Houston Environmental News Update April 25, 2018

CEC would like to thank the thousands of visitors, volunteers, exhibitors, speakers, vendors, musicians, and poets who joined us on Sunday for Discovery Green’s citywide Earth Day celebration–presented by Green Mountain Energy.

But Earth Month isn’t over!

CEC is pleased to be a partner in the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge 2018, which starts on Friday and runs through Sunday, with multiple events throughout the region. But this is only one of dozens of events happening every week (and sometimes dozens in just one day); CEC’s website calendar has a pretty good list of upcoming events.


iNaturalist City Nature Challenge 2018: Houston
Join Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Master Naturalists, the Audubon Society, and many others in a fun challenge to see which city can document the most species April 27-30, 2018. With the iNaturalist app, you just take a picture of a plant or animal, and the community will help identify which species it is. Any observation in the greater metropolitan area of Houston will count during the challenge. For more information and to download the app, visit inaturalist.org. CEC is proud to be a partner for this challenge. More information about the following events, which are part of the challenge, can be found on Facebook:

  • 4/27/2018, 8:30 am: City Nature Challenge Guided Walks at Houston Arboretum
  • 4/27/2018, 9:00 am: Rice University City Nature Challenge Count with TMN and TNC
  • 4/27/2018, 7:00 pm: Moths Under Moonlight: A City Nature Challenge Adventure
  • 4/28/2018, 9:00 am: Birding and BioBlitz with Houston Audubon
  • 4/28/2018, 9:30 am: Spring Prairie Day with Houston Native Prairies Association of Texas
  • 4/28/2018, 3:00 pm: City Nature Challenge Guided Walks at Houston Arboretum
  • 4/28/2018, 3:00 pm: Group Herping Trip with Bayou Land Conservancy
  • 4/29/2018, 8:00 am: City Nature Challenge Guided Walks at Houston Arboretum
  • 4/29/19: INaturalist Training at Nature Discovery Center

Paid & Volunteer Internships with CEC Houston
CEC hopes to hire several volunteer interns this summer, with meaningful work, a mentorship program, field trips, flexible hours, and a constant supply of chocolate. If you or someone you know is interested, please send a resume to [email protected], and await a response after Earth Day. We’ve also been notified that we will be able to hire paid interns through the City of Houston’s Hire Houston Youth Program; Houston youth can apply at http://hirehoustonyouth.org/.

Tickets Now on Sale: Stump the Treehugger
CEC’s second annual environmental trivia contest will be a chance to join in friendly competition with other treehuggers at Saint Arnold Brewing Company on Sunday afternoon, May 20, 2018. To get the competitive juices flowing, visit Instagram for our weekly Trivia Tuesday contests. Individual and team tickets are now available on Eventbrite.

Support Earthshare of Texas, CEC, others at H-E-B
Throughout April, remember to give $1, $3, or $5 to EarthShare of Texas when you shop at any H-E-B or Central Market. 100% of those funds go to the 42 environmental charities-including CEC and many of our member organizations-that belong to EarthShare of Texas. Through this partnership H-E-B and its customers have donated almost $1 million to EarthShare of Texas. Help us make that $1 million mark this year.

CEC is a big fan of H-E-B’s environmental initiatives relating to transportation emission reductions; green building; seafood sustainability; recycling, composting, and waste reduction; and ongoing support for environmental partners.

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.

  1. The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N: Watersmart Landscaping
    The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. is sponsoring a Going Green Sustainability Lecture titled  “WaterSmart Landscaping with Native Plants” to be held at the offices of the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), located at 8801 Gosling Road, The Woodlands, on Thursday, April 26, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.  Mark Bowen, General Manager of Nature’s Way Resources, horticulturist, and author will be our guest speaker. Learn more at thewoodlandsgreen.org.
  2. H-GAC 2045 Regional Transportation Plan Public Meetings
    Our economy depends on a safe and reliable transportation system. Are we taking the right steps today to ensure a better tomorrow? Join us for a public meeting. Meetings are scheduled throughout the region through April 26, 2018. For more information, visit 2045rtp.com. Final two meetings:

    • 4/26/18 –  Harris County Public Meeting, H-GAC
    • 5/1/18 – Harris County Public Meeting, Baytown Community Center
  3. Magpies & Peacocks hosts Creative Mornings
    Magpies & Peacocks, which is dedicated to diverting post consumer textiles from landfill, educating on responsible consumption, sustainability and zero waste design, is hosting Creative Mornings this Friday, April 27, 2018, at their warehouse. The guest speaker is artist/designer Claire Drennan, who will speak on sustainability in design. The event is free, comes with complimentary donuts & coffee. The Magpies & Peacocks marketplace will be open. Register at https://creativemornings.com/talks/claire-jarvis-on-game.
  4. Discovery Green’s Harvey Heroes: Dr. Stephen Klineberg
    Presented in partnership with Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Harvey Heroes: Discovery Discussions presented by Southwest Airlines features short testimonials by some of the Houstonians who stepped up to rescue, assist, feed, clothe and shelter those affected by Hurricane Harvey, as well as a presentation by Dr. Stephen Klineberg about Harvey’s impact on Houstonians, as reflected in the 37th Annual Kinder Houston Area Survey. The Survey includes information about opinions about our environment, including, “More than 75 percent of the participants in this year’s survey also agreed that, “It is almost certain that the Houston region will experience more severe storms during the next ten years compared to the past ten years.” Learn more about the free April 27, 2018, event at discoverygreen.com.
  5. Hermann Park Conservancy’s “Evening in the Park”
    The Hermann Park Conservancy’s annual gala, “Evening in the Park”, will be held April 27, 2018, beginning at 6:30 p.m. This annual spring fundraising event helps the Conservancy continue to improve and maintain Hermann Park through daily volunteer and stewardship programs. For more information, please visit hermannpark.org.
  6. World Migratory Bird Day at Armand Bayou Nature Center
    Please visit the Armand Bayou Nature Center on April 28, 2018, from 7-9 a.m., as we join forces with Environment for the Americas, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Wild Birds Unlimited, and Houston Zoo for a celebration of one of the most important and spectacular events in the life of a migratory bird – its journey between breeding and non-breeding grounds. A separate day of family activities will be held on April 29 from 1-4 p.m. For more information, visit abnc.org.
  7. Exploration Green Grand Opening
    Clear Lake City’s Exploration Green will host its official Phase 1 grand opening, “Spring into the Green,” on April 28, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering for this event, there will be multiple shifts available to help with set-up/break-down, handing out information about the Green, guided tours, kids activities, and more. For more information on upcoming orientations, visit explorationgreen.org.
  8. White Oak to Buffalo Downtown Trail Connection Grand Opening
    On April 28, 2018, join the Houston Parks Board for live music, poetry, snacks, lawn games, kayaking, bike rides and more at 10 a.m. to celebrate the grand opening of the White Oak to Buffalo Downtown trail connection (click here for digital map!). Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at Johnny Goyen Park. Learn more at houstonparksboard.org.
  9. Pearland Earth Day Celebration
    On April 28, 2018, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the City of Pearland in partnership with Keep Pearland Beautiful will host the city’s 22nd annual Earth Day Celebration at Southdown Park, 2150 Countryplace Parkway. The event provides families with the opportunity to participate in educational activities teaching them about recycling, conservation, and environmental citizenship. For more information, visit pearlandtx.gov. Come visit us at the CEC booth!
  10. Pasadena Town Hall Meeting: Mobilizing Communities for a Healthier Future
    At this town hall meeting, to be held on Sunday, April 29, 2018, from 10 a.m. to noon, Air Alliance Houston will be releasing key findings from the Pasadena Community Survey on residents’ concerns regarding quality of life, children’s health, air quality, and neighborhood safety. In collaboration with AAH, Harris County Public Health will be sharing important information regarding chronic disease prevention programs and asthma resources. Additionally, Healthy Living Matters will be addressing childhood obesity, physical activity and its Safer Routes to School program. Lastly, we will discuss proposed clean air policies for Pasadena, such as an anti-idling ordinance, and ways to get involved in government affairs and civic engagement. Learn more at airalliancehouston.org.
  11. Webinar: Addressing Air Quality Challenges in Houston
    Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church invites you to a monthly environmental education web meeting series whose theme in 2018 is Stewardship. At the April web meeting, on April 29, 2019, Dr. Bakeyah Nelson, Air Alliance Houston’s Executive Director, will discuss Addressing Ongoing Air Quality Challenges in Houston. Learn more on eventbrite.com.
  12. Spring Fling at Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary
    Gulf Coast Bird Observatory’s Spring Fling is an opportunity to see and celebrate the return of migratory songbirds as they arrive at stopover habitat along the Teas Gulf Coast. Spring Fling is taking place at the Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary daily through May 6 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily. For more information, visit gcbo.org.
  13. Audubon Texas Honors Three Area Women with 2018 Terry Hershey Awards
