Houston Parks and Recreation Department
Purpose: To enhance the quality of urban life by providing safe, well-maintained parks and offering affordable programs for the community. Member: Commission for Accreditation of Park & Recreation Agencies.
Jan – Arbor Day; Youth Tennis classes begin
Feb – Salt Grass Trail Ride; Adult sports leagues begin
Mar- Tour de Houston, Metal & Muscle Expo; Lake Houston Wilderness New Entry
Apr- Houston Children’s Festival, Japan Festival, Houston International Festival
May- Challenge Day, Summer Pool Opening
June – Summer Food Program begins, Golf Tournament; Hershey Track & Field Meet
Jul- Freedom Over Texas; Houston Pops July 4th Celebration
Oct- Asian-American Festival; Wildflower seed planting
Nov- Via Colori
Dec- Heritage Society Candlelight Tour, Holiday Tree Lighting
Year round – Lake Houston Park Nature Center events
School year – After School Enrichment Program
Volunteer Opportunities: Oneika McCarthy (832) 395-7030
Publications: Activities Catalog – Winter/Spring Issue Dec 1, Summer Issue
Apr 1,and Fall Issue Aug 1.
Steve Wright, Director
Estella Espinosa, Division Manager, Communications
Central City Co-Op
Purpose: Our mission is to support sustainable, chemical free farming practices through offering both 1) sustainably raised local and 2) certified USDA organic national produce and farm goods to our community at the fairest prices possible. We were founded in September 2001.
Publications: Weekly newsletter, sign-up through the website, http://www.centralcityco-op.org
Programs: Co-op markets held every Wednesday, occasional health and nutrition related seminars during Wednesday co-op.
Volunteer Opportunities: Plentiful! Mostly Wednesday & Saturday, some committee work and other hours available.
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
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
League of Women’s Voters in the Houston Area
Purpose: To encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in government, and to influence public police through education and advocacy. Founded in 1920.
Meetings: Four meetings per year, which are free and open to the public. Meetings discuss various policy issues. Visit lwvhouston.org for upcoming meetings dates and events.
Volunteer Opportunities: Assist with Voters Guide, voter registration, serve on committees, online newsletter e-voter. For information, email [email protected]
Publications: Monthly newsletter, voter guide before each election, voter keys every February.
Aimee Bertrand, Secretary
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
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
Center for Recycled Art
Purpose: Founded in 2009, our mission is to reduce the amount of reusable material in Houston’s landfills, to promote environmental awareness, to stimulate creativity, and to provide opportunities to create recycled art.
Programs: Divert reusable clean scrap from Houston’s solid waste stream and make it available at low cost to educators and non-profits in the Greater Houston area. Promote awareness and stimulate creativity through workshops, creative reuse demonstrations and speakers.
Major Events: Monthly Teacher Warehouse shopping event for educators and other non profits.
Children’s Activities: The Center for Recycled Art hosts structured activities for school groups and other nonprofit organizations. Programs are designed in conjunction
with your group’s leadership and may be easily tailored to ongoing classroom curriculum. Each class offers an age-appropriate opportunity to express creativity and complete the project in the allotted time. Programs may be held at your location or at the Texas Art Asylum, near downtown. Speakers available for all ages, Contact Ramona Brady for booking.
Volunteer Opportunities: Receiving and sorting Houston’s cast-offs, de-constructing mechanical and electrical items; creating inspiration projects from cast off materials, demonstrating/leading creative reuse projects.
Vegan for Life
Purpose: Vegan for Life’s mission is to educate the public about the benefits of a plant-based diet, including the prevention of unnecessary killing and mistreatment of animals, protection of the environment, and good health. Vegan for Life aims to increase recognition of veganism as an effective approach that individuals can take to help save the planet and spread compassion. Some measures of success are the number of people who choose to be vegan, and the accommodation of vegans in restaurants, stores, and other institutions. In addition to outreach and educational efforts, Vegan for Life selectively conducts lawful actions towards preventing practices that harm non-human animals.
Events and Actions: Outreach campaigns; helping students form new vegan organizations; Guided discussions, presentations, and guest speaker engagements; activist training and educational programs; community building.
