Houston Environmental News Update April 20, 2022

Earth Day Festival at Houston Public Library, Green Opportunities Job Fair, Ocean Music concerts featuring The Knights, Pollination Celebration, Twilight on the Prairie, Green Jobs and more

Dear Friends,

Earth Month is coming to a close, but there are still a wealth of opportunities for area residents to learn about and share their love for the environment.

CEC is proud to partner with Houston Public Library for the Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 23, from 11:15 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza at the downtown branch. The family-friendly event will include story time, dance and music, and earth-friendly activities. Explore informative booths, engage in thought-provoking discussions, and take home free tree seedlings. 

As part of the celebration, CEC board member Steve Stelzer, program manager at the Green Building Resource Center, will hold a discussion titled “Sustainability, Zero Waste, and the Circular Economy” from noon-1 p.m.

From 1:45-3 p.m., CEC will present the Houston Green Film Festival, featuring a variety of films and Houston-based organizations that will leave you inspired to create change.

For the full lineup of events and other information, visit houstonlibrary.libcal.com.

Meanwhile, Archway Gallery in the Montrose area is still showing “For the Love of Earth.” a group exhibition celebrating the environment. The gallery will host another talk by Stelzer on the “Circular Economy” on Thursday, April 21.

On Sunday, April 24, at 7 p.m. Archway will present Houston-based music ensemble Loop38 in a concert tilted “Fragile Structures,” featuring works that respond to these environmental realities and reexamine our relationship with society and nature. 

Elsewhere, there are several organized by new-based Ocean Music Action, including performances by the Grammy-nominated orchestra The Knights at Rothko Chapel and the Moody Center for the Arts. There will also be prairie plantings, bayou cleanups, a conservation about climate solutions, and a celebration at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. For full details, see “Coalition & Community Notes” below.


CEC NOTES


Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers

Join fellow environmental educators every other Friday morning for a quick check-in to collaborate. The next meeting is April 22, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Bring your coffee (or tea) and ideas for things that are working in your programs (or questions about things that are not). The Zoom call is hosted by regional board members from the Texas Association for Environmental Education. Email Alicia at Alicia.Mein@pct3.hctx.net for Zoom link and any questions.


Virtually Wild! Texas Student Learning Programs

Region 4 Education Service Center partners with the Virtually Wild! Texas team to provide students with engaging and interactive TEKS-aligned virtual environmental education field trips that highlight careers in conservation. These free 45-minute programs are live, and teachers and students are encouraged to engage with natural resources professionals by asking questions. Topics vary by program and have included endangered species, animal adaptations, habitat exploration, wildlife crime investigations, and more! Public, private, homeschool, hospitals, and education sites are welcome to view. See program listings and register at esc4.net.


CAST22 Call for Proposals

The Science Teachers Association of Texas (STAT) has announced the CAST22 Call for Proposals is now open. The annual Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST), presented by the Science Teachers Association of Texas, traditionally features hundreds of breakout sessions presented by educators who generously share their best strategies for inspiring discovery of the world through science. STAT invites you to turn your innovative teaching strategies and lesson plans into proposals for sessions that could benefit educators and students across Texas and beyond. Submit your proposal by Tuesday, May 31, to share your expertise at CAST22, November 10–12 in Dallas.


#MyEarthMyTexas

Through April 22, EarthShare of Texas invites the public to participate in #MyEarthMyTexas, a a social media challenge encouraging individuals to share their sustainability achievements, green tips and tricks, and showcase community organizations doing great environmental work across the state. Registrants will have the opportunity to win green prizes. Learn more and register at earthshare-texas.org.



“For the Love of Earth” exhibition at Archway Gallery

Through May 5, 2002, Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy Street in the Montrose area, is presenting the exhibition “For the Love of Earth.” This group exhibition of Archway artists “challenges the viewer to consider the fragility of our planet and all living things on it and to take actions which will bring beneficial change.” Archway Gallery has chosen to partner with Citizens’ Environmental Coalition. Twenty-five percent of the sales of the works featured in “For the Love of Earth” will be donated to CEC.

