Keeping you up to date on the many community planning, economic development, and environmental planning programs going on at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Waterway and community cleanups, trainings, funding opportunities, and more.
Upcoming Events
Trash Bash Volunteers picking up trash
Trash Bash Set for March 25

Come clean it like you mean it at the 24th River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash on Saturday, March 25. Join thousands of volunteers to pick up trash at the largest, single-day waterway cleanup in Texas.

Volunteers get a t-shirt and lunch, and participants can win great prizes. After cleaning up, volunteers can learn more about water quality in the educational exhibits area.

With 14 locations in the region, there's sure to be a location near where you live, work, or play. Find a location and get your registration waiver form at

Stream Team volunteers testing water quality
H-GAC Texas Stream Team Training Set for March 3

H-GAC, the City of Sugar Land, and Keep Sugar Land Beautiful will host Texas Stream Team Phase I and Phase II training from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 3, at Eldridge Park, 2511 Eldridge Road, Sugar Land.

This training is open to potential volunteer monitors from across the region. Candidates interested in monitoring for at least two years in the Sugar Land area will be given preference for this training if registration reaches capacity.


For registration information, contact Vicki Gist at 281-313-5752. Learn more about H-GAC's Texas Stream Team program.  

United State Census 2020
U.S. Census Bureau Road to 2020 Meeting to be March 9

H-GAC and the U.S. Census Bureau are hosting The Road to 2020 meeting from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, March 9, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

The Census in 2020 will require counting an increasingly diverse and growing population of around 330 million people in more than 140 million housing units. To get an accurate count, the Census Bureau must build an accurate address list of every housing unit, maximize self-response to the Census, and efficiently follow up with those who do not respond.

Learn what your community needs to do to get ready, including:
  • Timeline
  • Geography Programs
  • Critical State and Local Government Involvement
  • Jobs and Recruiting
Registration information is available online. For more information, contact Angeles Ortega at 303-653-1798.

West Fork Watersheds Partnership
West Fork Watersheds Partnership to Meet March 9

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and H-GAC will hold a public meeting of the West Fork Watersheds Partnership, an effort to address water quality issues in the West Fork of the San Jacinto River and Lake Creek.

The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9, at the San Jacinto River Authority Offices, 1577 Dam Site Road, Conroe. Participants will learn about modeling results and will be asked for feedback.

The meeting is open to the public.
For more information, contact Justin Bower at 713-499-6653.

Mandell Park Walking Trail and Open Spaces
Parks and Natural Areas Subcommittee to Meet March 13

The next meeting of the Parks and Natural Areas (PNA) Subcommittee will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 13, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.

Agenda items include:
  • Lessons Learned from 2016 PNA Awards
  • Finding Support, Including Funding Resources, for Parks Projects
  • The Conservation Fund
Online RSVP is requested. The PNA Subcommittee meets the second Monday of January, March, May, July, September, and November and is open to anyone interested in participating. To join the mailing list to get updates about meetings and activities, e-mail  Andrea Tantillo.

Clean Waters Initiative Logo
CWI Workshop to Focus on Land Use Management Techniques


Register today for the next Clean Waters Initiative (CWI) workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, at H-GAC Conference Rooms B-C, Second Floor.


The topic for this workshop is Land Use Management Techniques, including presentations from representatives from the Bayou Land Conservancy, Galveston Bay Foundation, and Katy Prairie Conservancy.


The CWI program offers workshops helping local governments, landowners, and residents develop effective strategies to reduce water pollution.


For more information, contact Kathy Janhsen at 713-993-2423.

GIS Expo Map face, H-GAC and TransStar logos
Houston Regional GIS Expo 2017
Set for March 23

The Houston Regional GIS Expo 2017, presented by the H-GAC Geographic Data Workgroup with Houston TranStar, will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at Houston TranStar, 6922 Katy Road, Houston.

The expo will highlight the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology by Harris County area government agencies, law enforcement, private industry, and the education community.

