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
Workshops, award winners, new interactive app features, funding opportunities, and more.
Upcoming Events
Upper Oyster Creek
Annual Upper Oyster Creek Stakeholder Meeting is April 13

The annual stakeholder meeting for the Upper Oyster Creek TMDL I-Plan Group will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, at the Cane Room, Sugar Land City Hall, 2700 North Town Center Blvd., Sugar Land.

 

The meeting will include a review of current water quality data, progress made toward implementing the I-Plan in the past year, and planning for 2017-18. The meeting is open to the public.

 

For more information, contact Justin Bower at 713-499-6653.


Bringing Back Main Street Logo
Revitalization Roundtable to be April 25 in Wharton

The next H-GAC Bringing Back Main Street Revitalization Roundtable will be 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.  

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

Environmental Enforcement Roundtable
Save the Date for Environmental Enforcement Roundtable on May 4

Mark your calendars for the next Environmental Enforcement Roundtable from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 4, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. The topic will be Fighting Illegal Dumping in Unincorporated Areas.

 

H-GAC hosts periodic workshops and roundtables to provide a forum for learning about and discussing illegal dumping and related issues within the region. The group includes peace officers, county prosecutors, city officials, and personnel from TCEQ's Region 12 office.

 

Registration is requested. For more information, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.


Cypress Creek Hike and Bike Trail
PNA Field Trip to Visit Cypress Creek Hike and Bike Trail May 15

Make plans to attend the Parks and Natural Areas (PNA) Subcommittee spring field trip from noon to 3:30 p.m. Monday, May 15, at the Cypress Creek Hike and Bike Trail.

 

The field trip begins with lunch, provided by Timber Lane Utility District, followed by a walking and driving tour of the trail. Vehicles will be provided by Harris County Precinct 4 and Timber Lane Utility District. Lunch begins at noon at 2615 Ciderwood Drive, Spring.

 

The field trip is free to attend; however, registration is required by Tuesday, May 9. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.


Recycling Bin
Regional Roundtable to Look at Plastics Recycling May 18

The next Regional Recycling Roundtable will be from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 18, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. The topic will focus on innovative ways to recycle plastic.

 

H-GAC hosts quarterly Regional Recycling Roundtables to promote recycling and waste reduction and provide a forum for discussion about recycling issues within the region.

 

Registration is requested. For more information, contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410.

More Upcoming Events

Earth Day Activities
More than a dozen Earth Day activities are planned in the Houston area in April. The Citizens' Environmental Coalition has compiled a list on their calendar. The annual Earth Day Art Contest Auction is now underway. Register and bid on student artwork from across the region. The auction ends on Sunday, April 30.

Great American Cleanup Begins
Great American Cleanup Logo
Keep Texas Beautiful's Great American Cleanup events continue through the end of May. Events are scheduled across the state, including Richmond, Saturday, April 22; Katy, Saturday, April 29; and Alvin, Saturday, May 6. More events are being added to the Great American Cleanup calendar every day.

STAR Zero Waste Events Webinar
STAR Logo
The State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) will present Zero Waste Events: Best Practices & Case Studies from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 4. This free webinar will showcase best practices and real-life examples of how to run successful zero waste events. Three communities and one waste hauler will share experiences, advice, and recommendations. Registration is required.

NADO Research Foundation Webinar
National Association of Development Organizations logo
The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation will present Better Planning Through Better Data: A Closer Look at the StatsAmerica Innovation Index 2.0 from 1:00 to 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 4. This free webinar will take a closer look the Innovation Index 2.0, a free economic development web resource. Registration is required.

Water Wise Bay Cities Challenge
Galveston Bay Water Brigade logo
The Water Wise Bay Cities Challenge continues through Wednesday, May 10. Residents of 20 Bay Area (southeastern Houston) cities can pledge to conserve water. The three cities with the most pledges will win, and one resident from each city will be randomly selected to win a prize. Winners will be announced at the Galveston Bay Foundation's Bay Day in Kemah on Saturday, May 13

Galveston County Household Hazardous Waste Collection
HHW Flyer
The City of League City, City of Dickinson, and Keep Dickinson Beautiful have teamed together, with a grant from H-GAC and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, to host a household hazardous waste collection event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at Gulf Greyhound Park, 1000 FM 2004, La Marque. The event is open to all Galveston County residents.

Building Support for Waste Reduction Programs Webinar
The College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC) 2017 Webinar Series continues with Building Support for Waste Reduction Programs from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13. The webinar will focus on gaining stakeholder buy-in for achieving recycling or zero waste goals. Registration is required.
 
Exploration Green Wetland Planting Days
Exploration Green Conservancy Logo
Volunteers are needed to plant native species in the shallow areas of a new lake at Exploration Green from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays, April 15 and 29 and May 13 and 27. This planting will provide habitat and help reduce runoff pollution. Volunteers should enter the park at the bridge at 1800 Reseda, Houston. Children over 12 are welcome with their family. Tools will be provided.  For more information, contact Mary Carol Edwards.

