Bat Fest. Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Houston Parks & Recreation Department, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Master Naturalists, the Houston Zoo, and Bat Conservation International are teaming up to offer Bat Fest Houston, Celebrating the Year of the Bat. The fun will start at the Zoo at 10:00AM. On both Saturday and Sunday there will be booths, children’s activities and zookeeper chats about bats. On Saturday only there will be a bat seminar with some awesome speakers from 10:00-12:15 in the Brown Education Center. More at houstonzooblogs.org. Be sure to join the Houston Bat Team at the Waugh Drive bat colony (corner of Waugh Drive & Allen Parkway) from 6:00-9:00PM. The Waugh Drive bridge is home to a colony of 250,000 Mexican Free-tailed Bats. There will be bat chat presentations from members of the Bat Team along with children’s activities and an amazing emergence from the bats at dusk. Additional information at www.facebook.com/houstonurbanwildlife.
Bayou Bash. The Bufalo Bayou Bayou Bash will take place on April 14th from 1-4pm at the Sabine Promenade. You can join over 400 bayou friends for live music by The Beans, crawfish, libations, lawn games, and more, along the banks of Buffalo Bayou. Tickets will be $20 for Bayou Buddies and $25 for non-members. There will be a $10 increase at the door. Tickets are available now. Visit http://www.buffalobayou.org/ to learn more and to purchase tickets.
Eat a cupcake and help plant a tree! To celebrate Earth Day, the Houston Sprinkles is donating the proceeds from its Vanilla cupcakes to local tree planting organization Trees for Houston. Just look for the green tree to know you are eating for a great cause. April 16 to 20. More at http://sprinkles.com.
Online Forum Available for Sustainability Plan. Do you have an idea – large or small – that could help transform your community and the Houston-Galveston region into a better place? The Houston-Galveston Area Council and a consortium of community partners are currently seeking public input to help shape the goals for the plan. You can join the conversation through MindMixer, an interactive, virtual “town hall” website dedicated to soliciting ideas and feedback from residents within the region. MindMixer at ideas.ourregion.org gives residents, business people, students, and other interested stakeholders a creative and convenient way to share ideas, provide feedback, and make recommendations on a broad variety of topic areas. For more information about the plan and plan progress, please visit www.ourregion.org.
GBF’s The Cast’s Kick-off Happy Hour Event. Galveston Bay Foundation is excited to invite you to attend a happy hour to learn about The Cast, a membership based events group working to fulfill GBF’s mission. The mission of The Cast is to inspire young professionals to raise awareness of the importance of Galveston Bay and to be leaders in our community. Please join us April 18, 2012, from 6 to 8 pm, at our kick-off happy hour to hear about The Cast and how to get involved. So where did the name “The Cast” come from anyway? The collective noun for a group of crabs is a “cast”. Casts of blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) can be found in an extensive range of our local acquatic habitats, from the saltiest water of the Gulf to the almost fresh water of the back bays. The Cast is so named because, like the Texas blue crab, all types of professionals are encouraged and invited to join and help us care for every part of Galveston Bay. RSVP by April 16. More information at http://galvbay.org/events_ypg.html.
Activist Training – Clean Air and Water. Houston is the ninth smoggiest metropolitan area in the country and Galveston Bay is at risk because the Clean Water Act no longer protects our smaller streams and waterways. Keeping our air and water clean and safe in Texas isn’t always easy, but you can learn how to do it! Environment Texas and the Public Interest Network are holding an activist training in Houston on April 12th from 4-6pm at the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library (4100 Montrose Blvd). It’s free (though donations are welcomed and encouraged) and open to the public. Attend to learn the best ways to organize your community and meet fellow activists. Bring your family and your friends! Email email@example.com for more information and to RSVP.
Art Auction 2012 with Galveston Baykeeper. Galveston Baykeeper is hosting a quiet waterfront Art Auction with performances by solo artists Janet Z. and Ryan Guidry. The auction will feature oils, watercolors, framed photographs, and other medium donated by local artists. It will be held on Sunday April 22nd from 1-5pm at the Gardens and Waterfront surrounding Mayor Natalie O’Neill’s home (420 Kirby Blvd. Taylor Lake Village). For more information and to see some of the art we will be auctioning, please visit http://galvestonbaykeeper.org/home.
Jones Park Photo Contest. A contest is great incentive for roving the trails looking for a great shot! One photo may be submitted for each category: wildlife, scenic/wildflowers, and people in the park. Only photos taken between May 1, 2011 and Monday, April 30, 2012 in Jones Park will be considered. Check web site at www.hcp4.net/jones for more details. Deadline is Monday, April 30, or postmarked by Wednesday, April 25 if mailed.
Memorial Park Changes. Memorial Park lost thousands of trees to the drought and is currently undergoing one of the largest reforestation efforts in an urban park. In addition to the dead trees removed along the roads by DRC Emergency Services Company, roughly half of the dead trees in the park will be removed to make room for replanting. These actions are part of a revised Forestry Plan that takes into account the devastating impact of the drought. Memorial Park Conservancy is offering tours (April 14 at 8:30, 9:30 or 10:30) for the public to discuss the plans and give feedback. Visit http://www.memorialparkconservancy.org/ for more.
TNC Picnic for the Planet. The Nature Conservancy is promoting Picnic for the Planet throughout Texas. Picnic for the Planet is the world’s largest Earth Day celebration on April 22nd. You can attend an event in your area or even sign up to host one! Picnics can be done with your family, in the work place, or at your children’s schools. For more information, check out www.nature.org/earthday.
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory Spring Fling. Migration is heating up on the Gulf coast. Twice each year, billions of birds, entire species, swarm across the globe, traveling thousands of miles as they migrate between breeding and wintering grounds – stopping enroute to refuel at coastal stopover sites. GCBO manages its own patch of stopover habitat – the bird sanctuaries at Quintana just ten miles south of our Lake Jackson headquarters where we host a month-long Spring Fling Visitor Station each April. GCBO staff and volunteers assist with bird identification, provide local information and bird checklists, sell snacks and field guides, and post a daily bird list. With this year’s strong westerly weather pattern, Quintana is already attracting many atypical species like Green-tailed Towhee and Harris’s Sparrow. The Spring Fling Visitor Station operates daily during the month of April. For a map go to www.gcbo.org.
GCBO Spring Fling Online Auction. Gulf Coast Bird Observatory is hosting a Spring Fling online auction to increase opportunities for people to contribute to conservation. All proceeds raised from this auction will go toward GCBO’s coastal conservation programs. The action will include original artwork, weekend trips, books and nature related items. The auction will be open from 8:00am Sunday, April 1 until 3:00pm Monday, April 30th. For additional information, question on any item, or specifics on any of the trips, please contact Carol Jones, telephone 979-480-0999. Check out the auction at http://www.gcbo.org/.
Give 5 for Conservation. On Saturday, April 21, the Katy Prairie Conservancy and four other Houston-area conservation groups — Bayou Land Conservancy, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Galveston Bay Foundation, and Houston Audubon — are collaborating for the inaugural Give 5% campaign! For more information, visit the Give 5 website.