Native Plant Society of TX – Hou Chapter
Purpose: The mission of The Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) is to promote research, conservation and utilization of native plants and plant habitats of Texas through education, outreach and example.
Meetings: 7:00 p.m., program at 7:30 p.m., the 3rd Thurs. of each month, Nov. Social & Seed & Plant Swap, Dec. holiday dinner, Jan. propagation workshop. Spring & Fall field trips.
Programs: Speakers present topics such as landscaping with natives, trees, and butterfly & habitat gardening.
Major Events: The Wildscapes Workshop is our largest annual event, usually held in September, and is open to anyone interested in learning. The program includes lectures, workshops, field trips, a native plant sale, and vendor and educational exhibits. Check our website for more details.
Volunteer Opportunities: Native Plant rescues, invasive plant removal, Native Plant Demonstration Garden workdays (monthly), school wildlife habitat programs, cooperative efforts with other non-profits and government entities. Display Booth.
Speakers Bureau: Contact Linda Knowles.
Publications: Quarterly State newsletter; local quarterly newsletter.
Wally Ward, President
Russ Kane, Publicity & Community Coordinator
Linda Knowles, Display Booth and Education Coordinator
Trees for Houston
Purpose: To plant, protect and promote trees in the greater Houston region.
Programs: Tree Planting; Trees for Schools; Urban Forest Tree Keeper classes in September (adult). Tribute Trees and Tree Giveaways.
Major Events: Arbor Day Awards, Jan.; Root Ball, April; Annual Meeting, May, Sporting Clays Tournament, October.
Children’s Activities: School presentations for all grade levels.
Volunteer Opportunities: Tree planting; taking educational programs into Houston schools; special projects.
Publications: Monthly TreE-mail (online newsletter); quarterly newsletter, Annual Report; Root Ball 2013: Club Coco – March 21, 2013, and the Website,
Barry Ward, Executive Director
Randi Koenig , Development Director
Katherine Bravo, Projects Manager
Keep Houston Beautiful
Purpose: To achieve sustainable community improvement by providing programs that educate the public, combat blight, prevent litter, minimize waste and beautify Houston’s public spaces.
Programs: Adopt-A-Block and Adopt-A-Ditch Program; weekend cleanups and tool lending library; community beautification and edible community garden projects; civic leader and teacher training workshops. Teacher worksheets are available on the website for classroom use. Speakers are available, contact Amy Reed.
Major Events: Mayor’s Proud Partners
Awards and Luncheon; Great American Cleanup; Keep Houston Beautiful Day; Annual Bar Association Cleanup; Texas Recycles Day; Home Run for Astros Tree Plantings; America Recycles Day.
Children’s Activities: Keep Schools Beautiful Day; Lucky the Ladybug; Storm water Curriculum; Keep America Beautiful’s Water in Place Curriculum.
Volunteer Opportunities: Clean up and beautification weekend workdays, clerical, artists, special event information booths.
Publications: Clean Neighborhoods Manual; Guide to Earth Quilt Gardens; Recycling Activity Book for Kids; A Guide to Creating Environmental Outdoor Learning Centers; Enewsletter; Adopt-an-Esplanade Guide.
Amy Reed, Executive Director
Mike Aden, Warehouse Technician
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
Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Purpose: Buffalo Bayou Partnership is the Houston non-profit organization revitalizing and transforming Buffalo Bayou, our city’s most significant natural resource. Coordinating the integration of major improvements into the Bayou greenway, the Partnership seeks increased community involvement through pedestrian, boating and biking amenities, art installations, and other natural and built attractions.
Major events: Buffalo Bayou Regatta, kayak tours, history hikes, bat tours, Second Saturday Boat cruises, Nights on Blue Bayou events along the Sabine Promenade.
Children’s Activities: Kids’ Day on Buffalo Bayou, Second Saturday Boat Cruises, bat tours and kayak tours. Speakers are available to give presentations to your school classroom or group. Contact Trudi Smith for booking.
Volunteer Opportunities: Tree planting, cleanups, Adopt-A-Spot, help with events, office work.
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
Last Organic Outpost
Purpose: The Last Organic Outpost generates healthy communities and establishes a local food economy in Houston’s under-served neighborhoods through urban farming and farm-based art & education. They empower communities through sustainable agriculture that teaches residents to produce safe, healthy and accessible food for all. They envision growing ‘Food Everywhere’ and seeding an Urban Agricultural District that cultivates our region’s food and supports local farmers to thrive despite economic, environmental, health and social challenges.
