Nature Discovery Center
Purpose: To ignite life-long curiosity, understanding, and respect for nature through education.
Programs: Year –round classes and camps for 3 – 10 year olds; on and off-site programs for schools: field trips, science exhibit loans, teacher professional development; in-class live animal presentations; in-class, hands-on Science on the Go! Lesson for 3rd-5th graders; scout advancement programs and birthday party live animal programs. For adults: migration season guided birding walks and spring coastal birding bus trip; monthly lecture series; first Wednesday of each month beginning at 7 p.m. Children’s Activities: Discovery Rooms, Nature Story Time, pre-school and elementary classes & camps, Scout programs, birthday party programs.
Major Events: Home Tour/Spring Fling (Spring), Earth Day (Apr), Pumpkin Patch (Oct); Twilight in the Park (Nov.); Holiday Market (Dec).
Volunteer Opportunities: Special events; field trip docents; animal care; gardening; help with art and craft projects, camp counselors, Discovery Room docents.
Speakers Bureau: Yes.
Rice Design Alliance
Purpose: Dedicated to the advancement of architecture, urban design, and the built environment in the Houston region through educational programs, the publication of Cite, and active programs to initiate physical improvements. By sponsoring lectures, seminars, symposia, exhibits, and tours, RDA seeks to involve the public.
Volunteer Opportunities: Docents needed for house tour, gala, and other events.
Publications: Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston, published quarterly, Ephemeral City: Cite Looks at Houston (2003, UT Press).
Maria Nicanor, Executive Director
Raquel Puccio, Administrative Coordinator
Big Thicket Association
Purpose: The Big Thicket Association’s mission is to preserve, protect, and promote the Big Thicket region, its natural resources and cultural history, for enjoyment and well-being of present and future generations through advocacy, education, and research.
Major Programs: Neches River Adventures – a three tiered program that conducts (Tier 1) outdoor classes, (Tier 2) public and (Tier 3) private eco-history tours aboard the Ivory Bill and on the Neches River. The project’s main focus is providing a free environmental education program to area schools. We give public tours every Saturday from March until November (fees apply). We are also available for Private Charters year around. All bookings are per registration by phone or online. Field Research Station – Available for groups, school, zoos, etc.…organizations that are interested outdoor activities or volunteering in the Big Thicket. Thicket of Diversity – Devoted to scientific research in the Big Thicket Region. Grants are available to researchers through the Thicket of Diversity.
Wendy J. Ledbetter., Executive Director
Kathy Smartt, Vice President
John Stafford, President
Texas Southern University, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs
Purpose: The Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs has a reputation as a comprehensive center for sound academic research. Scholars focus on a broad range of topics, including voting behavior, American foreign policy and international relations, political communication, criminal justice attitudes and behavior, police violence, environmental justice, race and crime, race and governance, policy studies, leadership, E-government, homeland security, urban transportation, housing and community development, Diaspora studies, environmental planning, economic development and the fiscal responsibility of urban governments.
Check online for information about degrees offered at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
Programs: Research, Policy Advocacy, Campus Sustainability Initiatives, Educational Seminars, Lectures, and Workshops
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteer and student internships; study abroad
Dr. Michael Adams, Interim Chair for Dept. of Political Science
Dr. David Baker, Interim Chair for Admin. of Justice
Dr. Sheri Smith, Interim Chair for Dept. of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy
Katy Prairie Conservancy
Purpose: To preserve the coastal prairie for people and wildlife. KPC now protects over 24,000 acres of coastal prairie in Texas. On the Katy Prairie in Harris, Ft. Bend, and Waller counties, KPC owns nearly 13,500 acres and protects nearly 5,000 acres through conservation agreements with private landowners. KPC is also working to protect coastal prairie in other Texas counties. Through conservation agreements, KPC protects an additional 6,005 acres in Matagorda and Jackson counties.
