Houston Environmental News Update October 4, 2017

Scroll down to read notes from our member organizations and the community, or view the emailed version of the newsletter, which includes a green job listing.


 The theme of Earth Science Week 2017 is “Earth and Human Activity.” This year’s event, the 20th annual Earth Science Week celebration, promotes awareness of what geoscience tells us about human interaction with the planet’s natural systems and processes. Earth Science Week 2017 will be celebrated October 8-14.
Earth Science Week learning resources and activities are engaging young people and others in exploring the relationship between human activity and the geosphere (earth), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air), and biosphere (life). This year’s theme promotes public understanding and stewardship the planet, especially in terms of the ways people affect and are affected by these Earth systems.
  • Earth Science Celebration at Houston Museum of Natural Science on Saturday, October 14, 2017, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. www.hmns.org orwww.hgs.org
  • Energy Day Festival at Sam Houston Park (downtown) on Saturday, October 21, 2017, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. energydayfestival.org/houston 

We have tried to confirm the events listed below, but not all organizations have updated their websites. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts.


CEC soliciting film submissions
Please consider submitting a short film (under 7 minutes) for possible inclusion in CEC’s Greater Houston Environmental Film Contest on November 15, 2017. Winning entries will be shown at CEC’s showing of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour on January 24 & 25, 2018.

Support the environment through workplace giving! EarthShare of Texas
Does your employer offer workplace giving? Many companies and businesses that offer workplace giving have charitable campaigns underway. CEC–and several of its member organizations–participate in workplace giving through EarthShare of Texas. Contributions made through these campaigns make a huge difference to the CEC. THANK YOU if you already give!

Check the ESTX website to see if your employer participates. If you would like a speaker to come share information with your workplace or if your employer doesn’t participate, please contact Elizabeth Howley, Business Development Director, EarthShare of Texas: 713-533-8988 or [email protected]earthshare-texas.org.


