Houston Environmental News Update January 30, 2019

Wild & Scenic Film Festival TONIGHT! Environmental Education Specialist job, METRONext public meetings, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Third Coast Conference, and more

The wait is over! The Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour kicks off tonight, January 30, and continues tomorrow, January 31, from 7 to 9 pm each night at the historic River Oaks Theatre. Hosted for the fifth straight year by the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, this ever-popular film fest features ten short films each night highlighting the latest environmental issues. We selected films that showcase the links between beauty, environment, adventure, quality of life, and action. We are especially excited to show the two local films that were winners of the Wild About Houston Green Film Festival: Little Grouse on the Prairie by Friends of Attwater Prairie Chicken Wildlife Refuge (January 30) and Gregory Lincoln Education Center by Urban Harvest (January 31).

Purchase tickets on Eventbrite or at the box office at the theater tonight.

NOTE: CEC is offering complimentary tickets for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour to U.S. government employees. who were furloughed during the recent government shutdown. Furloughed employees can receive two free tickets. To reserve the tickets, use this link: https://cec-2019wsff.eventbrite.com?discount=Federal

Sign up for information about this event and other green film news at constantcontact.com.

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


CEC seeks Environmental Education Specialist
The Citizens’ Environmental Coalition has received support to hire an Environmental Education Specialist for two years to connect formal and informal educators with each other and with learners. The Specialist will manage Here in Houston, the Environmental Educators’ Exchange, the Wild About Houston Green Film Festival, and generally connect the environmental education community. The job will include fundraising for these programs and related activities. This is a staff position funded for two years; continuation is dependent upon additional funding. Compensation, including salary, benefits, and a flexible work schedule, will start at $5,000/month, commensurate with experience. Accepting applications until Feb. 15, 2018, or until position is filled. View the full job description (pdf).


We have endeavored to confirm the events listed below. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts.

