Online Environmental Learning Activities &

With school districts closed, those of us with school-age children are taking up the mantle of teachers, looking for resources to keep them engaged educationally during this very trying time. Thankfully, many of our member organizations, and others, are stepping up to the challenge. In addition to the following resources, visit CEC’s website to learn about other environmental education resources.

Winnie Burkett writes the following about this photo posted on the Bolivar Flats Bird Cam Facebook group: “Avocets do not practice social distancing.
  • Houston Audubon’s new digital library of resources is available at where you will find games, interactive activities, and learning tools for you and your family. Webcams are set up at Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary and Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary for a virtual birding experience. The Cornell Lab has some wonderful bird cams from around the nation too. Note: Houston Audubon has closed its offices and sanctuaries through April 3.
  • Houston Zoo is offering daily updates through its FacebookInstagram, and Twitter accounts, as well as Facebook Live events each weekday at 11 a.m.
  • Children’s Museum of Houston is offering both Learn at Home activities and Facebook Live videos daily. For more information, visit
  • ECOGIG Ocean Ecosystem Research offers “School’s Out Science,” which can be accessed through their YouTube channel.
  • EcoRise offers its At-Home Learning Resources page, feauring STEM and sustainability lessons to engage PreK–12th grade students at home, on- and off-screen. 
  • The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary has many educational materials for people of all ages available at
  • Galveston Bay Foundation is offering “At Home With The Bay,” a weekly series of educational videos featuring a virtual lab, conservation craft, talk with a Bay biologist and an activity of the week.
  • The National Environmental Education Foundation is offering activity guides and citizen science projects for children of all ages to learn about environmental education. Learn more at
  • The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is offering a wealth of science-based learning activities. Learn about them at
  • The North American Marine Environment Protection Association is offering a “Parent Survival Series,” featuring lesson plans for K-12 students. Learn more at
  • Texas State Aquarium is offering daily Aquavision educational videos on the Facebook page.
  • Texas Wildlife Association offers on-demand webinars that are interactive and include a follow-along worksheet. Also, there are digital copies of the Critter Connection magazine, which include local wildlife information, vocabulary builders, crafts and easy activities to do at home.  
  • The World Ocean Observatory is sharing a compilation of home-study tools and resources for teaching and learning about the ocean. 

Houston Environmental News Update April 1, 2020

Summer Tanager, National Poetry Month, Calls for Presentations, Trash Free Texas, Don’t Mess with Texas Art Contest, EarthEco Water Challenge, Green Jobs, and more

Rather than talk in depth about you-know-what, today we are sharing a poem in observance of the start of National Poetry Month. Summer Tanager 2 is a collaboration by poet (and environmental attorney, activist, and professor) Jim Blackburn and artist Isabell Scurry Chapman.

Summer Tanager 2

At home hiding from the coronavirus
Thinking about this moment in time. 
The house seems smaller
Being here all the time,
Teaching my class over Zoom,
Learning to live without the comfortable
Ways of the past,Uncertain about tomorrow,
Committed to surviving,
Wanting to hug my friends,
Missing the comfort food of nature. 
My mind travels back in time
To a day at the Candy Abshier reserve,
A place saved at Smith Point
Across the bay in Chambers County,
A lovely place of the hawk watch
And a grove of trees that provide a safe
Spot for the river of lovely migrants
That flows through the Texas coast. 
Stepping into the meadow from the trees,
Peering down along the wooded corridor,
Several summer tanagers burst into my vision,
Red ornaments decorating green branches,
Feathers reflecting the red of bird royalty
Directly into my soul,
Making my spirit glow with connectuality,
With being linked to another living thing,
Sharing space, sharing life. 
The tanagers migrate to survive
As we shelter to survive,
And sheltering here in place,
I am missing connectuality with my friends -
Both human and feathered -
Yet finding peace in recalling the moment
When the summer tanagers and I
Met at the Candy Abshier reserve
On a spring day many years ago.