    During Audubon Texas’ annual Texas Women in Conservation Luncheon On March 29, three area women were honored with 2018 Terry Hershey Awards. The awardees, who were recognized for their years of dedicated service in the cause of conservation, are Claire Caudill (Memorial Park Conservancy), Maxine Johnston (Big Thicket National Preserve), and Linda Shead (Shead Conservation Solutions).  Read more about the award and this year’s recipients at tx.audubon.org.
  14. My Water Pledge” Challenge
    The 7th Annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation is underway. Do your part this Earth Month by going to MyWaterPledge.com and make your pledge to conserve water and energy on behalf of your city. The Wyland Foundation is giving away more than $50,000 in prizes to a deserving charity and $5,000 toward home utilities.
  15. CEBN/HARC Event: Harnessing Texas’ Energy leadership for New Economic Opportunities
    Join the Clean Energy Business Network (CEBN) and Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) May 1, 2018, for a clean energy business and policy forum in The Woodlands, TX. This complimentary event will bring together leaders in the energy industry and research and policy communities for a half-day forum featuring a panel discussion, an industry showcase, a networking reception, and tours of HARC’s state-of-the-art LEED Platinum-certified building. This event marks the launch of a new CEBN regional business and policy forum series! Register at everyaction.com.
  16. Annual Basin Steering Committee Meeting
    The annual Clean Rivers Program Basin SteeringCommittee will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston. Presentations will include updates on the Clean Rivers Program, plus a discussion about the draft 2018 Basin Highlights Report. Additional presentations/updates will be given about current programs, including the various Watershed Protection Plan projects, the BIG, Basin 11 & 13 TMDL projects, Trash Bash, and the Coastal Communities program. For more information, contact Todd Running at 713-993-4539. RSVP is requested to Jean Wright.
  17. Climate and Resilience CoP Meeting 2018
    The Climate Community of Practice brings together extension, outreach and education professionals and community officials along the Gulf Coast to learn how coastal communities can adapt to sea-level rise, precipitation changes and other climate-related issues. Extension, outreach and education professionals and local decision-makers work together so that they can be better equipped with reliable information and science-based guid­ance regarding the level of risk to their communities and strategies they can use to adapt to climate change. The 2018 Climate and Resilience Community of Practice meeting will be held on April 30-May 1, 2018 in Port Aransas, Texas. Visit masgc.org for more information or to register.
  18. Transition Houston Meeting: Complete Communities
    On Wednesday, May 1, 2018, join Transition Houston for their monthly meeting, starting with socializing at 6:30 and the presentation at 7:00 pm. Misty Staunton, the Team Lead for Houston’s District 2, will be presenting the Complete Communities program, which is about improving neighborhoods so that all of Houston’s residents and business owners can have access to quality services and amenities while ensuring existing residents can stay in homes that remain affordable. Learn more at transitionhouston.org.
  19. Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Bash: Be Part of Our Story
    Katy Prairie Conservancy invites you to the 2018 Bash honoring Kurt Hanson. Wednesday, May 2, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Houston Country Club. Learn more and purchase tickets at katyprairie.org.
  20. H-GAC Natural Resources Advisory Meeting.
    The next meeting of the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s NRAC will be on Thursday, May 3, 2018, from 1:30-3:30 PM at the Houston-Galveston Area Council offices. This meeting will focus on the Water Innovation Strategies of Excellence (WISE) Awards, an update on NRAC future roles and responsibilities, and two presentations on environmental opportunities outside of water quality. Learn more at h-gac.com.
  21. Urban Green’s Urban Derby
    Urban Green is a group made up of young professionals, mostly in their 20s and 30s, dedicated to the Conservancy’s mission to improve and maintain Hermann Park. On May 3, 2018, join Urban Green for a derby-themed event in the lush McGovern Centennial Gardens, complete with bites and beverages from some of Houston’s favorite culinary outposts and beats by DJ Mav, all benefiting Hermann Park Conservancy. You must be 21 or older to attend. For more information, visit hermannpark.org.
  22. KBP’s Youth Environmental Council Now Accepting Applications
    Students applying to be a part of Pearland’s Youth Environmental Council must be entering their sophomore, junior and senior year of high school from one of the 4 Pearland area high schools. YEC members will work with Keep Pearland Beautiful staff to prepare and lead presentations for scouts, elementary, and middle school students. They may also volunteer at exhibits and outreach events or work behind the scenes with KPB event preparation. Field trips may also be arranged to teach YEC members about water surface treatment plants, recycling, litter prevention, clean water, sustainability, reforestation, and other “green” programs. Applications will be accepted through May 31, 2018. For more information, visit keeppearlandbeautiful.org.
  23. TV: Texas Parks & Wildlife
    Broadcast on KUHT Channel 8 at 3 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.

    • Invertebrate biologist Archis Grubh really digs into his job.
    • Ornithologist Cliff Shackelford brings birds and bird calls to the radio.
    • Prep for hunting season with some timely shotgun tips.

Additional Upcoming Events