On April 21, beginning at 6:30 p.m., Archway Gallery will present a talk titled “Circular Economy”, given by CEC Board member Steve Stelzer, Program Director at the City of Houston Green Building Resource Center.

On April 24, at 7 p.m. Archway will present Houston-based music ensemble Loop38 in a concert tilted “Fragile Structures,” featuring works that respond to these environmental realities and reexamine our relationship with society and nature. 


Please scroll down to read about public engagement opportunities and notes from our member organizations and the community.


OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT


Harris County Community Flood Resilience Task Force meeting

On April 28, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. the Harris County Community Flood Resilience Task Force, a multidisciplinary, community-driven body that Harris County’s Commissioners Court established to ensure the County develops and implements equitable flood resilience planning and projects that take into account community needs and priorities. will hold a virtual meeting. Per CFRTF Bylaws, members of the public are allowed to observe the meetings and each meeting will have a short public comment period during the meeting. You may also submit written comment in advance of the meeting to cfrtf@hcfcd.hctx.net. For more information and to register, visit cfrtf.harriscountytx.gov.


CEER’s “People’s Hearing for TCEQ” Education Workshops

On April 30. CEER (Coalition for Environment, Equity, and Resilience) will hold a “People’s Hearing for TCEQ.” The Hearing will take place in-person at the Carl Walker Jr. Multi-Service Center, 4300 Noble St. Houston, and will accommodate up to 250 attendees from across Brazoria, Fort Bend, Harris, Jefferson, and Liberty Counties. Leading up to the hearing, CEER representatives will answer the public’s questions about a people’s hearing and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and more at learning workshops through Zoom on Saturday, April 16 and 23 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Register for each of the events at zoom.us.

TCEQ Public Hearing

On May 3, beginning at 7 p.m., a public hearing of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on a Union Pacific hazardous waste permit/compliance plan renewal application to address the creosote plume in the Fifth Ward, will be held at the DeLUXE Theater, 3303 Lyons Ave.


Learn about additional public comment opportunities at cechouston.org.



COALITION & COMMUNITY NOTES

We have endeavored to confirm the opportunities listed below. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts, particularly in light of concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).


2nd Annual Stop Food Waste Series

Houston-based nonprofit Second Servings has launched the 2nd Annual Food Waste Series in April to raise awareness of the severity of food waste and its mission to fight hunger and end food waste in the community. Nearly 40% of the food produced in America is thrown away, yet more than 16% percent of Houstonians are considered food insecure. Additionally, food waste contributes to 8% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. In honor of Stop Food Waste Day, 15 local restaurants will showcase a zero-waste inspired dish or cocktail for the month of April. Find full information about the participating restaurants and their specific dishes or cocktails here.


Feral Atlas Summer Intensive Program at Rice University

The Houston Climate Justice Museum will host a week-long summer study intensive on the campus of Rice University during the month of July 18-22, based on the digital humanities project Feral Atlas and led by Rice students and museum staff. Participating students will have the opportunity to be involved in workshops led by local artists and conservationists, they will travel to nearby museums and collections to meet with museum professionals, and get hands-on experience with disaster recovery. Students interested in art, science, history, literature, and other fields are encouraged to apply. Transportation costs and meals are fully covered, and this is a free opportunity that will be held at Rice University with occasional off-site field trips. Interested students should fill out this form


EarthX2022

Through April 24, EarthX2022 is being held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Covention Center in Dallas. This world-renowned green gathering hosted by Dallas-based international environmental organization EarthX, returns in-person for the first time since 2019 in a new location in the Dallas Arts District. The 11th annual event brings together world leaders, government officials, NGOs, scientists, business executives, youth advocates, artists, and experts to inspire action toward a more sustainable future worldwide. For more information and to register, visit earthx.org.


