Houston Environmental News Update March 13, 2019

Climate Action Plan Community Meetings, Earth Day Houston, A Fierce Green Fire, lots of jobs, and more

We’d like to call your attention to a few notable dates:

The deadline to apply to be an exhibitor at the region’s premier celebration of Earth Day is on Monday, March 18, 2019. Presented by Green Mountain Energy in partnership with the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Discovery Green’s citywide Earth Day celebration is designed to educate, inspire and encourage action. More information is available below, or at earthdayhouston.org.

The deadline to apply for a paid summer internship with the CEC through Hire Houston Youth is on March 23, 2019. To be considered for additional paid and unpaid summer internship opportunities, please submit a cover letter and a link to your Linkedin profile (or your résumé) to [email protected]. More information is below.

The deadline at the Texas Legislature for the unrestricted filing of bills and joint resolutions–except in special circumstances–was March 8, 2019. When the deadline had passed, a total of 7,281 bills and joint resolutions had been filed–an increase of almost 10% compared to last session two year ago. Read this week’s update, “Texas Legislative Updates,” at cechouston.org.

The first opportunity to participate in a Community Meeting in support of the City of Houston’s Climate Action planning process is next Tuesday, March 19, 2019. More info and additional meeting dates are–you guessed it–below. (The banner photo above is from HARC, which is providing technical support for plan development.)

Finally, the CEC is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on our 2020 Board of Directors and on board committees (programs, publications, membership, governance, finance, and development). We will be hosting informational meet and greets for potential board members March 25, May 28, July 22, September 24, and October 14, 2019. If you are interested and would like more information about these meetings and the board application process, please send an email with a link to your Linkedin profile (or your résumé) to [email protected] More info at cechouston.org/volunteer.


Earth Day returns to Discovery Green in 2019! Exhibitor Deadline March 18.

Presented by Green Mountain Energy in partnership with the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Discovery Green’s citywide Earth Day celebration is designed to educate, inspire and encourage action. The event features displays, exhibits and booths on topics ranging from alternative energy to recycling methods, a foodie farmers market, unplugged – a live music acoustic mini-festival, EarthTalks and more, all in a zero-waste footprint. This year’s event will be held on April 14 from 12 to 5 p.m.

How can you be involved?

  • Exhibit! Register by March 14 to be an exhibitor at earthdayhouston.org/exhibit/. Opportunities are available for nonprofits and government agencies; small, local businesses; and corporations with a commitment to the environment.
  • Sponsor! Our sponsors range value the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and our community.Benefits include unique access to the green family market, exposure of you organization to over 10,000 festival attendees, and community stewardship and volunteer opportunities.
  • Volunteer! Opportunities are available for both individuals and groups. Sign up at earthdayhouston.org/volunteer.
  • Plan to Attend! Save the date on Sunday, April 14, 2019.

The Earth Day celebration at Discovery Green isn’t the only game in town. If you know of an observance in the greater Houston region, please let us know at [email protected]

Image result for a fierce green fire

Houston Green Film Series: A Fierce Green Fire

Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, the Rice Media Center, and additional partners on March 20, 2019, for A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet,
the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement – grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change. Inspired by the book of the same name, the film chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future – and succeeding against all odds. (See the trailer.)

6:30 p.m. conversation, networking, and a light meal, followed by the screening at 7 p.m.. Free to the public, though donations are kindly appreciated. For more information, see the Facebook event. Sign up for information about this event and other green film news at constantcontact.com.

Summer Internships with CEC

CEC anticipates hiring several volunteer and paid summer interns in 2019.

Typical internships involve Communications and Marketing, Policy & Government Relations, Publications/Journalism, Digital Media, Development, Event Coordination, Business Development and Bookkeeping, and Environmental Education; we are also open to customized internships to meet professional and academic goals. Internships include mentorship and networking opportunities, field trips, camaraderie, and chocolate.

With much gratitude for the generosity of the City of Houston’s Hire Houston Youth program, CEC has the opportunity to offer paid internships, for which youth ages 16-24 may apply through hirehoustonyouth.org by March 23, 2019. To be considered for additional paid and unpaid summer internship opportunities, please submit a cover letter and resume 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 endeavored to confirm the events listed below. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts.

City of Houston Climate Action Plan Community Meetings

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Sources Houston 2014: Buildings 49%, Transportation 47%, Waste 4%

As you’re probably aware, the City of Houston, working with the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), has embarked on drafting a Climate Action Plan. The goal is to create ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and establish a pathway to meet the Paris Agreement goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, while also decreasing traffic congestion, improving air quality, and reducing costs through energy efficiency and renewable energy. The target completion date for the Plan is December 2019, with implementation by the City to start in 2020.