Major Events: Monthly Unplugged Adventures; guided tours; Annual Christmas Bird Count (Jan 1); Putting Down Roots family restoration event (October); Bio Blitz (October). The 1.5 mile Ann Hamilton Trail at Indiangrass Preserve is open Tuesdays, Fridays, and the first and third Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm. The Matt Cook Memorial Wildlife Viewing Platform at Warren Lake is open daily (Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail Site 9900). Educational trunks for the classroom are available to borrow, contact email@example.com
Volunteer Opportunities: Leading tours, gardening at Native Seed Nursery, Stewardship Saturdays, Corporate Volunteer Days, seed collecting, Great Grow Out, fundraising, administrative, community outreach, monitoring wildlife and protected lands.
Speakers Bureau: Speakers available for community, birding, nature, wildlife, school, and outdoor groups.
Mary Anne Piacentini, President and CEO
(713) 523-6135 ext 4003
Ali Flanders Dodson, Advancement Director
(713) 523-6135 ext 4012
Mikayla House, Stewardship Manager
(713) 523-6135 ext 4008
Environmental Institute of Hou – UHCL
Since 1991, the mission of the Environmental Institute of Houston at University of Houston-Clear Lake has been to advance understanding of the environment through interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach.
Purpose: It serves as a contact point for the community to access the expertise and resources of the university. Additionally, EIH partners with agencies, community and environmental groups, and businesses to conduct research and outreach projects in the Houston region. EIH focuses on four areas: pollution prevention, environmental policy, natural resource conservation, and environmental education.
Dr. George Guillen, Executive Director
(281) 283-3950; firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy Reistle, Environmental Education Program Coordinator
(281) 283-3045; email@example.com
Armand Bayou Nature Center
Purpose: To preserve 2,500 acres of vanishing coastal prairie, hardwood forest and bayou wilderness habitat and wildlife refuge; to give opportunities to experience and understand the remaining natural ecosystem; to reconnect people with nature.
Programs: Year–round adult, child, and family programs including Third Sundays in Nature Series, FREE to the public; Eco-Exploration pontoon boat and canoe trips; guided day and night hikes; Eco-Camp summer and holiday camps; Great Texas Birding Trail Site 81; Teachers can receive SBEC credit for classes. Speakers are available to come speak to your classroom or group, contact website or call for booking.
Major Events: Apr. – World Migratory Bird Day; May – Fundraising Dinner and Auction; Oct. – Creepy Crawlers; Nov. – Martyn Farm Harvest Festival; Dec. – Christmas Bird Count
Children’s Activities: Critter Corner, Connections and Bayou Studies classes; naturalist lead and self-guided school field trips; scout programs;
Volunteer Opportunities: Prairie Friday Team, Stewardship Saturday Team, Trail Guides and History Interpreters, Environmental Education Docents, Nature Center Maintenance Crew, Teen Volunteer Corps, BSA Venturing Crew, seasonal prairie and bayou marsh restoration.
Publications: Along the Bayou, Bayou Foliage
Tim Pylate: Executive Director
Phone: (281) 474-2551
Phone: 713 274 2667
Phone: 713 274 2672
Surfrider Foundation – Texas Chapter
Purpose: To preserve and protect the Texas coast and its recreational resources. To defend the Texas Open Beaches Act. Our issues are water quality, beach access, erosion, and coastal development. Our goal is to stand on the beach 30 years from now and be able to say, “We made the right decisions.” We were founded in 1999.
Meetings: 3rd Tuesday of the month in Houston.
Programs: Respect the Beach – education program for schools; Blue Water Task Force – beach water testing; Rise Above Plastics – reduce plastic pollution; Ocean Friendly Gardens – reduce urban runoff.
Children’s Activities: Science and education projects, beach activities, surf lessons.
Volunteer Opportunities: Beach cleanups, public education programs, water testing, fundraising, government relations, public relations, and advertising.