Texas Beach Watch

On April 21, from 11 a.m.-noon, the Texas General Land Office will hold a Clean Coast Texas webinar featuring GLO’s Lucy Flores, Project Manager, and Brian DeSanti, NOAA Coastal Management Fellow, who will discuss Texas Beach Watch comes in, a GLO program that monitors quality of the state’s coastal recreational waters for the presence of disease-causing pathogens to ensure that Texas’ beaches remain safe and clean. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.


Greentown Houston’s First Anniversary

On April 21, from 12:30-7 p.m, Greentown Houston will celebrate its first anniversary as Houston’s first-ever climatetech startup incubator. The event will be a celebration of entrepreneurship, collaboration, and innovation, which together with the engineering strength and talent of the region’s energy industry will power Houston’s climate leadership. The festivities will include celebratory remarks, lightning pitches from some of our outstanding startups, a member showcase, networking, and more. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.


Mapping Climate, Equity, and Education Workshop

On April 21, from 6-7:30 p.m., EcoRise will hold an interactive workshop introducing participants to Gen:Thrive, a collaborative initiative providing shared data and technology tools to accelerate sustainability education and advance health, equity and climate resilience in K-12 schools. Participants will learn how to use GIS mapping and data visualization to track environmental education programs alongside equity and climate challenges in order to identify gaps in services, partnership opportunities, and strategies for effectively serving our most vulnerable communities. The event will be held at the new Houston Climate Justice Museum, 3308 Garrow St. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.


Insect Pollinators at Nature Discovery Center

On April 21, beginning at 7 p.m, the Houston chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold a monthly meeting featuring a presentation by Eric Duran, head naturalist at the Nature Discovery Center, who will give an overview of commonly seen pollinators at the Center. This is a great chance to learn some cool and little known pollinators that visit your native flowers. The meeting will also coveer what plants you can plant in your wildscape as larval hostplants for butterflies and moths. The meeting will be held at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. For more information, visit npsot.org.


The Path of Hope: A Study on Climate Action for Faith Communities

From April 21 through May 12, the Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston will host a weekly online discussion series built around 15-minute videos featuring interviews with U.S. faith leaders, representatives of climate-impacted communities from the global South, and presentations by UN officials and other experts. The series focuses on how climate change is impacting the core ministries of faith communities around the world, how those impacts will increase in the future, and why these impacts create an imperative for people of faith to advocate for strong US climate action. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.


Leveraging Houston’s Financial and Human Capital for Sustainable Energy Transitions

Enabling energy transitions requires connecting, attracting and growing relationships among corporations, innovators, capital providers and the workforce to establish the supply chain depths needed to achieve the scale required. On April 22, from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and Real Energy Alliance Houston will host a conference in which corporate, national and local leadership across supply chains for different forms of energy will discuss how Houston is seeking to leverage its comparative advantages to lead in energy transitions. For more information and to register, visit bakerinstitute.org.


Green Opportunities Houston Career Expo

From April 22-23, the City of Houston and Houston Community College South Camus, 1990 Airport Blvd., will host a Green Opportunities Career Expo. There will be job opportunities at City of Houston, CenterPoint, Port Houston, and many more. The event will include food options and live music. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.


Ocean Music Concert for Earth Day featuring The Knights

Rothko Chapel and Ocean Music Action, a new nonprofit led by Houston Symphony Principal Harpist Megan Conley, will bring members of the Grammy-nominated chamber orchestra The Knights to Houston for a weekend of music and community service. The first event will be a special program on Friday, April 22, featuring live music performances, dance, and a visual art display, all inspired by the ocean. Ocean Music Action will lead additional Earth Day weekend events, including a Saturday, April 23 morning clean-up at Buffalo Bayou, a Saturday evening concert at Moody Center for the Arts, and a Sunday, April 24 lecture by National Geographic photographer David Liittschwager at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. For more information on the concert and related events, visit rothkochapel.org.


