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
Meetings, trainings, awards, publications, new apps, funding opportunities, and more.
Upcoming Events
Basin 11 map
Community Invited to Basin 11 Public Meeting

H-GAC will host a public meeting to discuss water quality in the San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal Basin (Basin 11) from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, December 6, at the Brazoria County Public Library-Alvin Branch, 105 S. Gordon Street, Alvin.


Local stakeholders will hear presentations about bacteria levels in Basin 11 and learn about the process for developing a plan to improve these issues, followed by an informal question and answer session.


Basin 11 includes all or a portion of 50 cities, villages, and census-designated places, and four counties (Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, and Harris).

 

For more information, contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.


Texas Stream Team Monitoring
H-GAC Texas Stream Team Monitoring Training Set for January 13, 2017

H-GAC and Keep Sugar Land Beautiful will offer certified water quality monitoring  training for H-GAC Texas Stream Team volunteers in the Sugar Land area from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, January 13, 2017, at Eldridge Park, 2511 Eldridge Road, Sugar Land.


Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the training will be completed in this full-day session. The training is open only to volunteers willing to commit to monitor for at least two years at sites in the Sugar Land area only.


Registration is required. 

 

For more information, contact Ilana Harris at 281-275-2497.


Turtle Bayou Nature Preserve
Parks and Natural Areas Award Recipients to be Honored

The 2016 Parks and Natural Areas (PNA) Awards reception will be Tuesday, January 17, 2017, at 10:45 a.m. at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor, following the H-GAC Board meeting. Award recipients will receive notification later this month.


Since 2006, the Parks and Natural Areas Subcommittee of H-GAC's Natural Resources Advisory Committee presents the PNA Awards to highlight best practices and innovative approaches to parks planning and implementation in the Houston-Galveston Region.


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


Bringing Back Main Street Logo
Next Revitalization Roundtable Set for January 24, 2017, in La Porte

Save the date for the next Bringing Back Main Street Revitalization Roundtable from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, January 24, 2017, at the Jennie Riley Community Center, 322 N. Fourth Street, La Porte.

 

H-GAC hosts quarterly roundtables that focus on downtown revitalization.

 

For more information, contact Cheryl Mergo at 713-993-4520.


Environmental Enforcement Roundtable
Environmental Enforcement Roundtable to be February 9, 2017

 

Mark your calendars for the next Environmental Enforcement Roundtable from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, February 9, 2017, at H-GAC Conference Rooms B-C, Second Floor.

 

H-GAC hosts quarterly Local Environmental Enforcement Roundtables to provide a forum for discussing illegal dumping issues within the H-GAC region. The group includes peace officers, county prosecutors, city officials, and personnel from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's Region 12 office.

 

To be included in the invitation list for these roundtables, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.


More Upcoming Events
 
Wild & Scenic Film Festival
CEC logo
The Citizens Environmental Coalition (CEC) will host the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour from 7 to 9 p.m. January 25 and 26, 2017, at River Oaks Theatre, 2009 W. Gray Street, Houston. Each night up to 450 patrons will enjoy 10 short films highlighting the latest environmental issues. For more information, including ticket details, contact Rachel Powers at 713-524-4232.

Audubon Christmas Bird Count
black-necked stilts on the shoreline
         
The 117th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count is December 14 to January 5, 2017. Organized by the National Audubon Society, this global, all-volunteer effort collects data on local bird populations. Individual counts are open to birders of all levels, and there is no fee to participate in the count. Several events are scheduled across the Houston-Galveston region.

IEDC 2016 Webinar Logo
IEDC Disaster Preparedness Webinars  
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) will host its final free workshop of the year, Guiding Your Community Image and Brand Through a Disaster, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, December 8.
   
CATEE Conference 2016
CATEE Conference
The annual Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency (CATEE) 2016 Conference is December 17--22 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk, San Antonio. Registration remains open. Conference tracks include air quality, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.

Urban Riparian Symposium  
Texas Water Resources Institute logo
Urban Riparian Symposium: Balancing the Challenges of Healthy Rural to Urban Streams will be February 15--17, 2017, at the BioScience Collaborative (BRC) at Rice University, 6500 Main Street, MS-650, Houston. The symposium provides an opportunity for natural resource professionals to share ideas and discuss management and policy issues, lessons learned in urban riparian and stream planning, assessment, design, construction, and evaluation.

Recycle Mania Registration 
Recycle Mania Logo
RecycleMania, a collegiate recycling competition, kicks off in February 2017, and registration is open now. Webinars are planned in early 2017 to help teams get ready for the competition: Tips & Case Study Examples for Outreach, Tuesday, January 17, 2017; and Overview of Rules & Tracking Requirements, Wednesday, February 1, 2017. Both webinars are from 1 to 2 p.m.

Announcements
H-GAC Releases Instant Impact Guide for Creating Walkable Places

H-GAC announces the release of the Instant Impact Guide, a 20-page guide offering information on quick, temporary, low-cost projects to help create active, walkable, and bikeable places.