Publications: “Making Waves” – national publication (monthly publication also available on the web) Beachapedia – internet resource beachapedia.org/Main_P
Ellis Pickett, Chairman
Pamela Walters, Secretary
Media/Press/Speakers Bureau, Ellis Pickett
University of Houston: Office of Sustainability
Purpose: The University of Houston Office of Sustainability serves as the hub for campus sustainability efforts. Engaging the campus and community, the office fosters collaboration and educates individuals about social, economic and environmental factors that impact today’s society and generations to come. On-campus sustainability initiatives include academic programs and research, educational events, the campus community garden, single-stream recycling, water bottle refill stations, renewable energy use, sustainable transportation, green building and more.
Programs: Sustainability Task Force, Sustainability Meetups, Student Sustainability Team and Campus Community Garden
Events: Cleanup Day, Sustainability Fest, Bike to UH Day, Electronics Recycling Drive, RecycleMania and Earth Week,
Volunteer opportunities: Gardening, Campus and community events, Cleanup events.
Michael Mendoza, Sustainability Program Manager
Melissa Halstead, Sustainability Coordinator
Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church
Purpose: Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church was chartered in 1960 to serve the growing western suburbs of Houston. Proudly recognized as a Welcoming Congregation (LGBTQ friendly), Emerson Church invites people of all races, ethnicity, ages, gender identities, and sexual orientations to join us. The congregation has the diversity of spiritual beliefs, cultural backgrounds and sexual orientations that make Unitarian Universalism such a dynamic faith.
Programs: The Ministry for Earth group is large and active. This group promotes the seventh principle of the Unitarian Universalist Association: “…to affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” They learn about environmental issues; advocate public policies to protect the global environment; act locally in our homes, church and city; and connect spiritually with the web-of-all-existence. Specific programs include the Renewable Congregations Campaign, the Ethical Eating and Environmental Justice series, and Consumption and Sustainability Initiatives. Learn more at Ministry for Earth.
Volunteer Opportunities: Learn more at http://www.emersonhouston.org
Publications: Sign up for weekly email : https://emersonhouston.org/stay-connected/
Karen Van Horn, Business Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org
Save Buffalo Bayou
Purpose: To educate the public and public officials about proper land management on our many streams, drawing on the latest science, and to advocate for enlightened flood and erosion control and drainage policies and practices that respect the natural process of our local bayous and creeks, their floodplains and watersheds, the trees and vegetation growing on their banks, all of which are so vital for the health of our waters, our environment, and us.
Programs: Paddle with geologist Tom Helm on a two-hour floating class down a historic nature area on Buffalo Bayou. Learn about our 18,000-year-old bayou, about the formation of the bluffs and sandstone rocks during the last ice age, and see how the sand moves downstream, why the way the river looks the way it does, and much more. Classes can be scheduled any day of the week for small groups; larger groups can schedule for weekends only.
Frank C. Smith, Jr., Board Founding President
Susan Chadwick, Executive Director
Cypress Creek Flood Control Coalition
Purpose: A coalition of municipal utility districts, homeowner associations and other community organizations functioning as a steward between the residents, local/state government, land developers and non-profits to work on planning and implementation of improved flood protection and environment preservation throughout the Cypress Creek watershed.
Meetings: Third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 p.m., at Lake Forest Utility District, 14223 Lakewood Forest Dr.
Programs: Flood Protection: Research, consultation, advocacy and education. Preservation: Greenway trails/ park development focused on preservation of floodplain lands. Reforestation projects. Speakers are available to give presentations to your class or student group upon request. Contact website for booking information.
Major Events: Annual meeting featuring guest speakers and forthcoming watershed plans. Sponsor scout reforestation and water quality projects.
Volunteer Opportunities: Both outdoors and indoors. Retired folks in high demand. Grant applications.
Richard D. Smith, President
12503 Ramona Drive
Peter R. Smullen, Vice-President.
Houston Climate Protection Alliance
Purpose: Houston Climate Protection Alliance connects residents of the greater Houston-Galveston region concerned about global warming so we can learn and act together.
