Parks, Nature Centers, and Open Space » Environmental Directory

Photo of Friends of Mandell Park

Friends of Mandell Park

Purpose: The Friends of Mandell Park, a nonprofit Texas Corporation, was formed in August 2004 to improve, protect and assist in the maintenance of the City of Houston’s Mandell Park.

Publications: Newsletter, Informational Brochure

Programs: Organic Gardening in Meredith Gardens, Outdoor Movies, Exhibition Prairie.…

Photo of Mercer Botanic Garden

Mercer Botanic Garden

Purpose: To establish and maintain a versatile botanical facility for Houston and the greater Gulf Coast region, serving the general public, the horticulture industry, and the scientific community. These 325 acres of East Texas Piney Woods showcase the region’s largest collection of native and cultivated plants.

Programs: Offered throughout the year and focus on gardening and plant related topics Eagle Scout project site.…

Photo of SPARK School Park Program

SPARK School Park Program

Purpose: The SPARK School Program works with schools and neighborhoods to develop community parks on public school grounds. In the past 30 years, SPARK has built over 200+ community parks throughout the Houston/Harris County area. Each park is unique, with its design based on ideas and needs of the school and surrounding neighborhoods. While all of the parks are different, a typical park consists of modular playground equipment, a walking trail, benches, picnic tables, trees, an outdoor classroom, and a public art component.…

Photo of Houston Zoo Wildlife Conservation Program

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.…

Photo of Flower Garden Banks Natl Marine Sanctuary

Flower Garden Banks Natl Marine Sanctuary

Purpose: Identify, protect, conserve, and enhance the natural and cultural resources, values, and qualities of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and its regional environment for this and future generations.

Programs: Down Under, Out Yonder (DUOY) Educator Workshop and Scuba Field Experience – annually in July. Workshop information is available at http://flowergarden.noaa.gov/education/workshops.html.…

Photo of Big Thicket Association

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.…

Photo of Native Prairies Association of Texas

Native Prairies Association of Texas

Purpose: The Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT) is a non-profit membership organization and land trust dedicated to the conservation, restoration, and appreciation of native prairies, savannas, and other grasslands in Texas. NPAT protects over 2000 acres of native Texas grassland, including over 100 acres of endangered/threatened tallgrass prairie. In 2010, NPAT started its first local chapter in Houston to allow members in the metro area to meet and discuss local and regional projects and raise awareness for the organization in the Texas Gulf Coast region.…

Photo of Bayou Land Conservancy

Bayou Land Conservancy

Purpose: Bayou Land Conservancy is a community-sponsored land preservation organization to permanently protect land, with a focus on the 13 watersheds that feed Lake Houston. We preserve river and bayou corridors, other properties with significant wildlife habitat value, and places where family recreation can occur in harmony with nature.

Jill Boullion, Executive Director
jboullion@bayouland.org

Becky Martinez, Conservation Director
bmartinez@bayouland.org

Cherie Wilson, Office Administrator
cwilson@bayouland.org

Photo of Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council

Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council

Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council’s (GINTC) mission is to connect people with Galveston’s natural environment.

Purpose:Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council is a non-profit, community-based volunteer organization that supports and develops nature-based educational and recreational activities, and promotes the value of area natural habitats and resources.

Interest in nature tourism is on the rise.…

Photo of Houston Parks and Recreation Department

Houston Parks and Recreation Department

Purpose: To enhance the quality of urban life by providing safe, well-maintained parks and offering affordable programs for the community.

Major Events:

Jan – Arbor Day; Youth Tennis classes begin
Feb – Salt Grass Trail Ride; Adult sports leagues begin
Mar – Tour de Houston, Metal & Muscle Expo; Lake Houston Wilderness
Apr – Houston Children’s Festival, Japan ­Festival, Houston International Festival
May – Challenge Day, Summer Pool Opening
June – Summer Food Program begins, Golf Tourn; Hershey Track & Field Meet
Jul – Freedom Over Texas; Houston Pops July 4th Celebration
Oct – Asian-American Festival; Wildflower seed planting
Nov – Via Colori
Dec – Heritage Society Candlelight Tour, Holiday Tree Lighting
Year round – Lake Houston Park Nature Center events
School year – After School Enrichment Program

Volunteer Opportunities: Oneika McCarthy
(832) 395-7030 oneika.peters@houstontx.gov

Publications: Activities Catalog – Winter/Spring Issue Dec 1, Summer Issue
Apr 1, and Fall Issue Aug 1.…

Photo of Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center

Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center

Purpose: A 312-acre, Harris County Precinct 4 nature park dedicated to environmental and natural history, education, wildlife conservation, and passive recreation. It opened in 1982.