Earth Month Prairie Planting

On April 23, from 9-11 a.m., Galveston Bay Foundation will host a volunteer event to restore coastal prairie habitat, and plant a bioswale at its headquarters in Kemah. All ages are welcome, children under 18 must have an adult guardian participate with them. Pre-registration is required to participate. For more information and to register, visit galvbay.org.




Witness: Seeds of Hope Planting

On April 23, from 9-11 a.m., Houston Against Hate will host the third of a 4-part series designed to bring communities together through dialogue. Since Houston’s founding, African Americans have had complex relationships to the land, some uplifting and celebratory, some rooted in oppression and injustice. Join the Houston Parks & Recreation Department for an Earth Week prairie planting at Clinton Park. In addition to the prairie planting, participants will explore the deep roots between local prairies and legendary Black Cowboys and the rodeo. For more information and to register, visit houstonagainsthate.org.


Navigating Buffalo Bayou East

On April 23, from 9-11:30 a.m., Architecture Center Houston and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership will host a bike ride and tour exploring Houston’s past and future at Buffalo Bayou East. In Houston’s earliest days, Buffalo Bayou was key to Houston’s future as a major trading and transportation center. Today, the eastern section of the bayou is dotted with abandoned industrial relics, but Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s Master Plan East re-envisions the area as a network of trails, parks, and multi-modal connections that create a continuous link between destinations and surrounding communities. For more information and to register, visit aiahouston.org.


Turkey Bend Waterway Cleanup

On April 23, from 9 a.m.-noon, Keep Texas Beautiful and Black Cat GIS, in partnership with the American Bird Conservancy and SPLASh invite Houston-area kayak and canoe volunteers to participate in cleaning up Turkey Bend on Buffalo Bayou. Participants will meet at the boat ramp across from Marron Park, 808 N. York Street, Houston. For morew information and to register, visit tfaforms.com.


“Conversations About Climate” an Earth Day Event

On April 23, from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the Houston chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby will hold a hybrid event about the science of climate change and ways to address the problem. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Andrew Dessler, Professor and Director of Texas A&M University’s Texas Center for Climate Studies. The in-person event will be held at TAMU’s Rudder Tower, Room 302, 401 Joe Routt Boulevard, College Station. For more information and to register (either in-person or virtual), visit eventbrite.com.


Earth Day Celebration at Houston Arboretum

On April 23, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center will host a celebration of Earth Day, featuring art, poetry, drawing, photography, and more. Get creative and explore informative booths, nature hikes, fun displays in the Discovery Room, and Earth-friendly crafts and activities. For more information and to register, visit houstonarboretum.org.


Pollination Celebration

On April 23, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the Armand Bayou Nature Center will host its annual Pollination Celebration. Pollination is essential not just for our survival, but also the survival of every living thing. The event will highlight how vital pollinators are to everyday life, shed light on the pollinators that often get overlooked, and empower attendees to become pollinator champions while having a fun time outdoors with your friends and family. For more information and to register, visit abnc.org.


Twilight on the Prairie

On April 23, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., the Houston chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas will host Twilight on the Prairie. The evening will celebrate NPAT members and partners, while raising important funds for the Lawther-Deer Park Prairie Education Program. Education Director Della Barbato will also share how members are saving Texas prairie by educating youth and the public about the beauty and benefits of native prairies. For more information and to register, visit texasprairie.org.


Spring Fling Festival

On April 24, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Nature Discovery Center will host its annual Spring Fling Festival featuring  nature and environmental activities crafts and exhibits for children, family nature hikes, live animals, and more. Center staff and volunteers will set up stations focused on: our live animals and biofacts, native wildflowers and their pollinators in the Pocket Prairie, pond wildlife in Cypress Pond, and edible plants and gardens out back by the pavilions. For more information, visit naturediscoverycenter.org.


