Keeping you up to date on the community planning, economic development,
and environmental planning programs at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Workshops, award winners, field trips, funding opportunities, and more.
Upcoming Events
Orange Peel
Commercial Food Waste Diversion Roundtable Set for May 2

A Commercial Food Waste Diversion Roundtable will be from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, May 2, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

 

Diverting food waste from landfills not only extends the life of those landfills but also takes something considered waste and produces a resource (through composting or donation). This process decreases the amount of methane emissions from landfills, another added benefit from food waste diversion.

 

Discussion topics include current food waste diversion activities in the region, success stories, outreach opportunities, available tools, and next steps to increase commercial food waste diversion.

 

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


Environmental Enforcement Roundtable
Environmental Roundtable to Focus on Illegal Dumping on May 4

An Environmental Enforcement Roundtable will be 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, and the roundtable will focus on how counties can fight illegal dumping using existing laws, other legal tools, and alternative powers of enforcement. The Texas Department of State Health Services has approved two hours of continuing education credit for this roundtable.

 

H-GAC hosts periodic environmental enforcement 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.


CWI logo
Wastewater Treatment Trends to be Topic of CWI Workshop May 9

A Clean Waters Initiative (CWI) workshop will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 9, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.


Speakers from Gulf Coast Green Energy and the Global Petroleum Research Institute (GPRI) of Texas A&M will address a variety of trends and technologies, including water recycling and reuse and methane optimization.


H-GAC's CWI program offers workshops that help local governments, landowners, and residents develop effective strategies to reduce pollution in area waterways.


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


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

The  Parks and Natural Areas (PNA) Subcommittee spring field trip will be 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 walking and driving tours 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.


JEFF TAEBEL
Jeff Taebel to Present Livable Centers at Brown Bag Lunch Series May 15

Jeff Taebel, FAICP, H-GAC Director of Community and Environmental Planning, will present Livable Centers at the next Brown Bag Lunch Series, from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, May 15, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

Livable Centers are places where people can live, work, and play with less reliance on their cars. Livable Centers support more trips by foot, bicycle, transit, or carpool by providing housing, retail, and employment opportunities in proximity to each other. The program works with local communities to identify specific recommendations, such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, that can spark the creation of Livable Centers.

Bring your lunch and learn more about Livable Centers. RSVPs are not necessary. For more information, contact Rosalind Hebert at 713-993-2471.

H-GALDC logo
Learn About Loan Programs for Transportation Sector May 17

The University of Houston Bauer College, the Houston-Galveston Area Local Development Corporation and H-GAC will host a lunch and learn program, Financing and Grant Programs for the Transportation Industry, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, at the UH Bauer College Small Business Development Center, 2302 Fannin, Suite 200, Houston.


Highlights include an overview of the grant programs available for the transportation industry, low interest loans, and a summary of the small business development center programs and services. 


Seating is limited, and registration is required. Lunch will be provided.


Recycling Bin
Regional Roundtable to Look at Plastics Recycling May 18

A Regional Recycling Roundtable will be from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 18, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. The topic is 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.

May is Bike Month _Bikemonth
H-GAC, Greenway Plaza to Host Bike to Work Day May 18

May is National Bike Month, featuring bike to work events and other activities in communities across the country.

In partnership with Greenway Plaza, H-GAC is hosting a Bike to Work Day at the Green Square between Greenway 9 and 11 in Greenway Plaza on Richmond Avenue. The event will be from 7 to 8:30 a.m. Thursday, May 18. Cyclists are invited to stop by on their commute to work for a light breakfast.

For a list of other events across the area, visit Bike Houston's calendar.

BIG logo
Bacteria Implementation Group Plans Spring Meeting for May 23

The Bacteria Implementation Group will hold its spring meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.


The meeting's agenda includes 

  • A presentation on the Top 5/Least 5 project;
  • The latest news on the region's bacteria Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL); and
  • BIG Implementation Plan updates.

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


Storm debris on a residential street.
Series of Disaster Debris Workshops Set to Begin June 1

To address the need for communities to perform efficient and timely cleanup of disaster debris, H-GAC provides training and resources to prepare local governments for such an event. The 2017 series begins with Changes in Disaster Debris Management from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, June 1.
 
Discussion points for this workshop will include:  
  • Debris 101 - A brief refresher for veterans and an overview for those new to disaster debris.
  • In the News - A look at new policy changes.
  • How big is bad? - New techniques to forecast debris volume and estimate debris damage.
  • Case Studies - A comprehensive discussion of how communities are implementing new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) processes.
Save the date for upcoming workshops:

Disaster Debris in Public Education
Thursday, June 29
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Summer Update from FEMA
Thursday, August 31
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

All workshops will be at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

Registration is requested. The workshop is also available via webinar. For more information, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

More Upcoming Events

Great American Cleanup Begins
Great American Cleanup Logo
Keep Texas Beautiful's Great American Cleanup events continue through the end of May, including Alvin, Saturday, May 6. More events may be added to the Great American Cleanup calendar before the end of May.

Walkability in Rural Communities Webinar
America Walks Logo
America Walks will present Walking and Walkability in Rural Communities and Small Towns, a free webinar, from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 10. Participants will explore tools and resources to promote healthy communities and learn how to increase the promotion of walking in their communities.