Volunteer Opportunities: Vegan for Life needs vegan interns or volunteers to maintain documentation and web presence, assist in event preparation, and handle such communication tasks as invitations and follow-up phone calls. Any creative vegan with dedication and professionalism can have opportunities to turn good ideas into effective actions.
Michael Battey, President
Virginia Miller, Vice President and Treasurer
Texas Campaign for the Environment
Purpose: Empowering Texans to fight pollution through sustained grassroots organizing campaigns that shift corporate and governmental policy. The TEC envisions a Texas free from pollution. As the largest environmental group in Texas organizing support through door-to-door canvassing, grassroots is both who we are and what we do.
Programs: Advocates for local, state and national policies that hold manufacturers responsible for recycling the toxic products they create (such as electronic waste or “e-waste”); works to strengthen environmental and health standards for Texas landfills; educates residents and builds grassroots support through a year-round neighborhood canvassing program; and works toward recycling for all Houstonians.
Job Opportunities: Full and part-time paid Community Organizer positions available year round.
Volunteer Opportunities: Call Rosanne Barone.
Publications: Annual report and regular email action alerts to TCE members. Visit the website http://www.texasenvironment.org to view past reports and join as a member.
Robin Schneider, Executive Director
Rosanne Barone, Program Director
Nicholas Borjas, Staff Director
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
Center for Houston’s Future
Purpose: The Center for Houston’s Future furthers the Houston region as a top global communities in which to work and live. The Center brings business and community together to innovate leadership, and inform the public about critical indicators and the groundwork to be carried out to create and maintain a competitive and sustainable future.
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers, who are subject matter experts, participate in ‘data groups’ that oversee the development of the Center’s Indicator Reports. The topic of the 2013 Report is Healthy Communities.
Past studies and reports include air quality, billboards, green buildings, litter and graffiti, parks & trails, abandoned lots, trees, water quality, water supply, human capital development and resource use. Volunteers are also used to help organize and run the Center’s Annual Indicator Symposium. The 2013 Symposium will be held on February 22 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Publications: Counting on Quality of Life: An Environment Indicator Report (2007), Counting on Quality of Place: Air Quality, Parks & Trails, and Trees (2009), Counting on Quality of Place: Water Quality, Water Supply, and Green Buildings (2010), Human Capital: Early Childhood Development, K-12 and Workforce Preparedness (2012), published yearly with updated indicators.
Brett Perlman, President and CEO
Clint Pasche, Marketing and Communications
Rice Design Alliance
Purpose: Dedicated to the advancement of architecture, urban design, and the built environment in the Houston region through educational programs, the publication of Cite, and active programs to initiate physical improvements. By sponsoring lectures, seminars, symposia, exhibits, and tours, RDA seeks to involve the public.
Volunteer Opportunities: Docents needed for house tour, gala, and other events.
Publications: Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston, published quarterly, Ephemeral City: Cite Looks at Houston (2003, UT Press).
Maria Nicanor, Executive Director
Angie Chen, Interim Executive Director
Raquel Puccio, Administrative Coordinator
Houston Audubon Society
Purpose: To advance the conservation of birds and positively impact their supporting environments. Founded in 1969.
Meetings: with speakers are held the second Thursday of alternate school months: Sept, Nov, Jan, March, & May at United Way Center at 50 Waugh Drive. See website for details. Houston Audubon Photography Meetings: Third Wednesdays of each month, Sept-May, 7 p.m., HAS office.
Programs: Live bird outreach programs for schools, civic groups, libraries; field trips; guided tours of the Edith L. Moore Bird Sanctuary; birding classes. Children’s Activities: Community Outreach Programs, Bayou Buddies, Titmouse Club, birthday parties, Summer Camp, Family Nature Explore Club. Boy and Girl Scout badge programs.
Major Events: Spring Migration at High Island Sanctuaries; Birdathon (Mar-Apr.); Annual Gala; Christmas Bird Counts; Holiday at the Cabin (1st Sat. of Dec.).
Volunteer Opportunities: Gardening, trail guides, field research, trail crew, clerical, advocacy, events, fundraising.
Speakers Bureau: Contact Mary Anne Weber.
Includes counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Waller, Washington and Wharton.