The agenda features keynote speaker Sarah Harling discussing Cartography at Apple: The Intersection of Technology and the Liberal Arts. Additional presentations include representatives from Harris County, Houston Independent School District, City of Houston, ESRI, Houston Airport System, and H-GAC. Exhibits include real-time demonstrations of GIS systems used in Harris County, tours of TranStar and the Harris County Office of Emergency Management, and high-tech GIS/GPS vehicles and drones.

GIS professionals and students are invited to submit maps for inclusion in the Map Gallery Competition. Maps will be judged by a panel based on cartographic design and content/analytical presentation. Awards will be given to the top three winners in each category. Maps must be submitted to Melvic Degracia by noon Tuesday, March 21.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration information is available online.
For more information about the expo, contact Brooks Andrews at 713-993-4519. For more information about the map gallery competition, contact Melvic Degracia at 713-204-1204.

Bringing Back Main Street Logo
Revitalization Roundtable Planned for April 25 in Wharton

The next H-GAC Bringing Back Main Street Revitalization Roundtable, from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, April 25, at Caney Creek Church, 118 West Milam St., Wharton. 

The topic is leveraging historic preservation as part of downtown revitalization efforts and will include a short walking tour. These roundtables help local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development interests promote the economy and revitalization of downtown areas.  

Register hereLearn more about Bringing Back Main Street or contact Clint McManus at 832-681-2513 for more information.

More Upcoming Events
Great American Cleanup Begins
Great American Cleanup Logo 
Keep Texas Beautiful's Great American Cleanup events will be March 1 to May 31. Events are scheduled across the state, including The WoodlandsSaturday, March 25; Brazoria County, Saturday, April 1; Richmond, Saturday, April 22; and Alvin, Saturday, May 6. More events are being added to the Great American Cleanup calendar every day.

EPA Star Grant Webcast Series
EPA Logo
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Wastewater Management's Making Stormwater Work For You: 2017 Green Infrastructure webcast series begins Tuesday, March 14. The webcast is from noon to 1:30 p.m. The series is free, but registration is required.

Water Laboratory Alliance Security Summit
WLA Logo
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Region 6 and the Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) invite representatives of drinking water utilities, state and local laboratories, and the emergency response, public information and first responder communities to register for the free WLA Security Summit on  March 15-16. Participants will learn about WLA program elements, practice the WLA Response Plan (WLA-RP) for water contamination incident response and gain hands-on experience with EPA security-related tools and resources. The summit will be at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square, 16090 City Walk, Sugar Land. The last day to register is Tuesday, March 7.

Sustainable Materials Management Webinar Series
National Recycling Coalition logo 
The National Recycling Coalition will present a webinar, Closed Loop Fund Update, from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 21. This webinar is part of the Sustainable Materials Management Series. Future webinars include Keys to Successful Plastics Recycling, Tuesday, April 18; Zero Waste in New York: Challenges and Opportunities, Tuesday, May 16; and Building Relationships with Regulatory Agencies, Tuesday, June 20.

Annual Harris County Onsite Wastewater Seminar                                
Harris County logo
Plans are underway for the seventh annual Harris County Onsite Wastewater Seminar scheduled for Tuesday, May 30. Registration will open in April. Forward your suggestions for topics to Danielle Cioce.

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 29. 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 potential for abuse and medications. A list of collection sites will be available on the DEA website Saturday, April 1.

Recreational Trails Program 2017 Achievement Awards
Coalition for Recreation Trails logo
The Coalition for Recreational Trails will present its 19th annual Recreational Trails Program Achievement Awards in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, June 14. Award winners will be selected from projects nominated by public agencies, trail administrators, or other project sponsors. Project award categories include construction and design, maintenance and rehabilitation, public-private partnerships and access to public lands, community linkage, education and communication, accessibility enhancement, multiple-use management and "corridor sharing," use of youth conservation/service corps and community outreach, and engaging public sector partners. Nominations are due by Thursday, April 13.

