Houston Environmental News Update November 8, 2017

We recognize that not everyone reading the newsletter lives in Houston, in a single family residence that has solid waste collection from the City, so here are a few resources that might be of interest:

And since we’re talking about recycling… If you are interested in helping to develop the zero waste plan for Earth Day Houston, please email [email protected] to be added to the planning group.

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.

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


Greater Houston Green Film Screening

When you attend this month’s Houston GREEN Film Series, you will help select two local films for the Wild & Scenic Festival On Tour screening.

Before November 15, you can vote for the films if you visit the CEC YouTube channel www.youtube.com/houstonenvironment. Two films that get most YouTube likes and the loudest applause during the viewing on November 15 at Rice Cinema will be selected for January 2018 festival.

For the fourth year, on January 24 & 25, 2018, CEC will host the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour at the River Oaks Theatre. CEC is using this festival to tell local environmental stories, highlight the work of CEC’s member organizations, and inspire our residents and visitors to make a difference in the environment and quality of life.

The films presented by the Houston GREEN Film Series are free to public and funded by volunteer efforts, in-kind contributions, and donations from the public.

The schedule to all the screenings is as follows:

6:30pm meet and greet
7:00pm featured film followed by discussion

Rice Media Center, 2030 University Blvd, near Stockton and University.

Big Give Houston #GivingTuesday
On November 28, 2017, CEC and many other local nonprofits are participating in #BigGiveHouston and #GivingTuesday. Mark your calendars and plan to support us!


  1. Urban Wild Bridge Bash
    Take a walk on the wild side at Memorial Park Conservancy’s Urban Wild Bridge Bash on Thursday, November 9, 2017. Memorial Park’s iconic Living Bridge is the setting for a night of food, drink, music, and fun under the stars supporting the care of Memorial Park and the work of the Conservancy.
    Join the Bridge Bash event on Facebook for ticket information and updates.
  2. Houston Sierra Club General Meeting On Thursday evening, November 9, 2017, Scott Jones with the Galveston Bay Foundation will speak about storm surge, proposed coastal barriers, the potential environmental impacts, and alternative strategies. Communities in the region are seeking protective defenses, particularly for industrial & chemical facilities, during future catastrophic storm events. At the present time the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is developing a list of possible coastal barrier alternatives that will be considered for funding and implementation.Bill Kiene will also attend to provide additional personal thoughts during the Q & A portion of the program. The event is free and open to the public at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church,1805 W Alabama, in Pecore Hall. Main Program starts at 7:30 PM (doors open for an informal social period starting at 7:00 PM). Learn more at www.sierraclub.org.
  3. Houston Audubon November Speaker Event: The Genius of Birds
    On November 9, 2017, join Houston Audubon at MATCH for a talk by author Jennifer Ackerman about the intelligence of birds. Ms. Ackermann will discuss the intelligence of birds within the context of easily observed behavior in our own surroundings and brings to it the latest science from lab and field. Tickets are required. Learn more at houstonaudubon.org.
  4. Dedication of the Kemp’s Ridley Seawall Statue
    On November 10, 2017, at 4:00 pm, join HEART (Help Endangered Animals-Ridley Turtles), Piney Woods Wildlife Society, River Oaks Baptist School, Turtle Island Restoration Network, the City of Galveston, and many supporters, for the dedication of a sculpture by wildlife artist Leo Osborne honoring Galveston’s Role in Saving the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle. Learn more at allevents.in.
  5. Artist Boat’s Float the Boat
    Artist Boat’s annual fundraiser is now on its 14th year! The 2017 event will be held on November 10 from 6:00pm-9:30pm at the Trolley Station at 2021 Strand, in Galveston, Texas.Enjoy live music, dinner, a bar, silent auctions, and an art auction. Artist Boat is thrilled to have served over 100,000 participants and to have conserved 664 acres of land on Galveston Island. Learn more at artistboat.org.
  6. City of Houston seeks input on proposed dockless bikeshare program
    The City of Houston will be considering a dockless bikeshare program at its Transportation, Technology, and Infrastructure Committee meeting on Monday, November 13, 2017. The City is seeking comments on the draft ordinance that would allow such a program. The City is accepting comments through November 10, 2017, at houstontx.gov/feedback-docklessbikeshare.html.
  7. TXSER Annual Conference: Resilience & Connectivity at Our Roots
    November 10-12, 2017. Dr. Kenneth Steigman, Director & Research Scientist at Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area, will be the Keynote Speaker. One of TXSER’s founding Board Members, Dr. Ken Steigman will share his reflections on TXSER and changes in the field of ecological restoration. Steigman’s opening keynote address will set the stage for thought and discussion about how scientists and practitioners can create resilience, encourage connectivity, and grow from our roots. For more information and to register,  visit gmthomaseco.wixsite.com/txser2017.
  8. ArCH FilmFestival
    This year’s ArCH film series investigates how citizens, developers, historians, politicians, designers and community leaders activate the city within the parameters of policy. The Architecture Center Houston Film Festival is presented in partnership with the Houston Cinema Arts Society and 2017 Houston Cinema Arts Festival. Presenting partners include Buffalo Bayou PartnershipHoustonMod, and Preservation Houston. 

