Keeping you up to date on the community planning, economic development,
and environmental planning programs at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Upcoming Events
Bringing Back Main Street Logo
Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable - April 24

The next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable will be from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, April 24, at the City of Liberty Council Chambers, 1829 Sam Houston Street, Liberty. Participants will hear about the wide range of services available from the USDA Office of Rural Development and will get a breakdown of annual grant opportunities for downtown revitalization from H-GAC staff.

These roundtables help local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development interests promote the economy and revitalization of downtown areas. Learn about these roundtables online.

Online RSVP is requested.

For more information, contact Clint McManus at 832-681-2513.

Interactive Planning Tools Seminar Series graphic
Interactive Planning Tools Seminar Series - April 26

H-GAC is hosting a series of seminars and hands-on workshops to instruct users on H-GAC's interactive web applications for community and transportation planning.

The second seminar will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at H-GAC Training Room, Second Floor. The focus will be on the Regional Employment Snapshot and Commuting Patterns Tool which provides quick and easy access to US Census Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) data.

Participants will have access to computers to participate in an interactive hands-on session to master the use of these online applications. Space is limited to 16 in-person attendees, and registration is required.

webinar option is also available; however, hands-on activities will be presented to in-person attendees only.

The third seminar and workshop in the series will be Seminar 3: Activity-Connectivity Explorer - Thursday, May 24.

For more information, e-mail cegis@h-gac.com.

Texas Clean Rivers Logo
Annual Basin Steering Committee Meeting - May 1

The annual Clean Rivers Program Basin Steering Committee will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, 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

Texas Stream Team Volunteer sampling at water's edge
Texas Stream Team Training -  May 4

Registration is open for a Texas Stream Team Phase I and II training from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 4, at Buffalo Bayou Partnership, 1019 Commerce St., Suite 200, Houston. This training is for volunteers who wish to monitor in the greater Houston area. Registration is limited to 20 volunteers.

Volunteers complete three phases of training using a test kit that measures physical and chemical parameters in water. Volunteers are asked to monitor their site(s) monthly at the same time of day each month, for a two-year commitment. Monitoring takes approximately one to two hours per month per site.

Learn more about H-GAC's Texas Stream Team three-phase training program online. For more information, email Stream.Team@h-gac.com or call 713-993-2410.

On-Site Sewage System Education logo
On-Site Sewage System Homeowner Education Course - May 5

H-GAC, in collaboration with the Galveston Bay Foundation and Texas AgriLife Extension, is offering a free, three-hour course about on-site sewage systems from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 5, at the Sam and Carmena Goss Memorial Branch Library, 1 John Hall Drive, Mont Belvieu. Registration is requested.
 
Participants will receive an overview of the two types of systems (conventional and aerobic), information on system maintenance and inspection, and details on available resources to maintain, repair and replace aging systems. This course is designed to instruct and educate homeowners on the basics of conventional septic and aerobic systems maintenance and visual inspection. It does not provide for or allow homeowners to inspect their own aerobic system in place of a maintenance contract.
 
For more information, contact Justin Bower at 713-499-6653.  

Parks and Natural Areas logo
Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable Field Trip - May 14 

Make plans to attend the Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable spring field trip from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, May 14, at Josey Lake Park-Bridgeland.
 
The field trip begins with a tour of the award-winning Josey Lake Park. We will begin our tour at the Boat House, 18908 Bridgeland Creek Parkway, Cypress, and will end with lunch at the park, provided by the Howard Hughes Corporation.
 
The field trip is free to attend; however, registration is required by Wednesday, May 8, to ensure we have enough box lunches for everyone.

The Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable serves as a forum for discussion of issues related to parks and natural areas in the H-GAC region and is open to anyone who would like to participate. 

For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.

Regional Recycling Roundtable - 
May 17

The Regional Recycling Roundtable will be from 10 .am. to noon, Thursday, May 17, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.

The topic is policy changes related to waste and recycling. The featured presenter is Maia Corbitt, Director of Governmental Affairs, Booth, Ahrens, & Werkenthin, P.C.
 
This roundtable series provides education/outreach to bring new ideas and knowledge to local governments, solid waste businesses, and interested residents on a wide range of recycling-related topics.
 
Registration is requested. For more information, contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410.

