This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968, a direct result of the Trails for America report Johnson had tasked the Department of the Interior to develop three years earlier. “The forgotten outdoorsmen of today are those who like to walk, hike, ride, horseback, or bicycle. For them we must have trails as well as highways,” he said in a 1965 speech. “Old and young alike can participate. Our doctors recommend and encourage such activity for fitness and fun.”
Johnson’s advice a half-century ago is just as relevant today, and residents of the greater Houston area will have no dearth of opportunities to enjoy hiking and biking on Saturday, June 2, 2018, as we mark National Trails Day. Foremost among them may be the city’s burgeoning Bayou Greenways 2020 project, including the massively popular Buffalo Bayou Park and several other newly developed greenways throughout the city. At Memorial Park, you can celebrate while helping clean up the park’s trails. REI is sponsoring a similar event at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center .
- Armand Bayou Nature Center,
- Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center,
- Cypress Creek Park,
- Galveston Island State Park,
- Champion Lake Butterfly Garden, and
- Sugar Land’s River Bend Trail.
Folks can get outside the big city to enjoy any number of other hiking and biking opportunities, including the Lone Star Hiking Trail * at Sam Houston National Forest, 50 miles to the north, and at several nearby state parks. The Hiking Project, an online directory, offers a ranked listing of area trails here. Similar lists are available from trails.com and alltrails.com.
On Tuesday, June 5, we celebrate World Environment Day, an occasion through which the United Nations encourages “worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.” First held in 1974, the theme for this year’s event is reducing plastic pollution.
Here at home, our world-renowned nondenominational worship space, the Rothko Chapel, will observe World Environment Day at 6 p.m. with a “Twilight Meditation” led by local environmental poet Martha Serpas focusing on “the paradoxes of water.” Attendees are invited to bring an image of water to place inside the Chapel upon entering for the meditation. For more information and to RSVP, visit rothkochapel.org.
And speaking of water, stay tuned for next week’s newsletter featuring a wrap-up of area activities marking World Oceans Day!
* The banner photo above is just a tiny bit of the 129-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, a National Recreation Trail, which meanders the breadth of the Sam Houston National Forest.
CEC is pleased to be a promotional partner and panelist for the June 5, 2018, showing of Poisoning Paradise as part of the Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Festival. Journey to the seemingly idyllic world of Native Hawaiians, whose communities are surrounded by experimental test sites for genetically engineered seed corn and pesticides sprayed upwind of their homes, schools, hospitals, and shorelines. Discover what’s at stake for Hawaii from local activists, scientific experts and healthcare professionals as they expose the effects of environmental injustice on a local population. Join the international debate about pesticides that is raging around the world, as well as the people’s movement to hold corporations and governments accountable for poisoning planet Earth. The Festival begins on May 31, and runs through June 8, 2018.
Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, Rice Media Center, and additional partners for Evolution of Organic on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Arrive at 6:30 for conversation, networking, and a light meal. We’ll begin the film promptly at 7:00. Mark Kitchell’s Evolution of Organic brings us the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. Not just a history, the film looks forward to exciting and important futures: the next generation who are broadening organic; what lies “beyond organic”; and carbon farming and sequestration as a solution to climate change – maybe the best news on the planet. Learn more on Facebook.
Please save the date–or even better, register–for CEC’s Greater Houston Environmental Summit on Friday, August 10, 2018.
Annually, CEC hosts a networking and learning event for the extraordinary people who work at or are interested in the work of environmental organizations in the greater Houston region.
This year’s program includes:
- Excellent Keynote and Featured Speakers: Will be announced soon!
- Table Talks: Small group discussions with experts on a variety of topics related to our post-Harvey theme, including impacts on our air and water quality, environmental justice initiatives, wildlife and landscape conservation, and efforts to build resiliency for our future. A cross between a breakout session and speed networking.
- Exhibit tables from CEC member groups and local businesses. (See the registration page to reserve your exhibit table.)
- Delicious, locally-grown food from Pat Greer’s Kitchen.
- A few surprises 🙂
Further event details are provided on the Eventbrite Registration page.
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] will start introducing you to our interns later this week.
CEC is looking to collaborate with our community to provide opportunities for interns–both CEC’s interns and interns with our member organizations–to learn about the issues and initiatives that make our environmental community so vibrant and important. If you would be willing to provide a tour or mentoring meeting with some amazing interns, or if you have an intern who might be interested in participating in such opportunities, please contact [email protected]