Bayou City Waterkeeper
Purpose: To protect and restore the integrity of our bayous, rivers, streams, and the bays through advocacy, education, and action.
Bayou City Waterkeeper (formerly Galveston Baykeeper) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to ensure that every waterway is swimmable, fishable, and drinkable from Lake Livingston through the Bayous of Houston down to Galveston Bay. Bayou City Waterkeeper is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a global environmental movement which began in 1966 with the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association and grew to encompass waterways around the world.
Programs: Pollution Hotline, Wetland Watch, Save Our Gulf.
Volunteer Opportunities: We need citizens to report pollution and possible Clean Water Act violations. We also need administrative, fundraising and community event volunteers.
Publications: The Bay Times, an electronic newsletter.
Speakers Bureau: Pesticides 101, Where Have All the Wetlands Gone? and wetland education to municipalities. Contact website for booking a speaker for your classroom or student group.
Jordan Macha is the Executive Director and Waterkeeper
Purpose: The mission of BikeHouston is to promote safe bicycling and to improve the quality of life in the Houston area. Our goals are to:
-secure equitable access to regional facilities, lands and roads
-educate the public about rights and responsibilities of bicyclists
-promote public awareness of the personal and community benefits of cycling
We will do this by forming broad coalitions with individuals and groups wherever a common purpose can be found.
Meeting Time: Varies, see website.
Programs: Offer a free bike safety class to students from their website.
Major Events: Houston Moonlight Bicycle Ramble, Bike Month and Bike to Work Day in May; Effective Cycling (adult safety/skills) classes.
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers are welcome to join any aspect of the organization, especially the Moonlight Bicycle Ramble and other rides.
Clark Martinson, Executive Director
Bowen Roberts, Volunteer Coordinator
Jessica Wiggins, Advocacy Director
Purpose: To promote the evolution and implementation of Plan Houston as the basis for planning the City’s future.
Blueprint Houston was founded in 2003 to build community support for a coordinated planning process to make improvements to Houston’s quality of life. Blueprint Houston seeks to initiate a coordinated planning process that leads to a general plan for the city’s future, based on citizens’ vision, values, and goals.
Programs: Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Program; Municipal Management District Study; Urban Geography curriculum.
Volunteer Opportunities: Civic Awareness Engagement Committee.
Martha Murphree, Hon. AIA, Executive Director
Bayou Preservation Association, Inc.
Purpose: To celebrate, protect and restore the natural richness of all our bayous and streams.
Founded in 1966 to protect and restore the richness and diversity of our waterways through activism, advocacy, collaboration and education. BPA monitors water quality, plans clean-ups for bayous, restores habitat, reviews permit applications and sponsors seminars on flood reduction.
Programs: Board Meetings have speakers. Committees include Project, Water Quality, Paddle Trails, and Development and Nominations.
Major Events: BPA Gala, Fall; Water Symposium, Fall; Trash Bash, Spring; Project a Month (year round bayou and park clean up started in 2010).
Publications: Newsletter; Bayou Planting Guide; Quick Guide on Flood Management. Call BPA office
Sarah P. Bernhardt, President & CEO
Robert L. Rayburn, Board Chair
Linda R. Shead, Board Vice Chair
Eric Ruckstuhl, Stream Corridor Restoration Consultant
Blackwood Land Institute
Purpose: Blackwood Educational Land Institute is an ecosystem and living classroom that inspires and teaches students of all ages to explore the natural web of life and to develop a healthy, respectful relationship with nature.
Major Events: Counselor Training Week, Blackwood Nature Camp Weeks, Edible Garden Tour, Sustainability Bike Ride
Children’s Activities: Blackwood Educational Land Institute reconnects children to nature through hands-on experiences that teach them about food and where it comes from, the value of community and collaboration, and the pleasure of being outdoors. Call or contact through the website for camp location and for registration.
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteer your time at the Blackwood Land Institute by filling out an application on their website.
Cath Conlon, Founder and CEO
Gabi Graves, Program Coordinator & Nature Camp Director
Brays Bayou Association
Purpose: To reduce the risk of flooding in the Brays Bayou watershed.
Meetings: Open meetings are held the third Monday of every month, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room., The Gathering Place, 5410 South Willow Drive, 77035
Major Events: Annual meeting in March.
Volunteer Opportunities: Contact Bob Schwartz.
Speakers Bureau: Speakers available to give presentations in classrooms or to groups. Contact Bob Schwartz.
Publications: Articles in various media.
Bob Schwartz, President
Charles Goforth, Vice President
Bob Marshall, Vice President Emeritus
Don Hickle, Secretary
Charles Goforth, Acting Treasurer
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.
Children’s Activities: Kids’ Day on Buffalo Bayou, Second Saturday Boat Cruises, bat tours and kayak tours. Speakers are available to give presentations to your school classroom or group. Contact Trudi Smith for booking.
Volunteer Opportunities: Monthly Volunteer Day,Tree planting, cleanups, Adopt-A-Spot, help with events, office work.
Anne Olson, President
Trudi Smith, Director of Public Relations and Events
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.
Meetings: 2nd Saturday in January, April, July, and October. Please check website or Facebook for locations.
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.
Major Events: Eco Tours aboard our 45 ft. pontoon boat, the Ivory Bill. (Reservations required, fees apply) Neches River Rally (canoe & Kayak event 1st weekend after Labor Day). Big Thicket Day (2nd Sat. in Oct.) Science Cafes – Field Trips – Hikes and Seminars. Follow us on Facebook or sign-up for our e-mail notices.
Volunteer Opportunities: Deckhands or docents aboard the Ivory Bill – Education assistants during environmental education classes – During various events Neches River Rally, Big Thicket Day, etc. – In the office
Publications: Big Thicket Bulletin, quarterly. Available on website.
Bruce Walker, Executive Director
Kathy Smartt, BTA President
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.
Programs: “No Child Left Inside” Environmental Education Program – science-based program to get children outside to enjoy area wilderness– in kayaks! Students from 5th grade through high school do hands-on learning about our local ecosystems at our nature preserves.
Volunteer Opportunities: Spring Creek Greenway Ambassador: Training program on the longest, urban. forested, contiguous greenway in the country; taking out invasive plants on preserves, tree planting, trail maintenance. Ashton Gardens Restoration Days: First and third Friday of each month.
Jill Boullion, Executive Director
Becky Martinez, Conservation Director
Cherie Wilson, Office Administrator
Baytown Environmental Education
Purpose: Provide environmental education, quality recreational facilities, and a variety of nature-related activities.
Programs: “Nurture Nature Series” a family program on the first Saturday at 10 a.m., each month is a different topic; Preschool thru high school education programs; Scout badge workshops; outreach; Spring Break, Winter Break and Summer camps; birthday parties; self-guided tours; teacher workshops; birding and wilderness trails. Speakers available.
Volunteer Opportunities: Environmental education; marsh restoration; outreach; manning events; facility maintenance.
Major Events: Nurture Nature Festival; Christmas Bird Counts
Publications: Marsh Matters quarterly newsletter
Tracey Prothro, Superintendent, Natural Resource Programs
Mary Alice Trumble, Outreach/Volunteer Coordinator, Media/Press
Jina Faith, Education Coordinator
Crissy Butcher, Nature Center Naturalist