The City has scheduled a set of four Community Meetings to give members of the public information about the Plan, as well as receive input: Each meeting will be held from 6-8 p.m. on the following dates:

  • March 19, 2019 — Sunnyside Multiservice Center
  • April 1, 2019 — Acres Homes Multiservice Center
  • April 16, 2019 — Denver Harbor Multiservice Center
  • May 2, 2019 — Northeast Multiservice Center

Also, on March 27, the City’s Green Building Resource Center, 1000 Washington Avenue, will host its own Climate Action Plan Meeting for interested stakeholders. The meeting will feature the City’s Larissa Williams, HARC’s Gavin Dillingham, Ph.D., and GBRC director Steve Stelzer. For more information and to RSVP, visit codegreenhouston.org.

Native Plants Gardening Toolkit for Non-Gardeners workshops

The Galveston Bay Foundation is hosting a series of workshops to gather input on an acceptable list of plants based on different ecological regions in the greater Houston area with the goal of developing a “Native Plants Gardening Toolkit for Non-Gardeners.” The toolkit will provide information about natural landscaping using the most ecologically significant, environmentally friendly, and widely available native-plants (and/or plants adapted to the climate) in the region. The first workshop will be held March 14, 2019 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the offices of the Houston-Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons Lane. There is no cost to attend, parking is available, and snacks and coffee will be provided. Please RSVP to [email protected] by March 7.

Plastic Pollution talk with Houston Audubon

On March 14, 2019, Houston Audubon will host a talk by conservation specialist Anna Vallery titled “Midway Atoll: The Effect of Plastic Pollution on Birds.” Vallery spent six months on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in 2015 as a biological science intern. The event will be at the United Way Community Resource Center, 500 Waugh Drive. For more information, see the Facebook event.

“Panel Discussion of Proposed Storm Surge Protection”

On March 14, 2019, beginning at 7 p..m., the Sierra Club Houston Group will hold its monthly meeting, featuring a panel discussion on the Army Corps of Engineers’ “Coastal Protection and Restoration Feasibility Study.” Panelists will discuss the proposal, concerns about the Environmental Impact Statement, some of the expected environmental impacts and alternative solutions. The meeting will be held at St. Stephen’s Pecore Hall, 1805 W. Alabama St. For more information, visit sierraclub.org.

Called to Conversation: Laudato Si & Catholic Ecological Awakening

On March 16, 2019, from 9 a.m.-noon, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word will host a series of talks on the responsibility of individual Christians and the role of the local Church to “Care for our Common Home.” The event will be held at the Villa De Matel Convent, 6510 Lawndale St. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.

Bolivar Beach Cleanup with Houston Audubon

On March 16, 2018, from 9 a.m.-noon, Houston Audubon will host a volunteer cleanup of Bolivar Beach. This is a great opportunity to witness the wildlife of Bolivar, the activity on the ship channel, and experience hands-on conservation by keeping our beaches clean. For more information and to register, visit houstonaudubon.org.

“Invaders of Texas” citizen scientists workshop

On March 16, 2019, from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.,Texas Invaders is offering a free workshop covering the Invaders of Texas citizen scientist program, focusing on training citizen scientists to identify and report invasive plants.The workshop will present general information on invasive species, managing the spread of invasives, invasive pests of regulatory concern and the Sentinel Pest Network, and best management practices for control and eradication of selected species. The workshop will be held at Camp Kubena in Round Top/Ledbetter, Texas. For more information and to register, visit texasinvasives.org.

Unplugged Adventures: Native Snakes

On March 16, 2019, from 10-11 a.m., the Katy Prairie Conservancy will host Texas Venom Experience at the Indiangrass Preserve, 31975 Hebert Road, Waller, for a live native snake presentation. During this live snake presentation, attendees will learn about the snakes that live on the Katy Prairie and in their own backyards, including how to identify native snakes. For more information and to register, visit katyprairie.org

Tour de Houston 2019

On March 17, 2019, Tour de Houston Presented by Apache, will hold it’s annual bike ride to raise funds for the city’s reforestation projects. Check-in and registration starts at 6 a.m. The event begins and ends in Hermann Square at City Hall, 901 Bagby. There will be a post-ride party that includes music, free food, and beverages. For more information and to register, visit Tour de Houston.

Registration for “Beautify the Bucket” closes on March 18

The last day to register for the “Beautify the Bucket” competition is March 18, 2019. This year’s competition date is April 13, 2019. Participants will paint a blue trash barrel intended for Galveston beaches based on a theme. The trash barrels are meant to encourage proper disposal of trash. Judging will take place during the Spring Adopt-A-Beach event at Menard Park in Galveston, 2222 28th St. The event will start at 8 a.m. and winners will be announced at noon. For more information and to register, visit artistboat.org.

9 Natives Showcase Garden Installation

On March 19, 2019, from 9-11 a.m., the Katy Prairie Conservancy will host a volunteer day and installation of the new 9 Natives Showcase Garden at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Herman Park Drive. Volunteers will help plant natives and create a showcase garden for all of Houston to enjoy. For more information and to register, visit katyprairie.org.