Instant impact projects can help build momentum by increasing public awareness and support. They are also a good way to test new ideas before designs and policies are finalized.

 

The guide includes tips for planning an instant impact project, a toolbox of elements to help create a safer and more comfortable environment for pedestrians and bicyclists, and case studies demonstrating successful instant impact projects across the region and beyond.

 

The Instant Impact Guide is available for download on the Livable Centers publication page under the "Implementation and Planning Studies" tab. For more information or to request a printed copy, contact Cheryl Mergo at 713-993-4520.


Regional Building Inventory Snapshot
H-GAC Launches Regional Building Inventory Interactive App

H-GAC's new interactive web application, the Regional Building Inventory Snapshot (2015), explores the 2015 regional building inventory and analyzes the development patterns based on a building's year of construction, building type, housing units, and nonresidential square feet.

 
The app is powered by H-GAC's Building Inventory Database, based on appraisal data collected and processed from individual County Appraisal Districts in Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties.


The Regional Building Inventory Snapshot app is available at www.h-gac.com/go/apps using filter keywords "Land Use" and "Planning."  


Partner Announcements

Take Care of Texas Video Contest
Take Care of Texas Proud Partner Logo
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Waste Management of Texas, Inc. invite 6th-12th grade students to enter the Take Care of Texas Video Contest. To enter, participants must submit a 30-second video portraying positive ways to Take Care of Texas. Three 9th--12th grade students will be awarded scholarship funds and three 6th--8th grade students will receive GoPro cameras and accessories. Entries must be received by Friday, December 16.

Scenic City Certification Program
The Scenic City Certification Program, a project of Scenic Texas in cooperation with H-GAC, Texas Municipal League, and several additional partners, will begin accepting applications for 2017 soon. The program supplies cities an objective review of existing infrastructure ordinances for public roadways and public spaces, evaluated against the Scenic City model.
 
Great American Cleanup Registration
Great American Cleanup Logo
Registration is now open for Keep Texas Beautiful's Great American Cleanup. The event is March 1 to May 31, 2017. 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.

Keep Texas Beautiful Awards
Keep Texas Beautiful logo
Each year, Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) honors Texas communities, businesses, schools, media outlets, and individuals who work to keep the environment clean. Applications will soon be available for the Keep Texas Beautiful Awards, the Governor's Community Achievement Awards, and the Youth and Educator Awards. Applications will be due in early 2017.

EPA Guide for Stormwater Planning
EPA Logo
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new stormwater planning guide is a series of tools including guidance for communities in developing long-term stormwater plans, an online toolkit for the planning process, and technical assistance for five communities selected in a pilot program.
 
Department of Labor Career Pathways Toolkit  
Career Pathways Toolkit Cover
The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration's (DOLETA) new toolkit, Career Pathways Toolkit: An Enhanced Guide and Workbook for System Development, provides useful information to state offices and partners required to develop unified plans and assists staff members supporting state workforce development boards.
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 other websites, is for informational purposes only. Users of this content are responsible for checking its accuracy, currency, and suitability.
News and Notes
Official Trash Bash Logo
Annual Cleanup Event Honored for Litter Prevention Efforts

 

The River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash was honored with two prestigious awards for its annual waterway cleanup event.

 

On November 7, Keep Houston Beautiful awarded Trash Bash the Mayor's Outstanding Proud Partners Award for Sustainability. The award recognizes Trash Bash for its significant efforts over the past 23 years to keep the waterways of the Galveston Bay watershed clean. Earlier this year, Trash Bash received the Civic Organization award from Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) at the KTB state conference in Sugar Land. The Civic Organization award recognizes contributions by a civic organization supporting KTB's mission in a regional project.

 

In 2016, 4,578 volunteers, nearly half under the age of 18, collected 54 tons of trash, 518 tires, and 1.4 tons of recyclable materials while cleaning a record 177 miles of shoreline at 15 locations.

 

Since Trash Bash began in 1994, more than 102,000 volunteers have collected 2,137 tons of trash, 14.87 tons of recyclable materials, and 10,135 tires along 1,297 miles of shoreline.

 

The 24th River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash will be Saturday, March 25, 2017.

Community and Environmental Planning Programs
Walking in a cross walk
Temporary Pedestrian-Bicyclist Counters
H-GAC has temporary pedestrian-bicyclist counters available for use by local governments to count the number of people using sidewalks and/or trails, giving implementing entities and H-GAC a better understanding of the demand and use of these facilities.
 
Grants
Community Enhancement Grants help municipalities, counties, and nonprofit organizations enhance public spaces, such as gateways, parks, waterfronts, and business districts.
  
Loans 
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.

GIS Globes
Mapping Applications
Looking for interactive applications or GIS data related to the H-GAC Community and Environmental Planning Department? Visit www.h-gac.com/go/apps to see the latest information, including Census, Regional Forecast, and more.

Facebook
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
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 contributed by Andrew Pompei
 
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.  
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