  1. Public Meetings to Share METRO Draft Transit Plan
    METRO is gathering feedback on the $7.5 billion METRONext Moving Forward Plan. The draft regional transit plan was designed with the public’s input from a series of open houses and community events in 2017. METRO invites everyone to share their thoughts before METRO’s Board adopts a final plan. There are several public meeting planned across the METRO service area through February 11, 2019. Find the full list of meetings at metronext.org.
  2. Southeast Houston Mobility Plan Draft Recommendations Meetings
    The 2018 Southeast Mobility Plan is the City of Houston’s multi-modal mobility study (inclusive of vehicular, transit, pedestrian, bicycle and freight) in the area bounded by Interstate 610 to the north, State Highway 288 to the west, Sam Houston Toll Road to the south, and Interstate 45 and Galveston Road to the east. There are two two meetings scheduled for the public to offer comment: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, from 6-8 p.m. at the Sunnyside Multi-Service Center (see the Facebook event); and Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Charlton Community Center (see the Facebook event). For more information, visit houstontx.gov.
  3. 2019 North American Prairie Conference registration now open
    The 2019 North American Prairie Conference, co-presented by Katy Prairie Conservancy, the Coastal Prairie Partnership, the Nature Conservancy, and the Native Prairies Association of Texas, will be held June 2-5, 2019, at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. The conference — featuring experts in prairie conservation, restoration, education, and communications from Texas, the Southeast — and the Midwest. will spotlight how prairies can help to create healthy watersheds for people and wildlife. Find more information and register at northamericanprairie.org.
  4. Flood Mitigation & Earth Restoration: Water Retention Landscapes
    The Houston chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas is hosting two presentations by Zack Weiss, a protégé of Australian farmer Sepp Holzer, who will discuss ways to work with natural forces to create healthy, productive, and resilient landscapes. The first will be on Feb. 1, 2019, beginning at 6 p.m. at the American Red Cross, 2700 Southwest Freeway, Houston. The second will be on Feb. 4, 2019, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the Deer Park Prairie, 1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park. RSVP to della_barbato@texasprairie.org.
  5. Wildlife in the City: When Two Worlds Collide
    On Feb. 2, 2019, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., the Texas Master Naturalist-Gulf Coast Chapter will present workshop for people who are interested in strategies and practices that allow a more harmonious co-existence with nature in an increasingly urbanized environment. The workshop will be held at the West University Place Community Center, 6104 Auden. The cost is $50, with lunch provided. For more information, visit txmn.org.
  6. “TRANSFORM” Houston Public Works Launch
    On Feb. 5, 2019, from 5-7 p.m., City of Houston, business and community leaders will gather at the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University to celebrate the launch of TRANSFORM, an initiative to transform Houston Public Works. The event will include a panel discussion on how leaders can transform their own organizations. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com  
  7. Transition Houston Meeting: Climate Change – We Can Do This
    On Feb. 5, 2019, beginning at 6:30 p.m., Transition Houston will hold its monthly meeting at the Haven’s Center, 1827 W Alabama St. The featured speaker will be  Dr. Larry Kremer of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, who will present the findings of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which draws a direct connection between the warming atmosphere and the resulting changes that affect Americans’ lives, communities, and livelihoods, now and in the future. For more information, visit the Facebook event.
  8. Water Innovation Strategies of Excellence (WISE) Awards applications
    The Water Innovation Strategies of Excellence (WISE) Awards recognize innovative strategies and projects in the Houston-Galveston region that serve as models for improving water quality. This program is overseen by the Natural Resource Advisory Committee, an advisory committee to the Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Directors. Applications must be completed online by noon, Feb. 7, 2019. For more information, visit h-gac.com.
  9. Memorial Park Conservancy’s “Picnic for the Park”
    On Feb. 7, 2019, Memorial Park Conservancy will hold its annual “Picnic for the Park” dinner and award ceremony at The Forest Club, 9950 Memorial Drive. The event raises critical funds for the day-to-day care of Memorial Park including its vast urban trail network that provides enjoyment, well-being, and connectivity for the millions of people who love the park. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit memorialparkconservancy.org.
  10. Public Meeting for the Commons at Hermann Park
    On Feb. 7, 2019, from 6-8 p.m., Hermann Park Conservancy will hold a public meeting to gather ideas and feedback on the Commons at Hermann Park, a new addition located at the corner of Cambridge and Fannin Streets that will include a unique play area and plenty of gathering space for all Houstonians. The free meeting will be held at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion at the McGovern Centennial Gardens,1500 Hermann Drive. For more information, visit hermannpark.org.
  11. Surface Water Quality Monitoring training early registration ends Feb. 8
    From March 18-21, 2019, the Environmental Institute of Houston at the University of Houston-Clear Lake will offer a two-part course following the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) Surface Water Quality Monitoring (SWQM) guidelines. The training includes demonstration and hands-on practice with state-of-the-art sampling equipment, and attendees will receive a certification of completion at the end of the course. Early registration ends Feb. 8, and registration closes March 3. For more information, visit uhcl.edu.
  12. H-GAC Parks and Natural Areas Summit and Awards Ceremony
    On Feb. 7, 2019, from 9 a.m.-noon, the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable will hold the first Parks and Natural Areas Summit and Awards Ceremony at the H-GAC offices, 3555 Timmons Lane. The Summit will include presentations about various H-GAC programs that can provide goods, services, technical assistance, and funding for parks and natural areas projects. The event will also include the annual Parks and Natural Areas Awards recognition ceremony. For more information and to register, visit h-gac.com.
  13. “The Human Element” film screening and discussion
    On Feb. 8, 2019, from 7-10 p.m., the Citizens’ Climate Lobby Third Coast Region will host a screening of the film The Human Element, which reveals how environmental change is affecting the lives of everyday Americans (see the trailer). The screening will be followed by a discussion with renowned environmental photographer James Balog, featured in the film. The event will be held at the University of Houston Student Center South. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.
  14. Citizens’ Climate Lobby Third Coast Conference
    On Feb. 9, 2019, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., the Citizens’ Climate Lobby Third Coast Region will hold its Regional Conference, an opportunity for new and experienced CCL volunteers alike to learn, practice skills, inspire each other, and strategize how to move the country toward solving climate change. Participants will explore strategies for bridging the political divide, learn how to engage Congress effectively, hear from energy and carbon pricing leaders, and examine opportunities that carbon pricing offers the Gulf Coast. For more information, visit eventbrite.com.
  15. Houston Zoo Educator Day
    On Feb. 9, 2019, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Houston Zoo will hold an Educator Day that allows area educators to outfit their classroom with Zoo activities. Resources and strategies for all grade levels will be offered.  Registration includes admission to the Zoo, free resources, activities and more. Credit hours are offered in three- or six-hour increments. For more information, visit houstonzoo.doubleknot.com.
  16. Urban Harvest 19th Annual Fruit Tree Sale
    On Feb. 9, 2019, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Urban Harvest will hold its 19th Annual Fruit Tree Sale at Sawyer Yards, 2101 Winter Street. All trees have been specifically chosen for the Houston soil and climate. This family-friendly event also features the Green Thumbs Education Pavilion presented by Kroger, live music and food trucks. All proceeds will benefit Urban Harvest. Volunteering opportunities are also available. For more information, visit urbanharvest.org.
  17. Houston Botanic Garden Call for Volunteers
    On Feb. 12, 2019, from 6:30-8 p.m., the Houston Botanic Garden will hold a volunteer orientation. HBG has many volunteer opportunities available from administrative and special events support to hosting site walks to getting your hands dirty in the Garden. For more information and to register, complete the online form.
  18. Texas Stream Team Training
    The Houston-Galveston Area Council is planning three Texas Stream Team Phase I and II volunteer water quality monitor trainings across the region. The first training will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2019, at Buffalo Bayou Partnership, 1019 Commerce St. Currently more than 400 Texas Stream Team volunteers, including about 100 in the Houston-Galveston region, collect important water quality data on lakes, rivers, and streams as part of this statewide program. Registration is limited to 10 volunteers. To register and for more information, visit events.r20.constantcontact.com.
  19. Abandoned Crab Trap Removal
    On Feb. 16, 2019, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Galveston Bay Foundation, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, will facilitate a crab trap removal event in Anahuac and Bolivar. Volunteers can bring their own boat to help pull traps out of the water, or they can wait on land for boats to come in and help unload and smash the traps. Lunch will be provided, and opportunities to win prizes will be available. To register and for more information, visit galvbay.org.
  20. 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.
  • The once-endangered black-capped vireo soars back into healthy numbers
  • Helping those with disabilities catch their first fish is all in a day’s work
  • Recent rains put the Dundee Fish Hatchery near Wichita Falls back in business

Additional Upcoming Events