entities will host the grand opening of the Mason Park Bridge: a 485-foot-long, 16-foot-wide pedestrian/bike suspension bridge connecting Mason Park, 541 South 75th St., to the Brays Bayou Greenway trail system. The event will begin with a free 5k Fun Run at 8 a.m., followed by a Picnic in the Park with live music and games and other activities, from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. For more information, visit houstonparksboard.org.
  13. Back the Bayou Family Fun Nature 5K Walk
    On Sept. 23, 2018, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the Armand Bayou Nature Center will host the Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Back the Bayous, including an interactive nature 5K walk, live music, wildlife exhibitions, and nonprofit information booths. All proceeds benefit Bayou City Waterkeeper‘s conservation, advocacy, and education programs. For more information and to register, visit bayoucitywaterkeeper.salsalabs.org.
  14. Houston Tomorrow 20th Birthday Party
    On Sept. 24, 2018, from 6-8 p.m., Houston Tomorrow will host is 20th Birthday Celebration at Cafe Brasil, 2604 Dunlavy St. Since 1998, Houston Tomorrow has worked to change the city’s future story from one about ever-expanding car-based development in the prairies and marshes to a new one about a high quality of life in complete, walkable communities with access to nature and connected to other such communities by good transit service.The event is limited to 150 people. Learn more and register on Facebook.
  15. 2018 Texas Energy Summit
    From Sept. 24-26, 2018, the newly re-branded Texas Energy Summit will be held at the Hyatt Regency Houston/Galleria. The summit is a premiere educational conference and business expo that provides attendees the opportunity to engage in a lively conversation about cleaner air, a better built environment, sustainability and a new energy economy. For more information and to register, visit texasenergysummit.com.
  16. “Climate Resilience, Civil Society & Disruptive Change” workshop
    On Sept. 25, 2018, from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., the University of Texas–Arlington’s Zero Waste Network in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Earth Day ATX, Public Citizen, the Houston Green Building Center, and A Nurtured World will present a workshop to help individuals identify key environmental issues that affect them; reduce their impact; save money; and improve quality of life. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.
  17. “Building This City” reception honoring Commissioner Rodney Ellis
    On Sept. 25, 2018, from 6-8 p.m. Blueprint Houston will hold its “Building This City” reception, honoring Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, at Emancipation Park, 3018 Emancipation Avenue. The organization’s recently announced new mission is to promote the evolution and implementation of Plan Houston as the basis for planning the city’s future. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.
  18. Children’s Summit 2018: Community Design for Our Next Generation
    On Sept. 26, 2018, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Children At Risk will host is 2018 Summit, with the theme “Community Design for Our Next Generation,” focusing on how community design impacts children and how Houston can be made the ideal city to be a child. For more information and to register, visit childrenatrisk.org.
  19. “Small Homes for Houston” panel discussion
    On Sept. 26, 2018, from 6-8 p.m., the Houston Green Building Center, will host a panel discussion on “small homes” in the Houston area, featuring Dan Cunningham of Humble-based Phoenix Construction. Teresa Geisheker of the City of Houston Planning Department, and Devin Robinson of Design Lab. For more information and to RSVP, visit codegreenhouston.org.
  20. Texas Ecosystems Analytical Mapper presentation at HNPAT
    On Sept. 26, 2018, beginning at 6:30 p.m., the Houston chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas will hold its monthly meeting, featuring a presentation (beginning at 7 p.m.) by Amie Treuer-Kuehn, a plant ecologist with  Texas Parks & Wildlife, on the Texas Ecosystem Analytical Mapper (“TEAM”) interactive mapping tool. The meeting will be held at the American Red Cross building, 2700 Southwest Freeway. For more information, visit houstonprairie.org.
  21. “After the Flood: Lessons from Hurricane Harvey” course begins
    Leaf printsBeginning Sept. 27, 2018, the Glasscock School for Continuing Studies at Rice University is offering an 8-week course called “After the Flood: Lessons from Hurricane Harvey,” in which experts from a variety of fields from will explore the region’s vulnerability to extreme weather and the extraordinary efforts that have taken place to rebuild lives and communities in Harvey’s wake. For more information and to register, visit glasscock.rice.edu.
  22. Street Safety Summit
    On Sept. 27, 2018, LINK Houston and the Kinder Institute for Urban Research will co-host a summit on pedestrian and bicyclist on Houston’s streets, with a focus on providing practical examples of how walkability and biking can be improved.
    Local and national experts will share ideas and best practices on a variety of topics including campaigns, local government budgeting, public-private partnerships, coalition building and design implementation. For more information and to register, visit linkhouston.org.
  23. Houston Dialogue on Renewable Energy
    On Sept. 27, 2018, from noon-5 p.m., the Consulate General of Germany, the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and Ecologic Institute will co-host a “Houston Dialogue on Renewable Energy,” focusing on renewable energy’s role in the future energy system with particular focus on resilience, equity, and economic impacts. For more information and to register (by Sept. 21), visit eventbrite.com.