  9. 14th annual Run in the Park
    The Conservancy’s 14th annual Run in the Park on Sunday, November 11, 2017, offers a 5K run, a 3K walk and a 1K kids’ fun run. Runners and joggers wind through a scenic course below the Park’s historic live oaks. The run begins and ends at Molly Ann Smith Plaza near the Jones Reflection Pool where family and friends cheer on participants. A post-race party features food and treats from Blacksmith, Luby’s/Fuddruckers and Shake Shack, music by DJ Mav, drinks from Saint Arnold Brewing Company, and much more! For more information and to sign up, visit www.hermannpark.org.
  10. Native Prairie Plant-a-thon
    November 11, 2017, from 8:30 am – Noon. Spend the morning in the Sheldon Lake State Park prairie working to restore this precious piece of habitat. Registration is required. Please see the flyer for more information and how to register. This is perfect for all ages and abilities.
  11. Bayou Cleanup at Kuhlman Gully on Brays Bayou
    Bayou Preservation Association and REI are sponsoring a cleanup of Kuhlman Gully on Brays Bayou (near Gragg Park) on November 11, 2017, from 9:00 am – Noon. Volunteers will pick up trash along Kuhlman Gully and help remove invasive species. Volunteers are encouraged to wear closed toe shoes, long pants, and bring gloves. Morning refreshments will be provided.  For more information, visit www.bayoupreservation.org.
  12. Help KPC Put Down Roots
    Sign up for KPC’s largest volunteer workday of the year. Volunteers will work together to transplant native prairie plants in order to restore 55 acres of newly reconstructed prairie habitat. Participants should dress for the prairie – wear pants, close-toed shoes, and clothing that can get muddy. It can be chilly and windy on the prairie so a hat and layers are also recommended. Lunch, snacks, and door prizes will be provided. Saturday, November 11, 2017, 9 am – 1 pm at Indiangrass Preserve. Learn more at katyprairie.org.
  13. RDA Gala LAUNCH to honor Linda Sylvan
    Linda Sylvan will be honored with RDA’s Award for Design Excellence at the 31st RDA Gala LAUNCH on November 11, 2017.  LAUNCH represents the years of creativity, determination, and hard work that Linda has put into the Rice Design Alliance, growing it from a small program to a nationally recognized organization.  While she will tell you that all of the credit belongs to the RDA board, staff, volunteers and members over the past 30 years, we know that much of the credit goes to Linda.  RDA looks forward to celebrating with the entire Rice Design Alliance community – architects, builders, engineers, designers, academics, urban planners, writers, artists, government officials, attorneys, accountants, geologists, and everyone else – as we party at LAUNCH. Purchase tables and tickets at ricedesignalliance.org.
  14. 2017 Peacemaker Awards Dinner
    November 11, 2017, 6 – 9:30 pm. Houston Peace and Justice Center’s 2017 Peacemaker Awards Dinner will spotlight Chief Arvol Looking Horse,  Diane Wilson, Jacquelyn Battise, and the Texas Organizing Project (TOP). At the dinner meet with friends, old and new, and be inspired by the accomplishments of our honorees. Activities at the dinner will include a Silent Auction of  six items that are each one-of-a-kind.  For more information and ticket purchase, visit www.hpjc.org/event/2017.
  15. The SWAMP Thing 2017 Gala
    November 11, 2017, 6 – 10 pm. The event will be held at the beautiful Southwestern Energy Headquarters, a 26-acre property located adjacent to the Spring Creek Greenway just off I-45. The grounds are planted with native plants and grasses that are irrigated with water from the nearby retention ponds.  The sites serves as an excellent example of environmentally friendly actions that we can all employ. For more information and ticket purchase, visit bayoulandconservancy.org.
  16. Midtown Bike Ride
    November 12, 2017, 12 – 2:30 pm. Join Midtown Houston and BikeHouston on an exploratory bike ride. BikeHouston will lead a group ride from  Elizabeth Baldwin Park to highlight the best ways to move in, out, and around the district. The ride will be between one to two hours and visit our neighbors in the Third Ward, EaDo, and East End, including the East End Street Market. This is a casual, no-drop ride, and helmets are required. Enjoy music and food after the ride during Midtown Houston’s Second Sunday in Elizabeth Baldwin Park. If you do not have a bike, grab one from a Houston BCycle station in the park.
  17. SPARK’s Fall 2017 Dedications
    Ten new SPARK Parks in five school districts are being dedicated this fall.  Please join SPARK School Park Program for one or more of the celebrations:

    • 11/13: Outley Elementary School in Alief ISD
    • 11/13: Wedgewood Elementary School in Clear Creek ISD
    • 11/15: Franz Elementary in Katy ISD
    • 11/15: Hancock Elementary in Pasadena ISD
    • 11/16: Clifton Middle School in Houston ISD
    • 11/16: Jessup Elementary in Pasadena ISD
    • 11/17: Mark Twain Elementary in Houston ISD
    • 11/17: Hartsfield Elementary
  18. White Oak Bayou Association Annual Meeting
    Join the White Oak Bayou Association for their 2017 Annual Meeting, November 14, 2017 – 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Historic Heights Fire Station, 107 West 12th Street, Houston, TX 77008. Social networking will start at 6. At 7, Gary Zika, Federal Projects Department Manager for Harris County Flood Control District, will provide a review of the White Oak Bayou Federal Project. Pizza and other refreshments will be served. Learn more at whiteoakbayou.org, and RSVP to [email protected].
  19. Transition Houston: Cohousing – Creating Intentional Community
    November 14, 2017, at 6:30 pm. What is Cohousing? Are you interested in the concept of building a cohousing community in Houston, one of the most wonderfully diverse and dynamic cities in the country? Cohousing Houston will be presenting their initiative to develop the first ever cohousing community in Houston. For more information visit the Facebook event page.
  20. Conservation Crew at Memorial ParkAgency Logo
    Are you interested in learning about the ecology of the country’s largest municipally managed forest? Join Memorial Park Conservancy’s Conservation Crew workday on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Volunteers will be in the woods treating Chinese Tallow and other invasive trees, so if you are interested please email Anthony Todd or sign up at www.volunteerhou.org. You’re also encouraged to check out their many other volunteer opportunities in the month of November.
  21. Power Tools for Nonprofits Conference
    November 15, 2017, 7:45 am – 4 pm. CenterPoint Energy hosts the 24th Annual renowned community conference with 24 sessions where experts from various fields share their knowledge in fund development, best practices, human resources, management strategies, marketing/public relations, organizational effectiveness, leadership, professional/career development and more, including:

    • Helping to sustain the viability of nonprofits in tough economic climate & challenging times
    • Improving participants’ effectiveness professionally and personally through education & available resources
    • Increasing staff and volunteer morale, productivity and creativity
    • Inspiring, motivating and energizing participants’ potential as they strive for excellence

    For more information and to register, visit www.centerpointenergy.com.

