• 713-524-4CEC (4232)
  • info@cechouston.org

Going Texan isn’t just about dressing like a cowboy

Preserving the state should be part of Go Texan Day / Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash

Saddle up pardners — it’s time to git’ along, dust off them boots, and shine y’all’s belt buckles. Go Texan Day is Feb. 24.

Go Texan Day began in 1954 to promote the livestock show and rodeo, an event that was to become the current Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Before the era of social networks, it was proposed that people dawn Western wear and … cosplay as cowboys or cowgirls. There is no doubt that Rodeo Houston is a boon to the City’s economy and for area ranchers and farmers — not to mention the children who depend on scholarships afforded to them through the event. A sense of pride washes over the City, participants, and rodeo-goers, so of course, people should look forward to a day when they can go Texan.

In 2014, then Miss Rodeo Houston Jackie Young-Medcalf went Texan … by joining forces with the San Jacinto River Coalition and Texas Campaign for Environment to demand the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remove the San Jacinto River Waste Pits, a site filled with dioxin and other carcinogens. In 2017, a cleanup plan was realized and in 2022, the actual cleanup began. Young-Medcalf, who suffered the effects of contaminated water near the San Jacinto, further went Texan by founding Texas Health and Environment Alliance (THEA) in 2015. THEA works to clean up toxic chemicals in Harris County and is responsible for more than $122M in EPA-ordered remediation efforts.

“I understand what people go through when they learn their neighborhood is contaminated, because that is my story,” Young-Medcalf said on txhea.org.

Ben Masters also went Texan. Masters studied wildlife biology at Texas A&M University, wrote the books Unbranded and The River and The Wall, and directed the documentary SXSW 2019 award-winning The River and The Wall. In 2022, he directed Deep in the Heart: A Texas Wildlife Story, a documentary that shows through film how important it is to conserve Texas, its wildlife, its land, and its water.

Chanté Davis, a teenager, also went Texan when she was spurred to protect the environment while attending Gloria Marshall Elementary School, the first public school in Houston to be awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification. Davis joined the youth-led climate action group Sunrise Movement, began organizing events in Houston, founded One Oysean, and was a contributing editor for OH-WAKE, a magazine for children, teenagers, and family who care about protecting the environment.

Texan by Nature goes Texan by, per their website, “(bringing) conservation and business together to protect what we love most about the Lone Star State.” Native Prairies Association of Texas goes Texan by conserving and restoring prairies, savannas, and grasslands. Houston Audubon, the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, and the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition go Texan by studying and protecting wildlife. Bayou City Waterkeeper, the Bayou Preservation Association, and the Galveston Bay Foundation go Texan by preserving what keeps this region’s ecosystem alive: water. In fact, the organizations listed in the CEC Resource Guide go Texan every day by actively fighting for the environment.

On Friday, when you don a Stetson hat, Go Texan by working to protect Texas.