Keeping you up to date on the community planning, economic development,
and environmental planning programs at H-GAC.
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Upcoming Events
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NRCS Funding, Technical Assistance Webinar - January 4

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides a variety of post-Harvey resources for agricultural producers and municipal organizations, ranging from technical assistance to financial support for a variety of production recovery, land conservation, and erosion mitigation projects.
 
H-GAC will host a webinar from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, January 4, about three NRCS programs. NRCS representatives will discuss details of each program, application criteria, and other key information for applicants. 
 
Registration for the webinar is available online. For more information, contact Clint McManus at 832-681-2513.

USDA Logo
USDA Office of Rural Development Webinar - January 10

The Office of Rural Development of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides a variety of programs for rural businesses, residents, and municipalities through grants and loans. 

H-GAC will host a webinar from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 10, with the Office of Rural Development to discuss how these resources can be used for Hurricane Harvey recovery. The webinar will also provide information on eligibility requirements and the application process.
 
Registration for the webinar is available online. For more information, contact Clint McManus at 832-681-2513.

Bringing Back Main Street Logo
Revitalization Roundtable - January 23

Save the date for the next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, January 23, at Liedertafel Hall, 116 Lux Road, Sealy. Isabel Longoria, Associate State Director for the AARP, will lead discussion on age-friendly planning and design for the region.

Online registration is requested.
 
These roundtables help local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development interests promote the economy and revitalization of downtown areas.

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

Texas Stream Team Training in the field
Texas Stream Team Training - February 16

A Texas Stream Team Phase I and II training will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, February 16, at Sea Center Texas, 302 Medical Drive, Lake Jackson. 

This training is for volunteers in the Brazos-Colorado River Basin, San Jacinto-Brazos River Basin, or the Bastrop Bayou Watershed Protection Plan area. Registration is required, and the class is limited to 20 volunteers.

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

used electronics for in a box
Regional Recycling Roundtable - February 22

Save the date for the next Regional Recycling Roundtable from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, February 22, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. 

The topic is electronics recycling, and presentations include How to Hold a Repair Cafe (Green Building Resource Center) and Houston Computer Works (Goodwill and Dell). 

Registration is requested. 

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.

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

Trash Bash volunteers group photo
25th Trash Bash - March 24

The River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash celebrates 25 years on Saturday, March 24. 

Since the cleanup event began, 105,800 volunteers have cleaned up 2,189 tons of trash, 10,709 tires, and 16.3 tons of recycling along 1,446 miles of shoreline. 

Thousands of volunteers will meet at 14 locations across the Galveston Bay Watershed on March 24. Volunteers get t-shirts, supplies, lunch, and chances to win prizes. Educational exhibits and displays provide a chance to learn more about waterways. Cleanup locations and registration information is available online

There's still time to support the largest single-day waterway cleanup in Texas this year by becoming a Trash Bash sponsor. The deadline is Wednesday, January 31.

For more information, contact waterresources@h-gac.com.
Announcements
H-GAC Releases 2017 Regional Growth Forecast

2040 Regional Growth Forecast
H-GAC released its 2017 annual regional growth forecast estimates on December 6, 2017. The release includes data on population and jobs down to the Transportation Analysis Zone (TAZ) and Census Tract level. It also includes data on current and future parcel land use. The data is available for download, as well as for display as maps and tables.
 
More information is available online.

2017 County Profiles
H-GAC Releases 2017 County Profiles

H-GAC recently released a 2017 update of the County Profiles for the 13-county H-GAC region. Originally developed in 2013 as part of the Our Great Region 2040  planning effort, these profiles contain information on population, housing, employment, education, health, the environment, and transportation.
  
The 2017 County Profiles provide demographic data to help county leaders identify needs and opportunities and better tell their stories through data. 

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

H-GAC Announces Parks, Natural Areas Award Winners

Winners of PNA Awards - Park Scenes
H-GAC is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Parks and Natural Areas Awards. Projects are honored in four categories: Policy Tools, Planning Process, Projects Over $500,000, and Projects Under $500,000.