Programs: The Emile Street Community Learning Farm is located in Houston’s 5th Ward at 711 Emile St, Houston. Last Organic Outpost is also focusing efforts on the 5th Ward food desert with the following objectives:
Outreach – Initiate the growth of Food Everywhere by building home gardens and a neighborhood-wide orchard of fruit & nut trees in homes and public spaces.
Farming – Establish a local food economy by training farmers in non-conventional, but sustainable, environmentally sound methods, establish community farms and encourage farm and local food related businesses in the Fifth Ward.
Education – Host community events where we teach residents about healthy nutrition, urban agriculture, and sustainability.
Volunteer Opportunities: farming at the farm, help organize outreach and plan our projects, writers, web/software development, contacts, research and more. Contact [email protected] to find out about our meetings.
Publications: Visit our website to sign up for our newsletter.
Joe Icet, Founder
White Oak Bayou Association
Purpose: To promote greater public awareness, appreciation, and enjoyment of White Oak Bayou, its tributaries and environs by advocating the preservation, restoration, and maintenance of the natural wildlife habitats thereof, while promoting compatible educational and recreational opportunities within the area. White Oak Bayou Association was founded in May 1986.
Meetings: Monthly: 2nd Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. except November; Annual: November (Location, date, and time to be announced); Please confirm meeting location, date, and time by calling (713) 864-3008.
Programs: Field trips, tree planting, bike ways, storm water quality and environmental advocacy, participation in Harris County Flood Control District stakeholder committees, coordination with City of Houston Floodplain Management office, and education. Coordination with Bayou Preservation Association – http://www.bayoupreservation.org.
Tom Gall, President
Christina Hughes, Vice President
Bob Lee, Vice President
Tom Dornbusch , Vice President
Teresa Matlock, Treasurer
Doug Shannon, Secretary
Wildlife Center of Texas
Purpose: WTC was formed to care for injured, ill and orphaned wildlife through rehabilitation, public education and release in the Greater Houston / Upper Gulf Coast region. Each year the WCT cares for over 10,000 thousand injured or orphaned wild animals including over 300 different species. The WCT is Houston’s first trauma hospital that accepts all native injured, ill and orphaned wildlife. The Center is funded by the generous donations of the general public and corporations and receives no government funding.
Meetings: Monthly volunteer orientation meetings (excl. Dec. & Jan.) on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 10 a.m.- 12 noon. For information and to RSVP contact Margaret at [email protected].
9-6 M-F; 9–4 S & S Mar-Aug; 9-4 daily Sept-Feb
Programs: Wildlife rehabilitation, environmental education, oiled wildlife training and response for the Gulf coast states and wildlife disaster response.
Major events: Annual Fundraiser Golf Tournament in the spring. Annual Open House in the fall.
Publications: On-line newsletter.
Speakers Bureau: Trained speakers are available on the following topics: peaceful coexistence; responsible environmental stewardship; how to tell if an animal requires intervention; reuniting moms and babies; dealing with “nuisance” animals, and oiled wildlife response training workshops.
Sharon Schmalz, Executive Director
Energy Corridor District
Purpose: Represent property owners, businesses, and residents in the district, serving as a liaison with local, state, and federal governments and agencies to improve public safety, transportation, parks and trails, and business development to enhance the district.
Meetings: Second Friday of each month in ECD office, 8:30 a.m.
Major Events: Transportation Fairs, 75 Eldridge bus route, Bike to Work Day, ECD Livable Centers Plan, ECD Bicycle Master Plan, Grisby Square Preservation, National Park Service West Houston Trails Master Plan, Spring and Fall Recycling Events.
Clark Martinson, General Manager
Robert Rayburn, Development & Natural Resource Director
Ali Lamkahouan, Finance and Economic Development Manager
Rachel Weaver, Community Relations Coordinator
The Woods Project, Inc.
Purpose: To develop leadership capacity and life skills in low income youth through a series of outdoor education/environmental awareness programs at wilderness sites in the United States. Goals: • To prepare students for college and beyond by fostering life skills and mindsets through outdoor education; • To provide hands-on science lessons in a natural environment; • To empower students to take advantage of leadership opportunities; • To teach students how to adapt to/accept and engage in foreign environments; and • To give students the opportunity to succeed in new endeavors. Our Mantra: Low Cost, High Impact, Volunteer Driven.