Long Term Economic Recovery, Resilience Workshop

Save the date for a Long Term Economic Recovery and Resilience Workshop scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

The workshop will bring together local governments and economic development organizations and highlight state and federal resources for long-term Hurricane Harvey recovery.

Additional details, including registration, will be available soon. For more information, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.

pile of debris in front of a home following a flood event
Long Term Debris Operations Workshop - May 24

Save the date for the second workshop in the 2018 Debris Workshop SeriesLong Term Debris Operations will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

During this workshop, participants will look beyond the first six months of debris management operations and examine aspects of recovery that could span a year or longer. 

Topics include:
  • Demolition
  • Debris removal from waterways
  • Getting extensions from FEMA for debris operations
  • Identification of mitigation opportunities
  • Documenting and applying lessons learned to improve future response to debris generating incidents
Register to attend in person. Register to attend via webinar. For more information, contact  Erin Livingston at 713-993-2525.

Announcements
montgomery county recycling drop off facility
H-GAC Application for Solid Waste Grants Closes April 19

Each year, H-GAC receives pass-through funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to fund solid waste grant projects throughout the 13-county region. Funds for this program come from a portion of the money collected as tipping fees at Texas landfills.  

H-GAC will award $516,157 for solid waste grant projects during fiscal year 2019. The application period will close at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 19. 

 For more information about the grant program, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Employment snapshot screenshot
H-GAC Launches Regional Employment Snapshot App

H-GAC recently launched a new interactive web application, the Regional Employment Snapshot. This is an interactive tool providing a summary of key workplace employment characteristics for a user-defined geography in the 13-county H-GAC region.

The data is based on Workplace Area Characteristics (WAC) from US Census LEHD (Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics) and is available at County, City, Census Tract and 1-Square-Mile Hexagonal Grid levels.  


Trash Bash Wins Major Award

The River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash has been honored with the 2018 Texas Environmental Excellence Award (TEEA) in the Civic/Community category. Site coordinators, volunteers, sponsors, and vendors worked together to make this. 

TEEA awards recognize and celebrate the bold efforts of residents, communities, business, and organizations to preserve and protect the Texas environment. See all the 2018 category winners.
 
Trash Bash held its 25th consecutive waterway cleanup in the Galveston Bay watershed on March 24. 

Learn more about Trash Bash and its impact online.

Equal Housing Opportunity Logo
Fair Housing Choice: It's Not an Option, It's the Law 

H-GAC recognizes April as Fair Housing Month and reminds everyone that the Federal Fair Housing Act makes discrimination in housing against the law. In any decision regarding rental, sales, or lending, it is illegal to consider race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or family status.

If you feel your fair housing rights have been violated, all complaints and comments should be addressed to the office of 
U.S. Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777.

2045 RTP Public Meetings are Underway

H-GAC projects that nearly 11 million people will live in the region by 2045. The expected changes in population, economic growth, and jobs will impact everyone in the Houston-Galveston area.

Engaging people in conversation about the region's current and future transportation needs is of utmost importance. The 2045 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), which prioritizes spending on transportation projects, gives people an opportunity to weigh in on short- and long- range strategies moving forward.

The planning team values stakeholder feedback and encourages active participation in the RTP process. To allow for maximum attendance and involvement, numerous meetings are scheduled throughout the region. Anyone wanting to voice comments and concerns about the future of the region's transportation system can attend an upcoming meeting.

H-GAC 2040 Regional Pedestrian & Bicycle Plan graphic with icons
H-GAC Seeks Bicycle/Pedestrian Information to Update Plan

H-GAC is updating the Regional Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan. As part of the planning process for the new plan, H-GAC is looking for feedback from the public on pedestrian and bicycle topics. 

Area residents are asked to complete one or both of these surveys.
More information about the Regional Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan is available online.

Screen shot of HGACBuy website
HGACBuy Cooperative Purchase Program Launches New Website 

HGACBuy, H-GAC's cooperative purchasing program, recently launched their new website www.hgacbuy.org.
 
The new website features a homepage and five sections of information for users to easily find what they need. The updated homepage offers added user-friendly features, such as short cuts to frequently visited pages and links. The About the Cooperative tab is the place to visit to find information about what HGACBuy does and how they do it. Information in this tab covers everything from how to make purchases using HGACBuy to looking for a list of HGACBuy end users and staff.
 