Memorial Park 101: Hiking in the Park

On March 19, 2019, from 6-7 p.m., the Memorial Park Conservancy staff will be hosting a one to two-mile hike at sunset. Learn about Memorial Park’s 30 miles of natural and surface trails before your next hike. The hike will start at the Cullen Running Trails Center, 7575 N Picnic Lane. For more information, see the Facebook event.

Houston Native Prairies of Texas Meeting

On March 20, 2019, the Houston Native Prairies Association will hold its monthly meeting at the American Red Cross Building, 2700 Southwest Freeway. The featured speaker will be Wildflowers of Texas author Michael Eason, conservation botanist for Texas Flora, a Facebook group devoted to plant identification in Texas and adjacent states in Mexico. The presentation is at 7 p.m. and there will be refreshments at 6:30 p.m. For more information visit houstonprairie.org.

Spring Creek Ambassador training program begins March 21

The Bayou Land Conservancy offers its free, five-week Spring Creek Ambassador training program, beginning with a mandatory orientation on March 21. Participants will learn about the unique features of the local ecology the exciting work that BLC does. After completing the program, Ambassadors will have a better understanding of what’s in their backyard, how to protect and preserve the greenway, and how you can get involved in the work that the BLC does. For more information and to register, visit bayoulandconservancy.org.

Biannual Leadership Forum

On March 21, 2019, from 10 a.m.-noon, the Houston-Galveston Area Council invites local elected official and community leaders to discuss the progress made within Basin 12 and provide feedback. The Brazos-Colorado Coastal Basin Bacteria Reduction Project aims to identify, plan, and address bacteria impairments across the basin. The location is to be determined. For more information visit, h-gac.com.

HPC’s Annual Hats in the Park

On March 21, 2019, starting at 11:30 a.m., Hermann Park Conservancy will hold its annual Hats in the Park luncheon to raise funds to improve and protect Hermann Park for future generations. This year’s event will l honor Jane Anderson Curtis. The luncheon will be held at the McGovern Centennial Gardens and Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, 1500 Hermann Drive. For more information, visit hermannpark.org.

Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy Annual Meeting

On March 21, 2019, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., the board of the Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy will hold their annual meeting at Schwartz Gazebo, 5300 Dyad Drive. The meeting, which is open to the public, will share the share the accomplishments and future plans for the Greenspace. For more information, see the Facebook event.

“The Wonder of Bird Migration: The Science Behind It and How Plants Help”

On March 21, 2019, beginning at 7:15 p.m., the Houston chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold its monthly meeting. Sarah Flournoy, the Bird-Friendly Communities Program Manager at Houston Audubon, will present information about bird migration and explain how individuals can help. The presentation will be at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 120 West Loop North. For more information, visit npsot.org.

Society for the Advancement of Youth applications due March 22

The Society for the Advancement of Volunteer Youth (SAVY) at Moody Gardens in Galveston provides students 14 to 17 years of age with the opportunity to volunteer within their community while gaining experience in a variety of career fields. The program will begin with an Open House on April 6, 2019, with Orientations scheduled for May 31 an June 1. The deadline to apply is March 22, 2019. For more information, visit moodygardens.com.

Houston Audubon Birdathon 2019 begins March 22

Houston Audubon’s Birdathon 2019, which combines a fundraiser with a great opportunity to enjoy the spring migration, will be held March 22 through May 13, Teams of two or more (typically 4-5) compete to count as many bird species as possible in a consecutive 24-hour period. For more information and to register, visit houstonaudubon.org.

Civic Saturday: Flood Mitigation

On March 23, 2019, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium will co-host a Civic Saturday event focusing on flood mitigation (location TBD). The event will include a free lunch and dinner, child care and activities, and breakout discussions. For more information, visit talkingtransition.us.

Houston Zoo Educator Workshop

On March 23, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Houston Zoo will host its annual Educator Workshop to help teachers discover new ways to help students fall in love with nature. Evidence shows that regular contact with nature enhances creativity, boosts academic performance and ultimately increases focus, attention and enthusiasm for learning. Through this workshop, teachers will learn techniques to help create meaningful connections between their students and the natural world in their classroom every day. For more information and to purchase your ticket and for more information, visit houstonzoo.doubleknot.com.

Brews on the Bayou

On March 23, 2019, from 4-8 p.m., the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory will host its second annual “Brews on the Bayou” fundraising event at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, 299 Highway 332, Lake Jackson. The event will include specialty brews from local breweries, wines, live music, food trucks and a silent auction. For more information, visit gcbo.org.

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.

  • Working to reestablish flora along the Blanco River after flooding
  • Texas Game Wardens rescue people stranded during Hurricane Harvey*
  • “Mentored hunts” give newcomers a taste of the outdoors

Additional Upcoming Events