Programs: The Woods Project hosts a two-week summer trip to a national park to learn about environmental issues and leadership. They also host smaller weekend trips. After-School programs are available as well. Contact organization for sign-ups. Speakers from the group can also be booked through the website.
Volunteer Opportunities: The Woods Project is a 100% volunteer run organization. Opportunities for leaders to spend two weeks in Yosemite, Donner Pass/Desolation Wilderness, Marin Headlands and Glacier National working with our kids and hiking or backpacking in out-standing country. Volunteer opportunities are also available for weekend outings in the Houston area in spring and fall.
Major Events: The Walk For The Woods held each spring, the Fall Luncheon held each fall.
Natalie Hausman-Weiss, Executive Director
Brittany White, Assistant Director
Kelsey Bechelli, Alumni and School Year Program Manager
Houston Climate Protection Alliance
Purpose: Houston Climate Protection Alliance connects residents of the greater Houston-Galveston region concerned about global warming so we can learn and act together.
Meetings: First Sundays of each month at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 5200 Fannin at Southmore. Time is usually 1:15 p.m., but please call to confirm and for topic information.
Programs: Speakers are available to give presentations to your class or school group.
Tim Mock, Co-Chair
Dr. Louis C. Smith, Co-Chair
Nancy Edwards, Treasurer
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 Southern University, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs
Purpose: The Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs has a reputation as a comprehensive center for sound academic research. Scholars focus on a broad range of topics, including voting behavior, American foreign policy and international relations, political communication, criminal justice attitudes and behavior, police violence, environmental justice, race and crime, race and governance, policy studies, leadership, E-government, homeland security, urban transportation, housing and community development, Diaspora studies, environmental planning, economic development and the fiscal responsibility of urban governments.
Check online for information about degrees offered at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
Programs: Research, Policy Advocacy, Campus Sustainability Initiatives, Educational Seminars, Lectures, and Workshops
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteer and student internships; study abroad
Dr. Michael Adams, Interim Chair for Dept. of Political Science
Dr. Gautam Nayer, Interim Chair for Admin. of Justice
Dr. Sheri Smith, Interim Chair for Dept. of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy
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
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 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
Purpose: Urban Harvest encourages community, good nutrition and sustainability through the teaching and support of organic gardening.
Programs: Every year, Urban Harvest conducts more than 100 classes on a variety of subjects ranging from canning vegetables to living sustainably through permaculture priniciples. We offer advice, education, and services to provide parents, teachers, and administrators with information to build and maintain a successful and sustainable school garden program. The Urban Harvest Farmers Markets bring the bounty of the garden to Houstonians several times a week year round, rain or shine. Urban Harvest supports more than 130 community gardens planted with a variety of goals. Urban Harvest provides gardening advice through classes, programs, books, and extensive resources online.
Major Events: Fruit Tree Sale.
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers are essential for Urban Harvest to fulfill its mission. Whether as a Farmers Market assistant or volunteering at a school garden build, we need your help!
Publications: Quarterly newsletter Growing Season; Book: Year Round Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers for Metro Houston by Bob Randall, Ph.D.
Heather Houston, Interim Executive Director
Libby Kennedy, Director of Development
KPFT 90.1 FM
Purpose: To establish a foundation organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes, in which no part of the net earnings inures to the benefit of any member of the Foundation. We promote and aid other creative activities which will serve the cultural welfare of the community, and offer performance facilities to amateur musical performers, choral groups, orchestral groups and music students.
Programs: KPFT (90.1FM) broadcasts radio programs 24/7/365. As a part of the Pacifica Network, KPFT airs Democracy Now three times daily; this program features the news of the day as well as special reports and interviews with leading environmental and political figures from around the globe. KPFT’s local nightly news at 4PM. Eco-ology, Thresholds, and Progressive Forum put a spotlight on the environment and other topical issues.
Volunteer Opportunities: Almost all programmers at KPFT are volunteers.
Speaker’s Bureau: KPFT’s Outreach Committee, staffed mainly by volunteers, serves in this capacity. Members of management are also available to speak when their schedules permit.
Publications: KPFT produces a folio from time to time. It includes a full listing of the programs provided by KPFT; lots of information is on the website.
Larry Winters, Interim General Manager
Robin Lewis, Development Director
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]