The Resources tab contains 11 subcategories for users and vendors to locate information, such as an event calendar, current contract documents, guides to becoming an end user or a contractor, and more.

Other tabs include Bid Notices, with listing of current and 2016-2017 bid notices; Products and Services, where users can explore categories and vendors available through the program; and HGACEnergy, where local governments can learn more about prenegotiated electricity provider contracts.

Stay tuned to HGACBuy's Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for more information, including an instructional video coming soon.

Partner Announcements
Galveston Bay estuary program logo
Galveston Bay Plan, 2nd Edition Public Comment Period
The Galveston Bay Estuary Program seeks to protect and restore the Galveston Bay estuary through The Galveston Bay Plan. Originally published in 1995, The Galveston Bay Plan has been revised to offer additional strategies for preserving Galveston Bay for generations to come. Public comment on The Galveston Bay Plan, 2nd Edition draft is crucial to its success and can be made online through the project website through Wednesday, April 4For more information, e-mail Kathy Janhsen.

Texas Main Street Designation Application
Texas Historical Commission Logo
The Texas Historical Commission is now accepting applications from cities interested in becoming designated Main Street Communities. Each year, the Texas Historical Commission may select up to five cities for official Main Street Designation. Communities selected this year will enter the program in January 2019. Main Street is an economic development program focusing on small business development, using reuse of historic properties and historic preservation as primary tools. Optional letters of intent are due Friday, April 27. Full applications are due Tuesday, July 31. Main Street communities in the region are Bay City, Huntsville, Rosenberg, and Sealy.

Keep Texas Beautiful Awards and Call for Conference Speakers
Keep Texas Beautiful logo
Each year, Keep Texas Beautiful
 (KTB) honors extraordinary students and educators working to improve and beautify their communities. Youth and Educator Awards nominations open Tuesday, March 6. Applications are due Monday, April 30. 

KTB is seeking proposals for speakers for the 51st Annual Keep Texas Beautiful Conference June 11-13 in Georgetown. This three-day, multi-track format offers attendees a variety of education sessions and interactive forums. Presentations are designed for all levels of experience, and KTB looks for a wide variety of topics.

SECO Remote Energy Audit Pilot Program
SECO
The State Energy Conservation Office's new Remote Energy Audit Program will help improve the energy efficiency of public buildings in Texas. The program identifies operational and capital-related energy efficiency savings opportunities without on-site visits. Remote audits will be provided at no cost to selected public entities to help reduce energy bills, freeing up operating dollars for other needs and improving the usability and comfort of facilities. For more information or to request a remote energy audit of your public building, visit SECO's Remote Energy Audit webpage.

STAR Summit Exhibitor, Sponsor Packets Available
STAR Logo
State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) 2018 Summit exhibitor and sponsor packets are now available for the annual conference set for October 28-31 in Galveston. Approximately 200 to 300 professionals representing private sector companies, local/state federal government, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and trade associations attend the summit each year. The summit features educational sessions, equipment demonstrations, round table discussions, and training opportunities. Early bird exhibitor prices are good through June 15 and include discounted conference registrations. Various levels of sponsorships are available, and the deadline to guarantee sponsorship benefits is Wednesday, August 1.
More Upcoming Events
Great American Cleanup Registration
Great American Cleanup Logo
Registration continues for Keep Texas Beautiful's Great American Cleanup for events held March 1 to May 31. Groups planning an event can register to gain access to resources and materials for planning, promoting, and hosting the event, such as trash bags, banners, gloves, and giveaways.

Planning for Resilient Communities Workshop
Texas A&M Texas Target Communities and the Texas Rural Leadership Program will present a Planning for Resilient Communities Workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 6, at the Cleveland Civic Center, 210 Peach Avenue, Cleveland. The workshop will provide information, tools, and resources for communities ready to take the next step in their recovery work. Lunch will be provided. Participants are asked to bring their laptops. The event is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP to Dee Dee Leverett at 979-845-6066.

