Houston Access to Urban Sustainability
Purpose: The HAUS Project was formed in late 2010 to provide affordable, sustainable, cooperative housing in the accessible, urban core of the Houston region within close proximity of Houston’s growing light rail transit system. Our goal is to open 5 green coops in 5 years.
The mission of HAUS Project is to
Provide affordable housing operated cooperatively by residents.
Provide greener, more sustainable lifestyle options.
Educate the general public about cooperative organizational principles and greener, more sustainable lifestyle options.
Assist other cooperative and sustainability efforts in the Houston region and elsewhere.
Programs: The first house, Rosalie, opened on January 1, 2011 in Midtown and now houses ten people in its ten rooms. We’ve since expanded to include a second 15-bedroom house on Ruth St. We intend to develop houses of various sizes and appropriate for various lifestyle options, including at least one student focused house, and at least one house appropriate for children and families.
Volunteer Opportunities: We are always looking for future members and are especially looking for people who are excited about being on the front lines of developing our next house. Come over ANY Sunday – Wednesday at 7pm for dinner (bring $5 to cover your food costs) and we’d love to have you. E-mail [email protected] to let them know that you’re coming.
Marissa Ramos, Member Co-Coordinator and Board Representative
Purpose: A volunteer membership service organization dedicated to creating land trusts of scenic habitat conservation preserves currently at 6,000 acres. Includes permanent protection and restoration of the 1,058-acre John M. O’Quinn I-45 Scenic Estuarial Corridor, the natural marsh gateway to Galveston; the contiguous 1,840 acres of native coastal prairie and wetland habitat on the Virginia Point Peninsula Preserve, and 3,000+ acres as stewards of conservation easement prairies/wetlands on north West Galveston Bay. SG provides archeological protection of National Register Pending 1860 Fort Hebert, the naval origination of the “Battle of Galveston” and 6 other important historical sites on VPPP.
Major Events/Volunteer Opportunities: Partnership cleaning events, April and September, with GLO in Adopt-A-Beach/Estuary and Rivers, Bays N’ Bayous March Trash Bash, along with volunteer day maintenance, coastal erosion projects, prairie and Galveston Bay shoreline plantings, controlled burns, herbiciding, oyster work, participating in bird surveys, including Great Texas Bird Classic, Christmas Bird Count, with other outings and registration at Reitan Point in the preserve.
Birders, fishers, paddlers, kayakers, researchers, and other visitors are welcome every day for non-intrusive public uses. Vehicles, hunting, dumping and fireworks are not permitted.
Evangeline Loessin Whorton, Founder and Chairman
Networking Guild – “Friends of the Preserve” Site partner GCBO
Houston-Galveston Area Council
Purpose: The Houston-Galveston Area Council is a region-wide voluntary association of local governments in the 13-county Gulf Coast Planning region of Texas. H-GAC’s mission is to serve as the instrument of local government cooperation, promoting the region’s orderly development and the safety and welfare of its citizens. Key governmental services include transportation planning, disaster resiliency, cooperative purchasing, homeland security, workforce development, air and water quality planning, forecasting, and mapping.
Programs: H-GAC engages in a variety of collaborative environmental planning efforts including watershed protection, solid waste management and air quality for sustainable development. It is also actively involved in education and public awareness programs, including Commute Solutions and NuRide, the Clean Waters Initiative, Regional Recycling Roundtable.
Volunteer Opportunities: H-GAC offers year-round volunteer opportunities through our Texas Stream Team volunteer water monitoring program, as well as at a one-day Trash Bash waterway cleanup event. For more information on opportunities, visit http://www.h-gac.com/go/getinvolved.
Kathy Janhsen, Public Outreach and Education Planner
Exploration Green Conservancy
Purpose: The Exploration Green Conservancy, in partnership with the Clear Lake City Water Authority, is creating and maintaining the 200 acre Exploration Green flood control, conservation and recreation area in the heart of the Clear Lake area. The conservancy develops plans, raises funds, creates and operates the area to protect and share the land.