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

Marsh Mania
Galveston Bay Foundation Logo
The Galveston Bay Foundation Marsh Mania 2017 will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 22. Volunteers help restore lost marsh around Galveston Bay with sites in Dickinson and Anahuac. Space is limited, and registration is required. 

Harris County Onsite Wastewater Seminar                                
Harris County logo

Registration is now open for the seventh annual Harris County Wastewater Seminar. The seminar will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 30, at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston. For more information or to submit questions for an Ask the Expert session focused on maintenance issues, contact 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 is available on the DEA website.

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, 50 Waugh Drive, Houston.
Announcements
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.

Thushara Ranatunga with his award-winning poster
Thushara Ranatunga
H-GAC Staff Earns Recognition at Houston Regional GIS Expo

Thushara Ranatunga, H-GAC Senior Environmental Modeler, earned recognition at the 2017 Houston Regional GIS Expo for a presentation on developing a new regional land use-land cover dataset.

The project won second place in the Content/Analytical Presentation category during the event in March. The new dataset includes different developed and non-developed land categories in a 15-county region. It was produced based on Landsat satellite data and aerial imageries using GIS and remote sensing technologies. 

Demographic Data Explorer Thumbnail
Identify Areas in Distress with Feature in Demographic Data Explorer App

H-GAC's Demographic Data Explorer application now offers a feature to help identify areas in distress based on poverty rate, unemployment rate, and median household income. Users can perform a query based on a single demographic attribute or a composite of all three. To access the Demographic Data Explorer, visit the Interactive Web Applications page and select keyword "Census."

To identify areas in distress
  1. Click on the "Measure Distress" widget.
  2. Select a geography from the dropdown menu (Counties, Census Places, Census Tracts, Block Groups, or Zip Codes).
  3. Select a demographic attribute (selecting "Composite" performs the query using all three attributes combined).
  4. Enter the values for selected demographic attribute.
  5. Click "Search".
The results are displayed and available for download as a spreadsheet by clicking on "Options" in the table window.

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

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.

Timothy Oyewale and Mike Minton
Timothy Oyewale and
Mike Minton
H-GALDC Welcomes New Loan Processing Team Members

Mike Minton, Business Development Officer, and Timothy Oyewale, Loan Processor, have joined the Houston-Galveston Area Local Development Corporation (H-GALDC) as the Loan Processing Team for the Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and the Business and Government loan funds.

              

Mr. Minton brings over three decades of experience to H-GALDC. He served as Director of Economic Development for the Ark-Tex Council of Governments, Executive Director of the Ark-Tex Regional Development Company for nine counties in northeast Texas and Miller County, Arkansas. His business and development accomplishments resulted in a nomination from the Texas Chamber of Commerce as East Texan of the Year, SBA Dallas District Small Business Person of the Year, SBA Top 100 Small Business, and the 2012 State of Texas SBA Small Business Person of the Year.

              

Mr. Oyewale has mortgage experience and has held  positions as a loan processor/loan specialist. He has over five years of experience processing loans.

 

The SBA 504 Loan Program is designed to help for-profit businesses buy or build owner-occupied real estate and/or purchase capital equipment with a useful life of 10 years or more. Projects typically range from $500,000 to $10 million. The Business Loan Fund helps finance new or expanding small businesses when traditional funding isn't available or isn't enough. The Government Loan Fund provides loans to local government entities and special districts for infrastructure improvements, equipment, land/building acquisition, and other qualified projects.


Keep Texas Beautiful
Communities Receive KTB Governor's Achievement Awards Recognition

Four communities in the Houston-Galveston Region have received recognition by the Keep Texas Beautiful Governor's Community Achievement Awards. Cities from across the state applied for funding for landscaping projects through this awards program. The top scoring cities in 10 population categories received the funding award. Additional cities also received recognition. 

Congratulations to 
  • Katy, Second Place, Category 4 (population 9,001-15,000);
  • Seabrook, Third Place, Category 4 (population 9,001-15,000); 
  • Alvin, Second Place, Category 5 (population 15,001-25,000); and 
  • Baytown, Third Place, Category 8 (population 65,001-90,000).

Partner Announcements

Keep Texas Beautiful Youth and Educator Awards
Keep Texas Beautiful
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 various categories, to elementary through college-level students as well as educators and youth organizers. Application information is available online. 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.

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 2018. Main Street is an economic development program focusing on small business development, using reuse of historic properties and historic preservation as primary tools. A free, informational webinar will be at 10 a.m. Friday, April 14. Optional letters of intent are due Friday, June 2. Full applications are due Monday, July 31. Main Street communities in the region are Bay City, Huntsville, Rosenberg, and Sealy.
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.
 
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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, including fish consumption advisories, @HGACwater.
Banner Photo: Ducks in a pond at Heritage Park in League City.
 
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