Texas Water Development Board Regional Financial Assistance Workshop
Texas Water Development Board logo
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will host a regional financial assistance workshop at 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 10, at Sugar Land Public Works Training Room, 111 Gillingham Lane, Sugar Land. To register, please email your name, title, entity, email, telephone contact information and the workshop location you are planning to attend to srfworkshops@twdb.texas.gov. TWDB offers funding for public works infrastructure, including drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater projects. The TWDB has $90 million designated for disaster recovery for the region impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

SPEER Summit
SPEER Logo
The South-Central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER) is hosting the 2018 SPEER Summit April 12 and 13 in Austin. In addition to keynote speakers, the summit hosts discussions covering all aspects of energy efficiency and energy policy. This year's summit will also include panels and discussions on air quality, transportation, and industrial efficiency. Registration is $550 for nonmembers.

Exploration Green Wetlands Planting and Grand Opening
Exploration Green Logo
Volunteers are needed to plant native species in the shallow areas in the newest portion of the lake at Exploration Green Nature Park from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays, April 14 and 21 and May 5 and 19. This planting will provide habitat and help reduce runoff pollution. Parking is at 16203 Diana Lane, Houston. Children over 12 are welcome with their families. Tools will be provided. For more information and to RSVP, contact Mary Carol Edwards

Bay Area Houston residents are invited to celebrate the opening of Exploration Green's first section from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at 16200 Diana Lane near the Clear Lake Freeman Library. Exploration Green is a 200-acre green space dedicated to flood mitigation, conservation and recreation. The grand opening celebration will feature a ceremony to commemorate the opening, fun activities for all ages, informative environmental and flood detention booths, and tours around the site's naturalized areas.

Earth Day Houston
Earth Day Houston, hosted by the Citizens' Environmental Coalition and Discovery Green Conservancy, will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 22, at Discovery Green. Presented by Green Mountain Energy, Earth Day Houston is designed to inspire and encourage action. The event will feature displays, exhibits and booths on topics ranging from alternative energy to recycling methods, a foodie farmers market, Canned Acoustica, recycling and more.

DEA Prescription Take Back 
DEA Prescription Drug Graphic
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will host its National Prescription Drug Take Back event in communities across the country from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28. The national event aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the medications and the potential for abuse. A list of collection sites is available on the DEA website.
Funding Sources
US Economic Development Administration logo
EDA Harvey Recovery Grants

The Economic Development Administration is seeking potential projects needed to aid local economies in recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

The EDA Austin Region has received approximately $100 million in funding for economic recovery for Hurricane Harvey. No NOFA has been released, but potential projects should have many of the same requirements as the 2017 EDA Public Works Grant Requirements. Broad outlines for the grant include, the following: 
  • Eligible applicants include governments, nonprofits, and educational institutions.  
  • Projects require an 20% match.
  • Typical projects range from $1 million to $2.5 million.
  • First round of 14-15 applications anticipated to be funded by September 2018, with 1 or 2 subsequent rounds of funding.
  • Must demonstrate a connection to Hurricane Harvey, in terms of economic recovery or resilience.

Tree with $ Money
H-GAC has compiled a list of local, regional, state, federal, and private funding sources for local governments and other organizations. H-GAC also maintains a list of ongoing funding opportunities for parks improvements.

If you know of a funding opportunity, forward it to Andrea Tantillo.

All content, including links to websites, is for informational purposes only. Users of this content are responsible for checking its accuracy, currency, and suitability.
Community and Environmental Planning Programs
GIS Globes
Mapping Applications
Looking for interactive applications or GIS data related to the H-GAC Community and Environmental Planning Department? Visit H-GAC's interactive applications web page to see the latest information, including Census, Regional Forecast, and more.
 
Facebook
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H-GAC has a Facebook page where information about current and upcoming events is posted. Please visit and like H-GAC's page. While there, visit other H-GAC pages on Facebook, including Recycling, Trash Bash, Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG), West Fork Watersheds Partnership, and Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership.

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Twitter
Find the latest information about activities around the region at H-GAC's Twitter feed @hgaccog. H-GAC's water resources program also offers Twitter updates on water quality issues in the region @HGACwater.
Texas Bluebonnets in Austin County. Photo by Jean Wright.

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Houston-Galveston Area Council, PO Box 22777, Houston, TX 77227-2777
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