Meetings: First Sundays of each month at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 5200 Fannin at Southmore. Time is usually 1:15 p.m., but please call to confirm and for topic information.
Programs: Speakers are available to give presentations to your class or school group.
Tim Mock, Co-Chair
Dr. Louis C. Smith, Co-Chair
Nancy Edwards, Treasurer
Houston Audubon Society
Purpose: To advance the conservation of birds and positively impact their supporting environments. Founded in 1969.
Meetings: with speakers are held the second Thursday of alternate school months: Sept, Nov, Jan, March, & May at United Way Center at 50 Waugh Drive. See website for details. Houston Audubon Nature Photography Association (HANPA) meetings: Third Wednesdays of each month, Sept-May, 7 p.m., HAS headquarters.
Programs: Live bird outreach programs for schools, civic groups, libraries; field trips; guided tours of the Edith L. Moore Bird Sanctuary; birding classes. Children’s Activities: Community Outreach Programs, Bayou Buddies, Titmouse Club, Summer Camp, Family Nature Explore Club. Girl Scout badge programs and Girl/Boy Scout service projects.
Major Events: Spring Migration at High Island sanctuaries; Birdathon (Mar-Apr.); Annual gala “Avian Affair”; Christmas Bird Counts; Bird Week (end of Sept.)
Volunteer Opportunities: Gardening, trail guides, field research, trail crew, clerical, advocacy, events, photography, video editing, education, data entry, event support, translating, Young Professionals Advisory Council.
Speakers Bureau: Contact Mary Anne Weber email@example.com
Houston Audubon Society includes Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Waller, Washington and Wharton counties.
Helen E. Drummond, Executive Director
713-932-1639 ext. 107
Rachel Schipul, Operations Manager
713-932-1639 ext. 104
Lauren Miheli, Volunteer Coordinator
713-932-1639 ext. 102
American Youthworks Conservation Corps & AmeriCorps
- YouthBuild Austin is a youth services program that combines academics with career training, leadership development, and community service. For more information visit http://americanyouthworks.org/programs/youthbuild/
- Texas Conservation Corps (TxCC) is a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps accredited program that empowers young people through AmeriCorps service, conservation, education, and jobs training. …
Purpose: American YouthWorks provides young people with opportunities to build careers, strengthen communities, and improve the environment through education, on-the-job training, and service to others.
- YouthBuild Austin is a youth services program that combines academics with career training, leadership development, and community service. For more information visit http://americanyouthworks.org/programs/youthbuild/
- Texas Conservation Corps (TxCC) is a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps accredited program that empowers young people through AmeriCorps service, conservation, education, and jobs training. TxCC provides trained crews to help accomplish conservation project needs. For more information visit http://americanyouthworks.org/programs/txcc/
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, National Trails Day, National Public Lands Day and more can be found on their website
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteer to work with young people in YouthBuild or Texas Conservation Corps. Individual and group opportunities are available. Some volunteer opportunities include service days, tutoring, and mentorships.
Speaker’s Bureau: Guest speakers are welcome to share their career path and experience with students to inspire and inform participants about various career fields.
Ericus Adams, TxCC Houston Program Manager
Eliza Montana, Senior Director of Operations
Houston Zoo Wildlife Conservation Program
Purpose: Our mission is to make the Houston Zoo a leader in conservation as it relates to the survival of threatened wildlife, wise use of natural resources, and the appreciation of our natural world by zoo visitors.
Publications: Members quarterly Wildlife Magazine.
Major Events: Conservation Gala, Call of the Wild Speakers Series, Earth Day, Feast with the Beasts, Zoobilee, Zoo Boo, Spotlight on Species Weekends.
Children’s Activities: Educational programming, Wild Winks, Summer and Winter Camps, Zoomobile Outreach Programs.
Volunteer Opportunities: Houston Zoo Volunteer Programs for individuals and corporations: firstname.lastname@example.org or (713) 533-6549.