Programs: Reintroducing native trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers; creating park amenities including hike and bike trails, athletic fields and park space for children, and supporting flood control and wetlands. Speakers are available to give presentations in the classroom or to student group meetings. Contact website for booking.
Major Events: Town hall meetings, on-site ground-breaking, and festivals.
Volunteer Opportunities: There are numerous volunteer opportunities helping environmental, park, recreation and athletics activities. Examples include tree, shrub and grass planting; event and publicity activities; public and education outreach.
Publications: Website at http://www.explorationgreen.org website and printed information materials.
Frank Weary, Chairman
Doug Peterson, Vice-Chairman
Nicole Cloutier, Media Contact
Claire Mules, Community Relations Chair
Houston Canoe Club
Purpose: Established in 1964, the Houston Canoe Club’s members are interested in all types of paddlesport from canoeing to kayaking, quietwater, whitewater, touring and racing. We do it all and have fun doing it. Canoe safety presentations are available for school groups.
Meeting Time: 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Bayland Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet Street, Houston, TX 77074.
Major Events: The Houston Canoe Club coordinates about 50 floats for a total of over 7000 miles a year. See website for details.
Volunteer Opportunities: Waterway clean-ups, habitat restoration, boating race safety/judging, water quality issues.
Publications: Monthly newsletter, The Waterline.
Honey Leveen, Club President
Bayou Land Conservancy
Purpose: Bayou Land Conservancy is a community-sponsored land preservation organization to permanently protect land, with a focus on the 13 watersheds that feed Lake Houston. We preserve river and bayou corridors, other properties with significant wildlife habitat value, and places where family recreation can occur in harmony with nature. Our “No Child Left Inside” education program connects tomorrow’s conservation leaders with nature today.
Programs: “No Child Left Inside” Environmental Education Program – science-based program to get children outside to enjoy area wilderness– in kayaks! Students from 5th grade through high school do hands-on learning about our local ecosystems at our nature preserves.
Volunteer Opportunities: Spring Creek Greenway Ambassador: Training program on the longest, urban. forested, contiguous greenway in the country; taking out invasive plants on preserves, tree planting, trail maintenance.
Jill Boullion, Executive Director
Becky Martinez, Conservation Director
Cherie Wilson, Office Administrator
Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens
Purpose: To establish and maintain a versatile botanical facility for Houston and the greater Gulf Coast region, serving the general public, the horticulture industry, and the scientific community. These 325 acres of East Texas Piney Woods showcase the region’s largest collection of native and cultivated plants.
Programs: Offered throughout the year and focus on gardening and plant related topics Eagle Scout project site. Guided Scavenger Hunts for students.
Major Events: Lunch Bunch Wednesday Talks: Join fellow gardeners the 2nd Wednesday of each month to hear expert speakers give talks on a variety of topics. Lunch is provided for a fee; March Mart Plant Sale: 4th Friday and Saturday in March. Garden Party and Auction: 1st Saturday in May. Summer Symposium: Renowned speakers enlighten attendees on how to create their own backyard paradise. Register early!; Garden Faire: Two full days of fall festival events with vendors. Food vendors and ‘Kid’s Korner’ activities; Garden Tours: Check the web for info on Coach Tours to Gardens throughout Texas.
Volunteer Opportunities: Expand your horticulture knowledge and make new friends while volunteering in the Gardens and the greenhouse. Other volunteer opportunities include working with children and guiding tours.
Suzanne Chapman, Horticultural Manager
Houston History Archives (UH-HHA)
Purpose: Founded 2005 as part of the Houston History Project (now the Welcome Wilson Houston History Collaborative), UH Center for Public History, UH-HHA is a public repository for books, documents, oral histories, and images related to the Houston region’s growth and development from 19th century to present. Particular areas of collection interest include energy development, environmental history and activism, and documentation of Houston’s ethnic diversity and activism. (see websites:
Environmental Collections Open to the Public: The Outdoor Nature Club, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Bayou Preservation Association, Scenic Houston, The Park People, the papers of Sarah and Army Emmott, Terry Tarlton Hershey’s papers (a partial accession). Kay B. Crooker Papers, Hana Ginzbarg Papers, Collections still in processing include Terry Tarlton Hershey’s Papers, papers of Dr. David Marrack, Brandt Mannchen, and the Keep Houston Beautiful records.