  24. “Galveston Bay Report Card: How’d We Do Last Year”
    On September 27, 2018, from 1:30-3 p.m., the Water Efficiency Network of the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District will hold its monthly meeting at the Houston-Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons Lane. The guest speaker will be T’Noya Thompson, report coordinator for the Galveston Bay Foundation, who will give a presentation titled “Galveston Bay Report Card: How’d We Do Last Year?”. Registration is not required.
  25. Talanoa Dialogue on Hurricane Harvey Recovery
    Texas Impact is hosting a series of Talanoa Dialogues on recovery from Hurricane Harvey at faith institutions in the Houston area. The dialogues will use a framework based on the questions: “Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?” The next event will be held Sept. 27, 2018, beginning at 6 p.m., at First Unitarian-Universalist Church, 5200 Fannin St. The next one scheduled will be a Temple Sinai, 13875 Brimhurst St. on Oct. 16. For more information, visit texasimpact.org.
  26. “Hurricane Harvey: In the Eye of the Storm” discussion
    On Sept. 27, 2018, from 6-8 p.m., the Houston Methodist Hospital Research Institute will host a discussion on lessons for Houston’s leadership arising from Hurricane Harvey, including addressing infectious diseases, chemical exposures and mental trauma on residents. The event will feature David E. Persse, M.D., of the City of Houston Public Health Authority, and Joshua M. Sharfstein, M.D., vice dean of  the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. For more information and to register, visit globalhealthnow.org.
  27. UH Energy Symposium: Future of the Electric Grid
    On Sept. 27, 2018, from 6-7:30 p.m., UH Energy will host the first in its 2018-19 Energy Symposium Series, “Future of the Electric Grid: Renewed or Gridlocked?” A panel of experts will discuss adoption of distributed renewable energy resources, the potential electrification of the transportation sector cyber challenges faced by the grid. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.
  28. Harris County Candidate Forum: Equity & Resiliency in Housing & Environment
    On Sept. 27, 2018, from 6:30-8 p.m., the HOME coalition and the Coalition for Environment, Equity and Resilience (CEER) will co-host a candidate forum for the Harris County Commissioner Court elections in November, focusing on equitable, transparent, and resilient recovery after Hurricane Harvey. The forum will be held at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. For more information and to RSVP, visit eventbrite.com.
  29. Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition 2018
    On Sept. 27-28, 2018, the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence, an accredited provider of Sustainability (CSR) Training Programs, will present a course providing advanced certified education on Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for professionals who want to maximize their company’s impact and become qualified in the sustainability field.
    When registering online, use the discount code “CSE10” to receive a 10 percent discount. For more information to register, visit cse-net.org.
  30. Energy Efficiency for Business Workshop
    On Sept. 28, 2018, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) will hold the second of its free Energy Efficiency for Business workshops, titled “Energy Efficiency Tools and Resources.” Attendees will learn about resources for planning and implementing energy efficiency projects including funding strategies, technology options, energy management best practices, workforce training, and development options. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.
  31. 2019 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards applications due Sept. 28
    The Texas Environmental Excellence Awards honor achievements in environmental preservation and protection. As the state’s highest environmental honor, the Office of the Governor and commissioners from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recognize outstanding projects from ten diverse categories. The last day to apply is Sept. 28, 2018. For more information, visit tceq.texas.gov.
  32. H-GAC Parks and Natural Areas Awards applications due Sept.. 28
    The Houston-Galveston Area Council is accepting applications for the 2018 Parks and Natural Areas Awards, which recognize projects that expand parks and natural areas for improved quality of life, habitat, and water quality. Winning projects, which exhibit efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation, serve as models to be replicated throughout the region. The deadline for applications is Sept. 28, 2018. For more information, visit h-gac.com .
  33. Deer Park Fall Prairie Day
    On Sept. 29, 2018, from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., the Houston chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas will host a Fall Prairie Day at the Lawther Deer Park Prairie, 1222 E. Purdue Lane. Visitors can learn about prairie plants that can be used to in gardens to attract pollinators, and collect seeds for garden use. For a complete schedule, visit houstonprairie.org.
  34. West University Place Composting Workshop
    On Sept. 29, 2018, from 9 a.m.-noon, the City of West University Place will host a Composting Workshop with Steve Stelzer of the Houston Green Building Resource Center. The course is for people who want to learn how to compost in their backyard and for people who have tried it, experienced some difficulty and have questions. This event is free for West U residents and $10 for non-residents. For more information and to register, visit westutx.gov.
  35. The Progressive Forum presents John Kerry
    On Sept. 29, 2018, beginning at 7:30 p.m., The Progressive Forum will present former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry, one of the leading proponents of the Paris climate accord, in a talk based on his newly published memoir “Every Day is Extra.” Kerry will discuss the importance of diplomacy and American leadership in an increasingly uncertain world. The event will be held at Congregation Emanu El, 1500 Sunset Blvd. For more information and to register, visit progressiveforumhouston.org.
  36. TV: Texas Parks & Wildlife
    Broadcast on KUHT Channel 8 at 3 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.

    • Meet two guys who catch crappie
    • Cooking crappie
    • Once-endangered Bald Eagles face new challenges
  37. Additional Upcoming Events