Spring 2022 Interfaith Environmental Stewardship Event

On April 24, from 1:30-4:30 p.m., Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston, in partnership with the Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy. invite people of all faiths (or no faith) to participate in a hands-on environmental stewardship at the Willow Waterhole Conservation Reserve.  This event will offer activities for all ages and skill levels. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.


Collective Visioning for Our Region’s Water

On April 24, from 6-7 p.m., Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church will host a webinar featuring Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud, executive director of Bayou City Waterkeeper, who will explore the critical role that collective visioning, ecological imagination and storytelling play in connecting to and advocating for our region’s waterways and our community. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.


Entrepreneurship and the Energy Transition

On April 25, from 3-4 p.m., the Baker Institute for Public Policy will hold the first part of a series examining how Houston entrepreneurial businesses and start-up technologies are playing critical roles in accelerating transition to a lower-carbon world. The webinar will explore Houston’s position at the locus of the global energy transition and offer a national perspective on business and policy considerations affecting energy entrepreneurship. For more information and to register, visit bakerinstitute.org.


Gulf of Mexico Conference 2022

From April 25-28, the Gulf of Mexico Conference 2022 will be held at the Raising Canes River Center in Baton Rouge, La. The focus of GoMCon emphasizes the intersection of scientific research and the management of human and natural systems in the coastal region. The conference seeks to promote the integration of science and management into decision-making. GoMCon allows researchers, coastal resource managers, and interested stakeholders to collaborate on managing this precious natural resource we call the Gulf of Mexico. For more information and to register, visit web.cvent.com.


Clear Creek Watershed Partnership meeting

On April 27, beginning at 1:30 p.m. the Clear Creek Watershed Partnership, a locally-led project to improve water quality in Clear Creek to protect local communities, public health, local economies, and the environment, will hold a virtual meeting. To register, visit zoom.us.


2022 Houston Solar Co-op Info Session

On April 27, from 4:30-5:30 p.m., Solar United Neighbors of Texas will host a webinar bout solar energy and how Solar United Neighbors a non-profit, will help you through the process. Solar United Neighbors has helped to establish new Solar Co-ops in several parts of the Houston area. To register, visit solarunitedneighbors.org.


Bayou Wonderland Gala

On April 27, from 6:30-9:30 p.m., the Bayou Preservation Association will hold its annual gala, themed “Bayou Wonderland.” at the Houston Botanic Garden. Funds raised through Bayou Wonderland will support the Bayou Preservation Association’s CPR mission: to Celebrate, Protect and Restore the natural richness of all our bayous and streams. Ongoing programs include stream corridor restoration, bayou citizen science, trash-free bayous, and bayou appreciation. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit bayoupreservation.networkforgood.com.


Bird Tales from the Katy Prairie

On April 27, beginning at 7 p.m., the Houston chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas will hold a virtual monthly meeting featuring a presentation by Bob Honig, who will discuss some of the ways the Katy Prairie has changed over the past 50 or so years and some of the changes in Katy Prairie avifauna during those years.  He will address changes in bird species observed during the 2010-2013 drought, and species that were impacted by the 2021 mega-freeze. He will also include some of his more interesting observations while living on the Katy Prairie from 2006 to 2021. To register, visit zoom.us.


Becoming A Monarch Champion

On April 27, beginning at 7 p.m., The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N will hold a virtual lecture featuring Amber Barnes, sustainable landscapes education specialist for The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department. She will discuss how The Woodlands Township is taking up the fight to save the monarch butterfly.  Recently designated by the National Wildlife Federation as the 10th Monarch Champion city in North America, The Woodlands devotes significant resources towards monarch and pollinator conservation. For more information and to register, visit thewoodlandsgreen.org.