Consider donating your collections of environmental, city planning, or development history to UH-HHA where records and papers will be preserved, studied, and available to the public. Let your organization’s accomplishments become part of Houston’ history!
Speakers: Presentations on Houston’s environmental past, contact Dr. Teresa Tomkins-Walsh.
Dr. Teresa (Terry) Tomkins-Walsh
Texas League of Conservation Voters Ed. Fund
Purpose: The Texas League of Conservation Voters Educational Fund is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that educates Texans on and advocates for clean air, clean water, renewable energy and the protection of parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitat. The Texas League of Conservation Voters Educational Fund also works to empower the citizens of Texas to become civically engaged and have a voice in how the decisions on environmental policy which affect their lives are made.
Non-Partisan Voter Participation: The Texas League of Conservation Voters Educational Fund works independently and in strategic partnership with civic organizations to register voters in Texas in areas with low voter registration numbers.
Hispanic Engagement: The Texas League of Conservation Voters Educational Fund is committed to engaging Hispanics in Texas on issues of conservation.
Conservation Ballot Measures: TLCV-EF supports citizen referendum involving public spaces, parks, and public transportation.
SOAH Sunset Review: The Texas League of Conservation Voters Educational Fund together with the Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) will be engaging in 2014 and 2015 in a statewide educational campaign around Sunset review of the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH).
Elizabeth Doyel, Executive Director
Bayou City Waterkeeper
Purpose: Bayou City Waterkeeper (formerly Galveston Baykeeper) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to ensure that every waterway is swimmable, fishable, and drinkable from Lake Livingston through the Bayous of Houston down to Galveston Bay. Bayou City Waterkeeper’s mission is to ensure the aquatic integrity of the Lower Galveston Bay watershed by focusing on the protection of wetlands and other critical habitats, advocating for adequate mitigation of lost wetland resources, and enforcing all aspects of compliance with the Clean Water Act.
Bayou City Waterkeeper is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a global environmental movement which began in 1966 with the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association and grew to encompass waterways around the world.
Programs: Pollution Hotline, Wetland Watch, Save Our Gulf.
Volunteer Opportunities: We need citizens to report pollution and possible Clean Water Act violations. We also need administrative, fundraising and community event volunteers.
Publications: The Bay Times, an electronic newsletter.
Speakers Bureau: Pesticides 101, Where Have All the Wetlands Gone? and wetland education to municipalities. Contact website for booking a speaker for your classroom or student group.
Jordan Macha is the Executive Director and Waterkeeper
Children’s Museum of Houston’s EcoStation
Purpose: Founded in 1981 to transform communities through innovative, child-centered learning and to develop good environmental stewards for Houston’s future.
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sundays Noon – 6 p.m., and open for free every Thursday from 5 – 8 p.m.
Major Events: Environmentally themed weekends and free family nights throughout the year.
Children’s Activities: More than fifty hands-on activities in the area of environmental science in addition to thirteen other galleries of interactive exhibits for children ages 0-12 years.
School Programs: Field trips for elementary school classes, curriculum. Teacher Workshops available and cooperate with TEKS requirements.
Volunteer Opportunities: Contact (713) 535-7209 or http://www.cmhouston.org/volunteers/ for volunteer opportunities.
Publications: Annual report.
Henry Yau, Director of Public Relations and Promotions
Tammie Kahn, Executive Director
Bayou Preservation Association, Inc.
Purpose: Founded in 1966 to protect and restore the richness and diversity of our waterways through activism, advocacy, collaboration and education. BPA monitors water quality, plans clean-ups for bayous, restores habitat, reviews permit applications and sponsors seminars on flood reduction.