Jim and Isabelle are sharing one poem and painting each day this month. Please respond to this email if you would like to be added to their list.

Please scroll down to read notes from our member organizations and the community.


Greater Houston Environmental Summit – Call for Presenters

Share the story of your environmental work and inspire our community to take action! CEC is soliciting proposals for table talk hosts and presenters for the Greater Houston Environmental Summit on Friday, August 7, 2020. Learn more and submit your proposal using this Google Form. Proposals due April 31, 2020.

Online Environmental Learning Activities &

With school districts closed, those of us with school-age children are taking up the mantle of teachers, looking for resources to keep them engaged educationally during this very trying time. Thankfully, many of our member organizations, and others, are stepping up to the challenge. View the list or visit CEC’s website to learn about other environmental education resources.

CEC Volunteer Info Session May 19 online

CEC seeks individuals who might be interested in volunteering to help with our website and newsletter, plan events, design graphics, serve on one of our committees (programs, communications, finance, fundraising and development, membership, and governance) this year, or possibly joining our board of directors in January 2021. We are hosting information sessions for prospective volunteers to learn more about the ongoing opportunities. Upcoming sessions include the evenings of March 31, May 19, and June 30. For more information, please email [email protected], or join us online at Google Hangouts.

Summer Internships with CEC

The CEC will be hiring several interns this summer, and is conducting interviews this month. If you or someone you know would like to help with and learn about communication, marketing, policy, government, publications, journalism, digital media, fundraising, event coordination, business development, filmmaking, bookkeeping, and/or accounting, we invite you to learn more at We post opportunities with our member organizations can be found on CEC’s Green Jobs page.

Earth Day HoustonSuspended

In response to the outbreak the Discovery Green Conservancy is canceling, or postponing, all events scheduled through May 15, including Earth Day Houston, previously scheduled for Sunday, April 19, 2020. We will let you know if the event is rescheduled. We will be emailing additional information to exhibitors, sponsors, and volunteers. In the meantime, learn how, internationally, Earth Day is going digital.

The Living Coast and Montopolis at MATCH

On June 12, 2020, MATCH will present The Living Coast, combining a gorgeous nature film, dynamic storytelling and live music performance to explore the Texas Gulf Coast (see the trailer). Montopolis features members of the Austin Symphony Orchestra and Texas’ best rock musicians touring with an environmental scientist. The show is a love letter to the region as well as an opportunity to discuss broader environmental challenges. Proceeds will be be donated to the Matagorda Bay Foundation and the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


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), as there are continuing cancellations of events over the next several weeks.

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H-E-B provides a silver lining for the Texas environment

Photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

In need of some good news this week? EarthShare of Texas and its 40 member nonprofits are breathing a sigh of relief after H-E-B announced a $190,000 gift to the organization. This generous gift will benefit many parks, waterways, and environmental education programs across the State of Texas, allowing our communities to enjoy our beautiful state for years to come.

EarthShare of Texas’s relationship with H-E-B is not new. Since 2007, EarthShare of Texas has partnered every year in April for H-E-B’s tear pad campaign, where customers can tear off and add check-out coupons worth $1, $3, or $5 to their total bill to support EarthShare of Texas and our member organizations. In the interest of safety, for both H-E-B Partners and the public, H-E-B has decided to forgo the yearly tear-pad campaign and kindly cut a check for EarthShare of Texas directly.

We are beyond pleased to continue our partnership with H-E-B. The Texas environment and its beneficiaries (plants, animals, their ecosystem and you and me) are grateful for the contribution. Thank you, H-E-B! 

To learn more about supporting EarthShare of Texas and its member organizations, feel free to visit us at Read the full press release.

CEC is a big fan of H-E-B’s environmental initiatives relating to transportation emission reductions; green building; seafood sustainability; recycling, composting, and waste reduction; and ongoing support for environmental partners.