CEC logo
Greater Houston Environmental Summit
Save the date for the Citizens' Environmental Coalition annual Greater Houston Environmental Summit from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, August 4, at the United Way of Greater Houston.
Erin Livingston with Solid Waste Planner of the Year plaque
Erin Livingston Named Solid Waste Planner of the Year 

Erin Livingston, Senior Environmental Planner at H-GAC, was named 2016 Solid Waste Planner of the Year by the Texas Association of Regional Councils (TARC). She received this recognition during the biannual meeting on February 1.

Erin oversees the day-to-day operations of H-GAC's solid waste programs, including the solid waste grant program; review of solid waste facility permit applications; regional contracts for used electronics and household hazardous waste; trainings on recycling, environmental enforcement, and storm debris; and other special projects.

Each year TARC presents the award to a solid waste planner from one of the regional councils of governments in Texas in recognition of commitment to improving environmental quality and providing assistance in grant funding or solid waste issues.

Recycling Star Sticker
Elementary School Recycling Books, Stickers Available

H-GAC offers a printable, 16-page activity book for children with fun and educational recycling-themed puzzles and activities. The book for early elementary includes word search games, mazes, connect the dots, and coloring pages. The book for late elementary includes word search games, mazes, math mashups, and secret code deciphering. Answer pages are included in both books. Coordinating stickers are also available.

The books can be printed from the website. Books and stickers can be picked up at the H-GAC offices with advanced notice. Contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525 for more information or to request printed books and stickers.

Partner Announcements

Texas Water Development Board Drinking Water Projects Request
Texas Water Development Board logo
The Texas Water Development Board requests information for projects to be funded in the upcoming fiscal year's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs' Intended Use Plans. To be to be included in the initial Project Priority List for State Fiscal Year 2018, entities must submit a completed Project Information Form by 5 p.m. Friday, March 3.

2017 Excellence in Regional Transportation Awards 
National Association of Development Organizations logo
The National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation's Center for Transportation Advancement and Regional Development is accepting applications for the 2017 Excellence in Regional Transportation Awards. The application deadline is Friday, March 17. 

Scenic City Certification Program
The Scenic City Certification Program, a project of Scenic Texas in cooperation with H-GAC, Texas Municipal League, and additional partners, will accept 2017 applications through Friday, March 31. The program supplies cities an objective review of existing infrastructure ordinances for public roadways and public spaces, evaluated against the Scenic City model.

Keep Texas Beautiful Youth and Educator Awards
Keep Texas Beautiful logo
The Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) Youth and Educator Awards honor extraordinary students, educators, and volunteers working to improve and beautify their communities. Awards are given in a number of categories, to elementary through college-level youth as well as educators and youth organizers. Application information will be available soon. The deadline to submit an application is Tuesday, May 2.

Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program 
TxDOT logo
The Texas Department of Transportation Call for Projects under its Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TA Set-Aside) Program is now open for areas with a population of 200,000 or less. Federal TA Set-Aside funding administered by TxDOT will be for construction activities only. Eligible projects are limited to pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. The deadline to apply is Monday, May 22.
Funding Sources
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 web applications web page to see the latest information, including Census, Regional Forecast, and more.
Community Enhancement Grants help municipalities, counties, and nonprofit organizations enhance public spaces, such as gateways, parks, waterfronts, and business districts.
H-GAC's Community and Environmental Planning Department currently manages three loan programs: Small Business Administration 504 Loan Program, Business Loan Fund, and Government Loan Fund.

find us on facebook
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.

Twitter Logo
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, including fish consumption advisories, @HGACwater.
Banner Photo: Trash Bash volunteers in 2016 at Dickinson Bayou take a break from cleaning up trash to enjoy lunch. Trash Bash will be held again this year on Saturday, March 25. (Photo by Hon. Julie Masters, Mayor of Dickinson)
Would you like us to consider featuring your municipality, program, or regional photo on the C&E Planning Update banner? Just forward Andrea Tantillo your picture, along with some information about the subject and the photographer, and you might see it in a future month's newsletter.  
Houston-Galveston Area Council, PO Box 22777, Houston, TX 77227-2777
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