Helen E. Drummond, Executive Director
713-932-1639 ext. 107
Juanita Perkins, Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator
713-932-1639 ext. 100
Citizens’ Transportation Coalition
Purpose: Founded in 2004, the CTC is an all-volunteer grassroots transportation advocacy organization. The Citizens’ Transportation Coalition advocates for a broad-based public educational and planning process to identify neighborhood aspirations, influences projects to achieve the best transportation options, and engages our communities in designing a complete multimodal transportation system that serves us all.
Meetings: Board meets on 4th Thursdays from Jan. through Oct. at 6:45 p.m. at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, in the upstairs community room. Member meeting in March, holiday gathering in December. All meetings open to interested individuals.
Publication: Free periodic eNews with project updates and meeting notices. Email
[email protected] to join the list.
Volunteer Opportunities: Attend public meetings of transportation agencies and then share reports in CTC’s online forum; project proposals; author project fact sheets and web content; give talks to civic clubs; meet with elected leaders regarding timely transportation issues.
Speaker’s Bureau: CTC delivers sharp PowerPoint talks on topics including urban transit and transportation alternatives for all.
Dexter Handy, Chair
Carol Caul, Advocacy Chair
Tom Dornbusch, Media Chair
Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church
Purpose: Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church was chartered in 1960 to serve the growing western suburbs of Houston. Proudly recognized as a Welcoming Congregation (LGBTQ friendly), Emerson Church invites people of all races, ethnicity, ages, gender identities, and sexual orientations to join us. The congregation has the diversity of spiritual beliefs, cultural backgrounds and sexual orientations that make Unitarian Universalism such a dynamic faith.
Programs: The Ministry for Earth group is large and active. This group promotes the seventh principle of the Unitarian Universalist Association: “…to affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” They learn about environmental issues; advocate public policies to protect the global environment; act locally in our homes, church and city; and connect spiritually with the web-of-all-existence. Specific programs include the Renewable Congregations Campaign, the Ethical Eating and Environmental Justice series, and Consumption and Sustainability Initiatives.
Learn more at http://www.emersonhouston.org/ministry-for-earth.html.
Volunteer Opportunities: Learn more at http://www.Emersonhouston.org/volunteer
Becky Edmiston-Lange, Co-Pastor
(713) 782-8250 Ext. 125, [email protected]
Mark Edmiston-Lange, Co-Pastor
(713) 782-8250 Ext. 127, [email protected]
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
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.)
Houston Peace and Justice Center
Purpose: The Houston Peace and Justice Center provides networks and resources for organizations and individuals to advance peace and social justice.
Programs: Links and resources to various social justice movements happening in the area.
Volunteer Opportunities: Fill out an application online to become a volunteer.
Speakers Bureau: See website for events and speaker bookings.
Publications: Blog posts, e-mail newsletter.
HPJC Executive Committee:
Constance Gray, President
Don Cook, Vice President
Brenda Padilla, Recording Secretary
Nic Carlson & Danielle Niangar, Communication Secretaries
Cheryl Crosier, Treasurer
Dave Atwood, At-large
Jasmin Patel, At-large
Joe Marcincowski, At-large
Evan Silverman, Development Director
Katy Prairie Conservancy
Purpose: To preserve a sustainable portion of the Katy Prairie for the benefit of its wildlife and all Texans forever. Nearly 19,200 acres have been protected.
Major Events: Guided tours, seed stomp and wildflower planting; educational field trips; annual meeting; Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail Site 9900 – wildlife-viewing platform on Nelson Farms open to public every day; Annual Christmas Bird Count (Jan 1), Annual Butterfly Count (Sept 1), Bio Blitz (October). Monthly Unplugged Adventures. Matt Cook Wildlife Viewing Platform at Warren Lake open daily. Winter and summer kids camps. Educational trunks are available for purchase, contact Jaime Gonzalez
Volunteer Opportunities: Leading tours, gardening at Texas Coastal Prairie Native Seed Nursery, invasive species control, fundraising, administrative, outdoor education, community outreach, workdays, preserve maintenance, monitoring wildlife and protected lands.
Speakers Bureau: Speakers available for community, birding, nature, wildlife, school, and outdoor groups.
Mary Anne Piacentini, President and CEO
(713) 523-6135 ext 4003
(713) 523-6135 ext 4004
Wesley Newman, Conservation Stewardship Director
(713) 523-6135 ext 4007