Policy Tools
Winner: Dr. Ned & Fay Dudney Clear Creek Nature Center Management Plan (City of League City)

Planning Process
Winner: Josey Lake Park (Howard Hughes Corporation-Bridgeland)

Honorable Mention:
 Seabourne Creek Park Nature Center (City of Rosenberg)

Projects Over $500,000
Winner: Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve (Harris County Precinct 4)

Winner:
 Yolanda Black Navarro Buffalo Bend Nature Park (Harris County Precinct 2)

Honorable Mention:
 Brazos River Park (City of Sugar Land)

Special Recognition:
  • Galveston Island Historic Seawall Beach Renourishment Project (Galveston Park Board of Trustees) 
  • Japanese Garden Restoration (Hermann Park Conservancy)
  • Patrick's Bayou Stormwater Detention Basin (Harris County Flood Control District) 
Projects Under $500,000
Winner: MD Anderson Prairie (MD Anderson Cancer Center)

Honorable Mention: Windmill Aeration at Baytown Nature Center's Golden Bloom Pond (City of Baytown)

Special Recognition:
  • Explore the Wild (Houston Zoo)
  • Nature Observation Area at National Oak Park (City of Alvin)

More information about the Parks and Natural Areas Awards, including a list of past winners, is available online.

Winners of Our Great Region Awards
Our Great Region 2040 Award Winners

H-GAC presented the Our Great Region Awards in early December to recognize outstanding local projects covering transportation, the environment, economic development, resiliency, housing, and healthy communities.
  • The Excellence Award - Harris County Public Health for the City of Pasadena Safe Routes to Schools Initiative. This award, the highest honor, recognizes the project best advancing the vision of the Our Great Region 2040 plan.
  • The Connection Award - City of Houston for the City of Houston Bike Plan. This award honors projects advancing two or more of the Our Great Region 2040 plan's strategies through innovative partnerships. 
  • The Diligence Award - Bay City Community Development Corporation for the Bay City North Downtown Plan. This award honors an implemented project executing a creative and tenacious approach to overcome challenges to implementation.
  • The Opportunity Award - Rosenberg Parks and Recreation for the Seabourne Creek Park Nature Center. This award honors a project helping to overcome disparities in access to opportunity.
  • The Reach Award - The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency for the Defined Irrigation Schedule. This award honors a project demonstrating exemplary public participation.
More information about the Our Great Region Awards is available online.

The 2045 Regional Transportation Plan: What to Expect in 2018

Communicating regular updates about the 2045 RTP (Regional Transportation Plan) and receiving public feedback is imperative for the development of an effective plan. Comments received in the planning process are considered and incorporated into deliberations regarding proposed projects.

The RTP is a guiding document that sets multimodal transportation investment priorities for the region. It has an impact on all residents who face daily transportation challenges. 
 
As this long-range plan grows and evolves, the RTP website will also evolve. H-GAC answers Frequently Asked Questions, communicates details about public meetings, and provides residents a chance to get involved
Partner Announcements
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, accepts applications through March each year. The program supplies cities an objective review of existing infrastructure ordinances for public roadways and public spaces, evaluated against the Scenic City model.

Recycle Mania Logo
RecycleMania Collegiate Recycling Competition
RecycleMania, a collegiate recycling competition, kicks off in February, and registration is open now. A webinar highlighting rules, including how schools should track and report weight data, and an overview of the new system for reviewing results will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, January 31.

Keep Texas Beautiful logo

Keep Texas Beautiful Awards
Each year, Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) honors Texas communities, businesses, schools, media outlets, and individuals who work to keep the environment clean. Learn more about the Keep Texas Beautiful Awards, the Governor's Community Achievement Awards, and the Youth and Educator Awards. Applications are due in February and April.
More Upcoming Events
black-necked stilts on the shoreline
Audubon Christmas Bird Count
The Audubon Christmas Bird Count continues through Friday, January 5. 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. Several events are scheduled across the region.

Texas Watershed Steward Logo
Texas Watershed Steward Workshop
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, and H-GAC will host a Texas Watershed Steward workshop from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, January 17, at the Don McLeod Recreation Center, 10717 Langston Drive, Mont Belvieu. The workshop will include a discussion of watershed systems, types and sources of water pollution, and ways to improve and protect water quality. There also will be a group discussion on community-driven watershed protection and management. More information, including preregistration, is available online or by contacting Tyler Fitzgerald at 409-374-2123.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival
CEC logo
The Citizens' Environmental Coalition will host the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour on January 24 and 25. The two-night event will be at Rice University Media Center, 2030 University Blvd., Houston.
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 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, including fish consumption advisories, @HGACwater.
Happy New Year from the staff of the Community and Environmental Planning Department
at the Houston-Galveston Area Council.

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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