  22. 2017 Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Count on the Texas Coast
    The critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle return to the beaches of Texas and Mexico in April, May and June every year to lay their nests. Turtle Island Restoration Network –Joanie Steinhaus, the Gulf of Mexico Director, and sea turtle biologist Dr. Donna Shaver of Padre Island National Seashore–provide updates on nesting. They report that 353 Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle nests were documented on the Texas Coast in 2017, including three on Bolivar, five on Galveston Island, three on Surfside Beach, and a record seven on the Matagorda penninsula. This is almost double the number of nests documented in 2016. Additionally, nine loggerhead turtle nests and 28 green sea turtle nests were documented on Texas beaches. Learn more at seaturtles.org.
  23. AIA Leadership Institute: Virtual participation
    November 16, 2017, 11 am – 4 pm. The Leadership Institute is a national leadership development program of the American Institute of Architects. Using a digital conferencing model, the program connects multiple locations for an interactive, one-day learning experience. Over 600 architects and emerging professionals have participated since 2015. For more information and to register, visit aiahouston.org.
  24. NPSOT Annual Native Texas Plant & Seed Swap & Potluck Dinner
    November 16, 2017, 6:15 pm Open to members and the public; 6:45 pm Potluck Dinner; 7:20 pm Meeting; 7:45 pm Plant & Seed Presentations & Swap; 8:40 pm Clean up. Houston Arboretum Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Dr. Learn more at npsot.org.
  25. Twilight Gala – “A Wild Night for Wild Life”
    The 23rd annual Twilight Gala, on November 17, 2017, benefits the Nature Discovery Center’s work to provide nature education year-round to Greater Houston. Expect a sold-out crowd of nearly 300 business leaders, nature lovers, corporate sponsors and community partners for an evening of dinner, drinks, dancing, and bidding. Learn more and purchase tickets at naturediscoverycenter.org.
  26. Mornings in the Country
    Take a self-guided tour of the farm, enjoy a delicious lunch with ingredients from our gardens, take a class with our Farm Director, and much more. November 18, 2017, and  December 16, 2017, from 10 am to 2 pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit blackwoodland.org.
  27. Exploration Green Tree Planting
    Exploration Green Conservancy and partner organizations invite volunteers Saturday, November 18, 2017, 8 am-12 pm (or until all trees are planted) to plant native trees on the new habitat island situated in the middle of the first lake at Exploration Green in Clear Lake City, creating a refuge for migratory birds and waterbirds. Access to the island itself will be by boat, and will be limited to 50 people. However, there will be volunteer activities on shore as well. Children with a parent present are welcome to do work onshore. Wear clothes and shoes that can get wet and muddy. Tools will be provided. Parking will be along the street near the entrance to the park at 1800 Reseda Rd, Houston TX 77062. In the event of inclement weather, the rain date will be November 25, 2017. Learn more at explorationgreen.org.
  28. Preservation Houston Announces new Executive Director
    The Board of Directors of Preservation Houston is pleased to announce that David Bush is Preservation Houston’s new executive director. David has proven himself through his work as PH’s deputy director and acting executive director. He holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from Middle Tennessee State University and has more than 25 years of experience as a preservation professional. A New Orleans native, David has worked with heritage organizations in Connecticut and Florida, but has spent most of his career with Galveston Historical Foundation and Preservation Houston. Learn more at preservationhouston.org.

Additional Upcoming Events