Energy Transitions in Underserved Communities Request for Applications

Rapid large-scale transformations of energy and transportation systems to low-carbon, renewable, and energy efficient sources and technologies are essential to avoiding the most severe impacts of climate change. These energy transitions provide challenges and opportunities to improve environmental and public health in ways that also reduce the inequities prevalent in the current energy and transportation systems, such as the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on low-income communities and communities of color. U.S. EPA, as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing community-engaged research that will address the drivers and environmental impacts of energy transitions in underserved communities. The application period closes April 28, 2022. Learn more at epa.gov.


What’s New in Green Building

On April 28, from noon-1 p.m., the Texas Association of Environmental Professionals will hold a hybrid luncheon meeting featuring a presentation by Steve Stelzer, program director of the Green Building Resource Center, who will discuss the latest developments in green building. The meeting will be held at Cadillac Bar and Grill, 1802 Shepherd Dr., with a virtual option. For more information and to register, visit taep.memberclicks.net.


Clean Waters Initiative Workshop: H-GAC Web Tools

On April 28, beginning at 2 p.m., the Houston-Galveston Area Council will host a Clean Waters Initiative Workshop, designed to help local governments, landowners, and residents develop effective strategies to reduce pollution in area waterways. The workshop will include demonstrations of H-GAC web tools used for finding information to enhance grant applications to develop water related projects in the region. To register, visit zoom.us.


SSPEED’s 10th Conference: Post-Harvey Climate & Flood Impacts on the Built Environment

From April 28-29, the Severe Storm Prediction, Education, & Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center will hold its 10th annual conference. where top academic, consulting and governmental experts will present at the Anderson-Clarke Center at Rice University. Topics will include:  Urban Design & Policy for Flood Protection, Influence of Climate Change on Recent Storms, Preparing for Hurricanes of the Future, Structural & Non-Structural Flood Mitigation, Flood Warning Systems, Flooding Impacts on Mobility and Transportation, Coastal and In-Bay Surge Defenses, Impact of the Big Freeze on Energy Systems, and Carbon Exchange Update. For more information and to register, visit sspeed.rice.edu.


City Nature Challenge 2022: Houston-Galveston

From April 29 – May 2, join The Nature Conservancy in Texas, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Galveston Bay Foundation, Houston Audubon Society, Texas Master Naturalists, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and over 30 other wonderful groups for the City Nature Challenge 2022, a fun challenge to observe and record wild species. It is easy to participate by making observations on your own using the iNaturalist app. Any observation in the greater metropolitan area of Houston will count during the four-day challenge. You can participate by exploring the life in your backyard (and use the hashtag #backyardchallenge on social media), in your neighborhood park, or from an apartment balcony or courtyard. You can also help with IDs for other people’s observations to increase our species count. Learn more about participating in the greater Houston area at inaturalist.org. Email jaime.gonzalez@tnc.org for any questions.


KPC City Nature Challenge Bioblitz Day

On April 29, from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Katy Prairie Conservancy will host a City Nature Challenge volunteer bioblitz event. The event will be based at the Indiangrass Preserve as well as Williams Prairie and Shrike Prairie Preserves. KPC will also host an in-town team at the 9 Natives Garden next to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. For more information and to register, visit constantcontact.com.


2022 Alfresco Gala

On April 29, from 7-11 p.m., the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center will hold its annual gala, themed “Urban Oasis.” Attendees will dine and dance outside at the Arboretum grounds. Proceeds will benefit the Arboretum’s mission of conservation and nature education. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit houstonarboretum.org.


B.O.P.A. and National Drug Take Back Day

On April 30, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department will be at the Kingwood METRO Park and Ride, 3210 W. Lake Houston Parkway, for an event to collect rechargeable batteries, motor or cooking oil, old latex (water-based) paint buckets, antifreeze, scrap metal and major appliances. There will also be a collection point for unused or outdated prescription medications. For the full list of accepted (and non-accepted) items, visit keepkingwoodgreen.org.


National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held April 30 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. Find a location near you and more resources at deadiversion.usdoj.gov.