Programs: Board Meetings have speakers. Committees include Project, Water Quality, Paddle Trails, and Development and Nominations.
Major Events: BPA Gala, Fall; Water Symposium, Fall; Trash Bash, Spring; Project a Month (year round bayou and park clean up started in 2010).
Publications: Newsletter; Bayou Planting Guide; Quick Guide on Flood Management. Call BPA office
Robert L. Rayburn, Executive Director
Steve Hupp, M.S. Water Quality Director
Eric Ruckstuhl, Habitat Restoration
Greens Bayou Coalition
Purpose: Founded in 2007 to address quality of life issues along the 45-mile watershed through flood mitigation, parks & trails development, preservation of green space, and economic development.
Major Events: Annual Meeting, Bayou Clean Up Days, Tree Plantings.
Volunteer Opportunities: Committee service, Clean-up days, tree plantings, site preparation on park development, Adopt-A-Site, Volunteer Water Quality Testers.
Speakers Bureau: Call Candice Pauley at (281) 874-2139.
Kelly Snook, Executive Director
Mandy Jordan, Program Manager
Colleen Ulibarri, Program Manager
Houston Archeological Society
Purpose: To foster enthusiastic interest and active participation in the discovery, documentation, and preservation of cultural resources (prehistoric and historic properties) of the city of Houston, the Houston metropolitan area, and the Upper Texas Gulf Coast Region. The Houston Archeological Society (HAS) is a non-profit organization that serves the professional, student and avocational archeological community of Houston.
Programs: The HAS holds monthly membership meetings on the third Thursday of each month with invited lecturers who speak on various topics of archeology and history. All meetings are free and open to the public. HAS members engage in fieldwork throughout the year. Artifacts recovered from those sites are then analyzed in the laboratory and interpretive reports are written.
Volunteer Opportunities: Available in the field, the lab, and at training and other events. Field work consists primarily of excavations and screening, and occasionally surveying, testing and monitoring, and involves physical labor such as digging, chopping, carrying and lifting. Training provided.
Publications: In addition to a monthly newsletter The Profile, the annual Archeological Review, and various bulletins and reports, the HAS supports two reference libraries: at the Rice University Fondren Library and the Adriance Library and Research Center located at the Brazoria County Historical Museum.
Linda Gorski, President
Louis Aulbach, Vice President
Bob Sewell, Treasurer
Beth Kennedy, Secretary
Recipe for Success
Purpose: Recipe for Success Foundation was launched in 2005 by Gracie & Bob Cavnar to lead the way in hands-on nutrition education aimed at preventing childhood obesity and encouraging long term health. In just a few years, it has grown to the largest outreach of its kind in the nation, empowering over 4,000 children each and every month with its signature Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ and other initiatives to change the way they understand, appreciate and eat their food.
Major Events: Dress for Dinner, We’re Cooking Now! A Gala in Small Bites
Blue Plate Special Cafe Harvest Market & Awards Lunch, Open Kitchens Tour.
Volunteer Opportunities: RFS has dozens of opportunities for you to lend a hand in our fight against childhood obesity whether you have an hour, a day or want to perform a regular job. Register online.
Publications: Website and newsletter.
Gracie Cavnar – Founder and CEO
Molly Kaminski – Chief Operations Officer
Endangered Species Media Project
Purpose: The Endangered Species Media Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization chartered in Texas in 1989 to promote greater understanding of how the quality of human life is enhanced by preservation of our natural heritage of wilderness and wildlife. The organization was founded to establish a partnership with schools, corporations and private individuals.
Mission: To create conservation programs and productions for literary, artistic, inspirational and educational purposes; encouraging and promoting works that foster a thoughtful perspective toward stewardship of Earths ecological treasures.
Programs: Public education and hands-on challenges, conservation activities, Buffalo Bayou canoe expeditions and clean-ups, dolphin expeditions, young artist exhibitions, film projects. Speakers and presentations are available to be booked and held in the classroom or for your student group. Contact website for booking.