Programs: Wide variety of weekday tours and free weekend educational programs, ranging from the lifestyles and customs of local early settlers to the environmental benefits of nature. Teacher workshops and training programs are offered as well.…

Photo of University of Houston: Office of Sustainability

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.…

Photo of Greens Bayou Coalition

Greens Bayou Coalition

Purpose: Founded in 2007 to address quality of life issues along the 45-mile watershed through flood mitigation, parks & trails development, preservation of green space, and economic development.

Major Events: Annual Meeting, Bayou Clean Up Days, Tree Plantings.

Volunteer Opportunities: Committee service, Clean-up days, tree plantings, site preparation on park development, Adopt-A-Site, Volunteer Water Quality Testers.…

Photo of Environment Texas Research & Policy Center

Environment Texas Research & Policy Center

Purpose: Protection of Texas’ air, water and open spaces. Improving the quality of our environment and our lives by using independent research and tough-minded advocacy to win concrete results for our environment.

Program Priorities: Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Green Building, Open Space Preservation, Clean Air and Water, Global Warming.…

Photo of Discovery Green Conservancy

Discovery Green Conservancy

Barry Mandel, President and Park Director

Maria Aguirre, Executive Assistant

Purpose: To provide an uncommonly beautiful, urban green space in the heart of Houston that serves as a village green for our city, a source of health and happiness for our citizens, and a window into the incredible diversity of talents and traditions that enrich life in Houston.…

Photo of Sheldon State Park and Envir. Learning Center

Sheldon State Park and Envir. Learning Center

Purpose: Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center is a 2,800-acre outdoor education and recreation facility located in northeast Harris County. It offers year round adult and family programs and activities as well as field trip opportunities for students of all ages. Beginning in 2003, the park is became an important restoration site for tall grass prairie.…

Photo of Houston Wilderness

Houston Wilderness

Purpose: Houston Wilderness is a broad-based alliance of business, environmental and government interests that acts in concert to protect, preserve and promote the unique biodiversity of the region’s precious remaining ecological capital from bottomland hardwoods and prairie grasslands to pine forests and wetlands.

Programs: Collaborative Access Program, Sam Houston Greenbelt Network, Collaborative Grant Organizing, Wilderness Passport, ecosystems services, and Get Out Here Houston.…

Photo of Center for Houston’s Future

Center for Houston’s Future

Purpose: Center for Houston’s Future (CHF) works to address matters of highest importance to the long-term future of the greater Houston region, by engaging diverse leaders, providing impactful research, and defining actionable strategies. The Center for Houston’s Future furthers the Houston region as a top global community in which to work and live.…

Photo of Houston-Galveston Area Council

Houston-Galveston Area Council

Purpose: The Houston-Galveston Area Council is a region-wide voluntary association of local governments in the 13-county Gulf Coast Planning region of Texas. H-GAC’s mission is to serve as the instrument of local government cooperation, promoting the region’s orderly development and the safety and welfare of its citizens. Key governmental services include transportation planning, disaster resiliency, cooperative purchasing, homeland security, workforce development, air and water quality planning, forecasting, and mapping.…

Photo of Buffalo Bayou Partnership

Buffalo Bayou Partnership

Purpose:Buffalo Bayou Partnership is the Houston non-profit organization revitalizing and transforming Buffalo Bayou, our city’s most significant natural resource. Coordinating the integration of major improvements into the Bayou greenway, the Partnership seeks increased community involvement through pedestrian, boating and biking amenities, art installations, and other natural and built attractions.

Major Events: Buffalo Bayou Regatta, kayak tours, history hikes, walk tours, bat tours, Second Saturday Boat cruises, Twilight tours, Seasonal Cruises, Nights on Blue Bayou events along the Sabine Promenade.…

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