Houston Zoo’s 100th Birthday Bash

On April 30, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., the Houston Zoo will hold its 100th Birthday Bash. Upon arrival to the day-long celebration, attendees will be greeted by animal ambassadors and learn how they can help save their wild counterparts, along with other surprises in the McGovern Front Plaza. The event will include guest speakers, keeper chats every half hour at different animal habitats, an opportunity to build out your own birdhouse, and more. The event is included with general admission, but tickets are limited for April 30. For more information and to reserve tickets, visit houstonzoo.org.


Sims Bayou Greenway Ribbon Cutting Celebration

On April 30, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., the Houston Parks Board will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Sims Bayou Greenway. This bilingual, family-friendly event includes a group bike ride along the new hike-and-bike trail. There will also be food, DJ music a frisbee giveaway, and a chance for 15 people to go home with a new 20” children’s bike and bike helmet from Hobby Area District. For more information, see the Facebook event.


Clean Mud for Bugs

On April 30, from 1-4 p.m., Texas Health and Environmental Alliance will hold its inaugural crawfish boil fundraising event at the Karbach Brewery Biergarten. The family-friendly event will include crawfish, craft beers, and confections. Proceeds will support THEA’s efforts to restore and protect communities in Harris County impacted by historic contamination. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit txhea.org.


It’s Breeding Season at the Smith Oaks Rookery

In the latest edition of “Houston & Nature,” host Nivien Saleh joins Houston expert bird guide Glenn Olsen at the Smith Oaks Rookery on High Island, which teems with life in springtime. Several species of colonial nesting birds visit the Rookery to raise their young. And they do so right in front of human onlookers, without signs of fear. To hear the full episode, visit houstonnature.com.


SPRING MIGRATION

Galveston FeatherFest

From April 21-24, the Galveston Nature Tourism Council will host the 20th anniversary Galveston FeatherFest. Thousands of birds take wing to Galveston Island each spring during an arduous northward migration across the Gulf from Central and South America. And hundreds of tourists and neighbors follow suit to see more than 200 species of brightly-colored birds strut their stuff around Galveston – a prime location along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. FeatherFest is a fun four days of excellent birding and nature photography field trips. For more information and to register, visit galvestonfeatherfest.com.


Unplugged Adventure: Birding the Katy Prairie

On April 22, from 8 a.m.-noon, the Katy Prairie Conservancy will host an event celebrating spring migration on the Katy Prairie. Guides will lead partcipants on a bird walk highlighting our various stopover habitats for migrating birds. Attendees will meet at the Indiangrass Preserve and then caravan to other preserves depending on the birds. Binoculars and scopes available for use. Ages 10 and up – novice birders are welcome. For more information and to register, visit constantcontact.com.


Mercer Bird Survey

On April 28, from 8-10 a.m., Mercer Botanic Gardens will host a monthly bird survey. Led by longtime birder Paul Gregg and Mercer staff member Christy Jones, this monthly bird survey is suited for birders of all levels and experience. Participants must be 12 or older. Children younger than 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Meet in front of the Visitor Center at Mercer’s East Side Main Garden. For more information, see the Facebook event.


Birdathon 2022

Birdathon 2022 is Houston Audubon’s annual spring fundraiser where participants compete to count as many bird species as possible in a 24-hour period while fundraising for bird conservation. The birding period runs through May 5, 2022. Team reports are due on May 9. Houston Audubon and partners will offer guided birding opportunities around town in conjunction with Birdathon. These bird walks will give participants some hands-on birding experience so you can feel comfortable forming your own Birdathon team afterward and competing. The Awards Celebration will be held May 21 at the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary. All contributions support Houston Audubon’s mission to advance the conservation of birds and positively impact their supporting environments. For more information and to register, visit houstonaudubon.org.