Publication: Vanishing Wildlife of Texas
Michael Hunt, Vice President
Stephanie Day, Secretary
Richard Salzhandler, Treasurer
Jan Campbell, CPA
Chris Sheridan (Dec’d.)
Frank Salzhandler (Dec’d.)
Environmental Educators’ Exchange
Purpose: To provide a network and forum for anyone interested or with expertise in the environment’s natural history, ecology, local environmental issues and especially environmental education in order to facilitate discussion, exchange of ideas, methods, information and events related to environmental education efforts in the Greater Houston Area.
Meetings: First Wed. of Feb., May, Aug., and Nov. at 4:30 p.m. Locations vary. Call or check Website before attending.
Programs: Can help locate a speaker for your classroom or student group. Train teachers in curriculum planning for environmental issues, grades K-12.
Publications: Member e-mail network pertaining to environmental education in the Greater Houston Area. To join network, send an email to [email protected].
Lawrence Spence, President
Justin Myers, Vice-President
Iliana Gutierrez, Treasurer
Edith Smith, Secretary
Jay Crossley, At-Large Position 1
Purpose: Scenic Houston works to eliminate visual blight because all Houstonians are entitled to a green, uncluttered, visually appealing city. Scenic Houston promotes sign control, billboard reduction, freeway landscaping, scenic byway development, and enhanced design standards for public projects. Our success improves the quality of life for all Houstonians.
Major Events: Scenic Visionary Awards Dinner, October.
Volunteer Opportunities: Young Friends Initiatives, Scenic Action network, assisting with special events, outreach. Contact the office for more information.
Publications: Scenic Views e-newsletter, legislative alerts as needed, brochures, articles, blog.
Anne Culver, President
Sherry Weesner, Director of Projects
U.S. Green Building Council – Texas Gulf Coast Region
Purpose: The chapter will accelerate the implementation of the best sustainable building practices for our region through collaboration, education and advocacy. Founded in 2003, the USGBC-Texas Gulf Coast Chapter is uniquely positioned to leverage green building industry knowledge with community needs related to the built environment. The chapter connects the built environment to community life indicators and offers the LEED Rating System as a measurement tool to vet whether or not a building is operating at high performance.
Programs: USGBC offers educational programs to the building industry and public at large, in order to grow both local expertise and the green building market. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.
Major Events: Texas Energy Summit
Volunteer Opportunities: Representing almost 1000 individuals, more than 2000 LEED APs, and more than 200 companies, the Texas Gulf Coast Region is based in Houston with a branch in Montgomery County (Piney Woods). The region has many volunteer opportunities – visit the website for details.
David MacLean, Chair
(713) 857- 6499
Maria Perez, Vice President
Caroline Kostak, Secretary
Houston Habitat for Humanity, ReStore
Purpose: Since 1987, Houston Habitat for Humanity has been the premier affordable local home builder in Houston. We build sustainable, energy-efficient homes that are financially accessible by hard-working, low-income families, winning the EPA Energy Star Award 3 years in a row. Thru home ownership, families gain a stake in the community, become tax-paying citizens, build equity, raise their net worth, and offer better educational opportunities to their children.
Programs: Volunteer opportunities, home building, community development, sweat-equity program, educational classes and other homeowner opportunities. Provides sustainable communities and housing, supports community organization of Home Owner Associations, works with corporate and community sponsors to fund home sponsorships and provides team-building opportunities thru Volunteer Days. Trained construction leaders oversee volunteers for six-day builds. Houston Habitat ReStore, a building supply outlet, offers new and recycled or deconstructed products for sale to the public at great prices for a great cause. All proceeds support the Houston Habitat building program.
Publication: Quarterly e-mail newsletter.
Houston Habitat for Humanity
Allison Hay, Executive Director
ReStore (a building supply outlet)
Matt Murphy, Store Manager