  1. Related imagePrairie Restoration Roundup with KPC
    Prairie restoration is attracting a great deal of interest- prairie plants are drought resistant, don’t need large inputs of fertilizer, and can be a boon to both cattle and wildlife. Join the Katy Prairie Conservancy and their partners for a day of hands-on demonstrations and insightful discussions about restoring prairie on farms, ranches, private residences, parks, and more at their 2017 Prairie Restoration Roundup tomorrow, October 5, 2017, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the KPC Indiangrass Preserve in Waller, TX. Buy your tickets online (students get a discount!) to reserve your spot.
  2. Image result for houston sierra clubClimate Change Reading Group with Houston Sierra Club
    What does climate change mean for Houston? More Harvey-like severe weather events, more devastating storm surge, more energy use dependent on fossil fuels, wider spread tropical disease, or more heat index days and ozone? If you are interested in learning about climate change and identifying ways Houstonians can make a difference, then join the Houston Sierra Club reading group dedicated to climate change. The reading group will meet every month to discuss an article, book excerpt, or podcast related to climate change, with special focus on Houston. There will be four meetings at Axelrad Beer Garden at 6:30 PM, the next one being tomorrow October 5, 2017. Each meeting will be a different topic on the subject of climate change, so come out for an evening of conversation and a much needed drink on our climate’s potential fate. RSVP on their Meetup Page.
  3. Galveston Bay FoundationVolunteer Registration Deadline for Bike Around the Bay
    Volunteers work behind the scenes and among the action at the Galveston Bay Foundation’s annual Bike Around the Bay event, providing vital support to the 1,400 cyclists that participate in this 2-day, 180-mile ride around Galveston Bay. Many different volunteer opportunities are available at this event, including cheer squads, morning muscle, breakpoint support, and more. Bike Around the Bay is on Saturday, October 21 to Sunday, October 22, 2017, and locations and times vary for the volunteer opportunities. Register by Friday, October 6, 2017, to volunteer by signing up online at www.volunteerhou.org.
  4. Entrance sign / Kim Marlow ©The Big Sit at Champion Lake 
    In conjunction with National Wildlife Refuge Week, the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge will be hosting “The Big Sit” event on Saturday, October 7, 2017. The rules could not be easier; bird watchers, refuge volunteers, or anyone with an interest in birds can just sit in a 17-foot diameter circle and identify all the birds they see or hear during a 24-hour period. The event will start at 7:00 AM at the Champion Lake pier and go to sunset. Champion Lake is located at the end of CR 417, two miles east of FM 1409 or about 10 miles south of Dayton. Stay as long as you like and enjoy the sounds of nature and hopefully spot some neat birds.
  5. Image result for mercer botanic gardens logoGrowing Native! Workshop and Plant Sale
    Discover the numerous benefits of a landscape designed with local native plants with Mercer Botanic Gardens on Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (see below for schedules). Registration includes admission to native plant presentations, live local flora identification, brunch, door prizes, special shopping hours, and a local native plant garden tour. Seating is limited and registration is required, so don’t miss out and sign up online at www.themercersociety.org or call The Mercer Society at 713-274-4166. The Texas native plant sale has free entry and is open to all.
  6. Nature RevealedHouston Arboretum “Nature Revealed” Series 
    The Houston Arboretum is hosting their Nature Revealed Series to dive into various science and nature topics in addition to some hands-on activities or a nature hike. On Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 9:30 to 11:30 AM, learn about how Monarch butterflies captivate us with their beauty and incredible endurance, but despite their popularity, monarch populations are also in serious decline. In this class, you’ll learn about their complex relationship to milkweed, their multi-generational migration, and what you can do to help monarchs at home and on a global scale. At the end of the presentation, you’ll even get to leave with some native wildflower seeds to plant at home. For more events like these in the series, visit houstonarboretum.org.
  7. Park to Port Bike Ride 
    Another great benefit biking is the 4th Annual Park to Port Bike Ride hosted by Hermann Park Conservancy on Saturday, October 7, 2017. The 20-mile ride will start in Hermann Park and travel east along the Bayou Greenway trail on Brays Bayou to the Port of Houston. There will be a turn-around party at Brady’s Landing Restaurant, sponsored by Port Houston, with snacks, music and activities. Riders will then return along the same path, heading west, to Hermann Park for a post-ride celebration where there will be music, food, drinks and more. Riders can also turn around at MacGregor Park for a shorter ride. For further event details or to sign yourself up, please visit hermannpark.ejoinme.org/parktoport.
  8. http://buffalobayou.org/event/kbr-kids-day-2017/Buffalo Bayou Kids Day 
    KBR Kids Day is one of Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s (BBP) signature events, with thousands of children and their families in attendance each year. Join them on Saturday, October 7, 2017, for free family fun at the 11th annual KBR Kids Day at Guadalupe Plaza Park. Activity stations will include numerous hands-on activities from over 20 Houston non-profit organization partners, local entertainment and performers, Dia de los Muertos face painters, balloon artists, a rock climbing wall, Sports Zone and so much more. There will also be an opportunity to donate school supplies to East End elementary schools, so come out for a fun day at the park with your family.
  9. Outdoor Nature Club Field Trip to Cullinan Park
    The Ornithology Group of the Outdoor Nature Club is heading to Cullinan Park on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. Meet in the parking lot by the pond and tower at 8 am at Cullinan  Park. Learn more at RSVP at ornithologygroup.org.
  10. Image result for Interfaith Environmental Network of HoustonBenefit for Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston
    The Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston invites you to join us for this benefit for IENH, a coalition of faith-based institutions and environmental nonprofits working to together. The purpose of this new organization is to empower the faith community in Houston to advocate and act collectively as stewards of the environment, and to nurture a strong connection between environmental nonprofits and the faith community. Plus, it’s at Bohemeo’s, a delightful coffee and beer bar! Come out for a drink, enjoy some tunes from the Traveler, and get to know their members on Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM.
  11. Municipal Solid Waste Generation and Diversion Forecast Workshop @ Houston-Galveston Area Council Municipal Solid Waste Generation and Diversion Forecast Workshop 
    The Houston-Galveston Area Council invites you to attend a MSW Generation and Diversion Forecast Workshop for the H-GAC Planning Region on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM. H-GAC and NewGen Strategies and Solutions, LLC (NewGen) will present the findings and answer questions about the MSW Generation and Diversion Forecast study completed earlier this year by NewGen for H-GAC. Registration is free but will close on Monday, October 9. A light breakfast will be provided, so please join them bright and early to learn more.
  12. Image result for 75th annual bulb and plant mart75th Annual Bulb and Plant Mart
    The Garden Club of Houston is pleased to announce its 75th Annual Bulb and Plant Mart, October 12-14, 2017, at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. The Mart will open Thursday, October 12th, 4:30 to 7:00 PM for Early Bird Shopping with a Party on the Patio featuring Live Music and Lite Bites (Admission $20). Nearby stores will be offering discounts to Bulb Mart shoppers. Sales continue Friday, October 13 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Saturday, October 14 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
  13. USGBC Texas Building Energy Summit
    The 2017 USGBC Texas Building Energy Summit is an executive forum for building owners/managers, energy and sustainability managers, engineers, federal and state government officials, consultants and other stakeholders focused on energy reduction and smarter technology solutions for buildings. Attend this summit on Thursday, October 12, 2017, from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM at the Norris Conference Center in City Centre. Check out the agenda and get your tickets online at usgbctexas.org/event.
  14. Merriment on the Bayou with BPA
    King Richard (Andrassy) and Maid Mary (Shinn) art please’d to host the Bayou Preservation Association’s 2017 Gala – Merriment on the Bayou at their home in ye ole Sherwood Forest. The festivities shall taketh place on Thursday eve, the tenth month October 12, in the year 2017, at 603 West Friar Tuck Lane. Please joineth their band of merry people and get your tickets on the interwebs.
  15. 10th Annual Garden Party
    In addition to Mercer’s Bulb and Plant Mart going on this weekend, enjoy an evening next weekend filled with live entertainment, gourmet dinner, exciting live auctions, a fun wine pull and the magic of Ben Jackson, two-time International Champion of Magic! All events take place under the stars in the beauty of Mercer Botanic Garden. The magic begins on Friday, October 13, 2017, at 5:00 PM and will continue through the rest of the evening. Purchase your tickets online, which will help benefit Mercer for future events and maintenance of their beautiful garden.
  16. Image result for 45th Annual BikeHouston Moonlight Ramble45th Annual BikeHouston Moonlight Ramble
    The BikeHouston Moonlight Ramble is Houston’s oldest charity bike ride and draws more than 2,000 cyclists, many of whom join us each year and add the latest commemorative Ramble t-shirt to their collection. Party it up before the ride on Saturday, October 14, 2017, at 8:00 PM for music, food and drinks, and last-minute bike tune-ups, and show off your wildest bike decorations and costumes. After the ride, the party continues with music, beer from Saint Arnold, snacks, and prizes for best illuminated bike, best costume, and more. Save a few bucks by getting your tickets online before October 13 or register at the door.
  17. LINK Houston announces new Executive Director
    LINK Houston, an advocacy organization focused on mobility and transportation equity, announced the hire of its first executive director, Oni Blair, as well as its commitment to prioritizing mobility options as part of the Harvey recovery effort. LINK Houston is a new non-profit organization that grew from a series of community conversations convened by Houston Endowment and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation-Houston (LISC) in 2016. This process examined how to promote equitable transportation by aligning policies, systems, and funding streams to better serve under-resourced communities, and ensure resident involvement in decision-making about transportation. The planning process resulted in start-up funding from Houston Endowment to launch LINK Houston this year. Read the full announcement at linkhouston.org (and see the job listings in the green jobs section).
  18. Pliable: Rice Design Alliance and Rice Architecture Fall 2017 Lecture Series
    The Pliable series features three internationally renowned practitioners who advocate for the immediacy of material investigations and fabrication in architecture, whether low-tech or high-tech, analog or digital. Through their research and design, all three offer up nimble responses to unforeseen material and fabrication challenges and opportunities. On the surface, these three designers are linked by their innovative work with textiles. Upon closer examination, they are reshaping contemporary practice in compelling, provocative ways through material-based research and with repercussions for all design fields. Two more lectures will be held on October 11 and 25. All lectures will begin at 7 PM in Match Box 4 at Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH) at 3400 Main Street. Pre-lecture reception begins at 6:15 PM. Learn more and register at ricedesignalliance.org.
  19. Texas Wildlife Association Fall 2017 Distance Learning
    Texas Wildlife Association announces its distance learning lineup. On-demand webinars are available at no cost, 24/7, designed for grades 1-6, Science TEKS aligned, and only require a quick registration before viewing. Find out more about On-demand Webinars–and live youth videoconferencing) at texas-wildlife.org. Topics include:

    • Adaptable Armadillos
    • Animal Skull Investigation
    • Bats-A-Billion
    • Complete Metamorphosis
    • Food Chain Fun
    • Frog Life Cycle
    • Incomplete Metamorphosis
    • Let’s Talk Turkey
    • Prairie Dog Discovery
    • The Magic of Monarchs
  20. Relaunch of The Progressive Forum
    After a three-year hiatus, The Progressive Forum is back! The relaunch event, on Nov. 6, 2017, will feature Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the nation’s premier defender of civil liberties. Learn more at progressiveforumhouston.org.
  21. Environmental Protectors Implementing Change (EPIC)
    The Eddie V. Gray Wetland Center and the Baytown Nature Center are hosting a free service learning club for high school teens with an interest in conservation. Environmental Protectors Implementing Change (EPIC) is an afterschool club that meets at the Wetlands Education Center to learn about and solve coastal environmental problems through hands-on projects. Learn more at baytown.org.
  22. NPSOT Native Landscape Certification Program
    Did you miss getting into a Level 1 or Level 3 NLCP class last Spring? Don’t wait any longer to get your place in the upcoming Fall 2017 Houston-area classes. Take Level 1 and learn the 5 ecoregions and 4 soil types for the Greater Houston Area. Learn about 45 natives that thrive here, including trees, shrubs, vines, flowers, grasses and ground covers. Take Level 3 next and learn about 45 more natives, how to install and take care of your plants with a maintenance schedule for all 90 natives. The level 1 class will be held on Oct. 14, 2017, and Level 3 on Nov. 4, 2017. Learn more at npsot.org.
  23. TV: Texas Parks & Wildlife Broadcast on KUHT Channel 8 at 3:00 p.m. each Saturday and on municipal access cable channels in Baytown, Deer Park, Houston, Texas City, Galveston, Nassau Bay, Pasadena, Seabrook, Sugar Land, and on HCC TV. More info on the TPWD website (* indicates a segment about the Houston area). For a preview, visit TPWD’s YouTube Page.
    • A Walk Across Texas: Dave Roberts didn’t know much about Texas, so he decided to crisscross it, from east to west, entirely on foot. Follow this walker of Texas ranges in his unfolding adventure as he explores the state’s park system one step at a time.
    • Rise of the Forgotten Flounder: One of the top three sport fish in Texas, more and more fishermen now set their sights on the southern flounder. In fact, it’s become so popular that fish hatcheries have started stocking flounder in Texas bays. We take a closer look at what it takes to catch these fish and how the species is holding up.
    • Postcard from Texas: West Texas is often thought of as a desert. But there is lots of beauty in the small wildflowers that flourish in that region.
  24. Additional Upcoming Events