Spring Fling at Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

Through May 8, the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory is hosting its annual Spring Fling at the Quintana Neotropic Bird Sanctuary on Lamar Street across from the Quintana town hall building. Spring Fling is an opportunity to see and celebrate the return of migratory songbirds as they arrive at stopover habitat along the coast. This is great time to enjoy the wide variety of species that migrate through Texas dressed in their spring finery and to see colorful birds like orioles, grosbeaks, tanagers, and numerous warbler species, to name just a few. Knowledgeable volunteers and staff will be on hand to answer your questions, keep a daily list, and sell water, snacks, and field guides. For more information, visit gcbo.org.


Destination: High Island

Through May 22, 2022, Houston Audubon invites the public to High Island and Bolivar Peninsula for the unrivaled spectacle of bird migration on the Upper Texas Coast. Among the vantage points, visitors can use the new Kathrine G. McGovern Canopy Walkway. High Island sanctuaries are open every day from dawn to dusk. Free admission for children, students, and High Island residents. For more information, visit houstonaudubon.org.


Lights Out, Texas!

Lights Out, Texas!, a campaign of education, awareness, and action that focuses on turning out lights at night during the spring and fall migrations to help protect the billions of migratory birds that fly over Texas, is under way. The full Spring Migration period runs through June 15, and the critical Spring Peak Migration period runs April 22 – May 12. Texan by Nature and Audubon Texas lead Lights Out, Texas! efforts across the state. For more information on how to participate, visit texanbynature.org.


CONTESTS


Houston Teens Care About Clean Air Video Contest

Environmental Defense Fund and Environmental Youth Council are hosting the 5th annual Houston Teens Care About Clean Air student video contest. High school students in Houston and the surrounding areas are challenged to create a 1-2 minute video about air pollution, climate change, or environmental justice. First prize is a $2,500 Visa gift card. Teachers also have the opportunity to earn their own Visa gift card. For more information, visit enviroyouthcouncil.org. Teachers can find information and sign up your school to participate by completing the form HERE on the contest website or email Shannon Thomas at sthomas@edf.org. Submissions are due April 22.


Ocean Awareness Contest

The 11th annual Ocean Awareness Contest is a platform for young people to learn about environmental issues through art-making and creative communication, explore their relationship to a changing world, and become advocates for positive change. Students ages 11-18 from around the world are invited to participate. The 2022 Ocean Awareness Contest—THE FUNNY THING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE—challenges students to learn about climate change and its impact on the ocean, and to explore new ways to communicate the urgency of the climate crisis.The deadline for submissions is June 13. For more information, visit bowseat.org. (Image: Student artist Luyi Song)


Reminders About Ongoing Opportunities

  • Earth Month EcoChallenge. The Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston invites you to celebrate Earth Day/Month in April by joining its team for the online Earth Month EcoChallenge. This EcoChallenge focuses on the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, with categories of: basic needs; security, health & equity, education; livelihood, economy; communities and climate; and ecosystems. To sign up or to learn more, visit earthmonth.ecochallenge.org. Contact Lisa Brenskelle at gcs.lrc@gmail.com for any questions.
  • Rain Barrel and Compost Bin 2022 Sale. Through May 1, the City of Houston’s Green Building Resource Center is selling 50-gallon Ivy rain barrels and compost bins at a discounted price while supplies last. Pickup will be May 14 at the Green Building Resource Center. For more information, visit rainwatersolutions.com.
  • Living the Change. On Tuesdays through May 17, the Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston hosts an online course developed in response to the Walk on Earth Gently multifaith statement presented at the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference. This program focuses on making personal lifestyle changes in three areas: transportation, energy, and food. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.

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.

  • Spend some time on a shrimp boat with a family that has been working Texas waters for decades
  • Visit Brazos Bend State Park for hiking, biking, and stargazing, and keep an eye out for the alligators*
  • An abandoned house in the woods proves the perfect roost for a colony of Rafinesque’s big-eared bats

Additional Upcoming Events


Check out the latest Green Jobs at cechouston.org/green-jobs/.