Vice President of Conservation and Education
Conservation Programs Manager
Director of Public Relations
SPLASh (Stopping Plastics and Litter Along Shorelines) educates grades 5-12 on marine debris & trash pollution in the Houston-Galveston coastal ecosystems. We facilitate TEKS-supported, interactive lessons virtually or in-person and offer off campus trash clean ups and data collection activities! Contact email@example.com for more information!
Purpose: To inspire a new generation of leaders to design a sustainable future for all. EcoRise develops standards aligned, K–12 school-based curricula that focus on sustainability, environmental literacy, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship. The curriculum empowers youth to tackle real-world challenges in their schools and communities. EcoRise also provides extensive teacher training and support with the curriculum and offers a Student Innovation Fund for student-driven grant projects.
Curricula & Programs:
- Learn about EcoRise’s growing collection of award-winning, standards-aligned sustainability, green building, and design innovation curricula here.
- Sustainable Intelligence Program: PreK–12 teachers receive access to multiple EcoRise curricula including our flagship Sustainable Intelligence, professional development, and student-driven classroom grants.
- Green Building Academy: High school CTE teachers receive access to EcoRise’s Green Building Lessons for a Sustainable Future curriculum, educators workshops and mentorship, and opportunities for students to connect to green building and field experiences.
- Project-Based Learning Academy: This district-wide program provides a suite of training and support programs that shift the traditional paradigms of academic instruction using the PBL pedagogy.
- Teacher Ambassador Program: EcoRise teachers have the opportunity to join a network of sustainability education leaders as a Teacher Ambassador or Education Fellow and help support and further the green schools movement.
Major Events: Students who receive a grant award for an Eco-Audit project are typically invited to participate in a Regional Student Innovation Showcase which has been expanded to include virtual showcases in 2020. These showcases are hosted each spring across the country to celebrate the next generation of innovators giving them a platform to present their green campus innovations.
Publications: EcoRise Monthly Newsletter
Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy
Purpose: Founded in 2001, the Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy (WWGC) partners with the Harris County Flood Control District and the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department to enhance the 280 acre Willow Waterhole Park as a native plant and wildlife area and a passive recreational green space.
Programs: Music in park performances, movies in park screenings, conservation volunteer work days on the second saturday of each month, monthly bird surveys on the third saturday of each month by Houston Audubon Society, and free environmental education series for kids and families.
Major Events: April Music Fest; Cross Country Meets & Fun Runs; Invasive Fish Round-up and Carp-a-thon in the fall.
Volunteer Opportunities: Historian, photographer, trail maintenance, cleanup days, event and festival volunteers, fundraising, guided hikes, children’s programs, scout projects.
Speakers: Available for community and school groups.
Ralph Rieger, CPA, CGMA, President
Keep Pearland Beautiful
Purpose: The vision of Keep Pearland Beautiful is that Pearland will be the cleanest and most beautiful city in Texas.
Major Projects: Plant Thyme Fall Luncheon, Cheers for Volunteers, Environmental Awards Dinner. Yard Wise Demonstration Garden, Adopt A Spot, Community Greening. KPB Education methods include: speaking to groups, bringing environmental programs to schools, training teachers, sponsoring our annual Environmental Fair and informing people about Environmental responsibility.
Speakers Bureau: Speakers will come out and give a presentation to your classroom or school group
Stella Roberts Recycling Center: KPB operates a full-service drop off recycling center, serving all! Acceptable items include paper, cardboard, plastics (#1-5 & 7), glass bottles, batteries, electronics, and all types of metal. Household hazardous waste is also accepted, however fees may apply. The center does not accept plastic bags, plastic #6, tires, mattresses, wood, green waste or trash.
Adrian Hernandez, Executive Director
Lenora Tollefson, Director of Programs
Henry Donley, Director of Recycling
The CEC has a searchable, web-based version of the Environmental Resource Guide. You may also download older versions of the printed guide below.
Archived Resource Guides