Stormwater Finance Webinar Series
EPA Logo
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center will host a free stormwater finance webinar series for municipal administrators, planners, public works officials, community leaders, technical assistance providers, and regional funders. D.C. Water's Environmental Impact Bond will be Thursday, May 11. D.C.'s Stormwater Retention Credit Program will be Tuesday, May 23. Both webinars will be from 1 to 2 p.m. More webinars in the series will be announced soon.

Smarter About Water Seminar
The Woodlands Township logo
Residents are invited to attend Smarter About Water from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at The Woodlands Emergency Training Center, 16135 IH-45 South, The Woodlands. The free program features local and regional water information specialists reporting on the community's water data, the status of water sources, and demands for water from expected population growth. Presenters will share tips on how to conserve water. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited and registration is required. For more information, visit The Woodlands Township or call 281-210-3800.

Exploration Green Conservancy Logo
Exploration Green Wetland Planting Days
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, 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.

Bay Day Festival
Bay Day 2017 Logo
The Galveston Bay Foundation will host Bay Day, a free, family event, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Kemah Boardwalk. The one-day event invites attendees to learn more about Galveston Bay. Festival highlights include bay-themed arts and crafts, live animal demonstrations and touch tanks, a scavenger hunt, science and marine exhibits, and live music.

Sustainable Materials Management Webinar Series
National Recycling Coalition logo
The National Recycling Coalition will present a webinar, Zero Waste in New York: Challenges and Opportunities, from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, May 16. The final webinar in the series, Building Relationships with Regulatory Agencies, will be Tuesday, June 20.

Financing Programs to Support Rural Development Webinar
TEDC logo
The Council of Development Finance Agencies, in cooperation with the Texas Economic Development Council, will present Financing Programs to Support Rural Development from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, May 17. Creative and important financing tools exist to assist rural and small town development, and this webinar will explore the cutting-edge strategies driving development in the state and how to access them. Registration is $79 per person or $295 for a group of five or more.

Harris County Onsite Wastewater Seminar                                
Harris County logo
Registration continues 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.

Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure Workshop
HLWSF Logo
The Houston Land/Water Sustainability Forum will host a Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure Workshop from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, at the Michael Talbott Pavilion at the Harris County Flood Control District's North Service Center, 7522 Prairie Oak Drive, Houston. Topics include residential low impact development (LID), effective use of Harris County LID guidelines, designing with maintenance in mind, and roadway infrastructure. A field trip to local LID-based projects will follow formal presentations. Lunch is provided. Seating is limited, and registration is required. Early registration is $100 for International Erosion Control Association members and $125 for nonmembers. Prices increase after May 24.

Keep Texas Beautiful Annual Conference
Keep Texas Beautiful logo
Registration is open for the Keep Texas Beautiful annual conference June 12-14 at the Westin Riverwalk, 420 W. Market Street, San Antonio. The 50th annual conference will feature educational sessions on recycling, youth programs, litter prevention, and strategic planning. Early registration ranges from $130 for a single day to $400 for the entire conference. Prices increase after May 10.

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.

STAR Logo
Annual State of Texas Alliance for Recycling Texas Recycling Summit
Save the date for the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling Texas Recycling Summit 2017 October 22-25 at the Double Tree Hotel, 6505 N I-35, Austin. This is the only state conference dedicated entirely to recycling and waste diversion activities in Texas. It's also an opportunity to network with professionals from the recycling industry to learn, collaborate, share successes, and support recycling efforts. Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available.

Announcements
Gulf Coast Economic Developmetn District Logo
Communities Encouraged to Participate in Economic Resilience Surveys

The Gulf Coast Economic Development District (GCEDD) is conducting research on Economic Resilience in the 13 counties in the H-GAC planning region through a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant.


GCEDD is seeking local expertise on what economic vulnerabilities are faced by each county and what strategies are being employed to address those concerns. Learn more about the project and provide your insight on the region's economic vulnerabilities by participating in a survey for your county

 

For more information, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.


Erin Livingston displaying the storm debris poster
Erin Livingston discussing the disaster debris poster.
H-GAC Disaster Debris Program Earns KTB Recognition

The H-GAC disaster debris program recently received recognition as a winner of the 2017 Keep Texas Beautiful Awards, Government-Regional Category. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the Texas environment made by government departments, divisions or agencies. H-GAC's efforts through the program include well-attended workshops and trainings; educational resources, such as disaster debris management videos and a poster; and technical assistance across the state. 


H-GAC also congratulates other award winners and honorees from the region:

  • Delores Fenwick, Pearland, O.P. Schnabel Senior Citizen Award Winner
  • McRee Ford, Dickinson, Locally Owned Business Award Winner
  • Baytown Sun, Baytown, Print Media Award Winner
  • Lake Creek Greenway Partnership, Magnolia, Civic Organization Award, Third Place
  • CenterPoint Energy, State/National Business Award, Third Place

All honorees will receive their awards during the KTB annual conference in San Antonio in June.


picking up trash at Lake Houston
Trash Bash Celebrates 24 Years by Cleaning Up 52 Tons of Trash

The 2017 River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash, held March 25 at 14 sites around the region, was a great success.


At locations across the Galveston Bay watershed, 3,242 volunteers collected 52 tons of trash, picked up 1.5 tons of recyclable materials, and gathered 574 illegally dumped tires.


More than half the volunteers were under 18, and 843 were involved in scouting. In 24 years, 105,800 volunteers have collected 2,189 tons of trash, 16 tons of recycling, and 10,709 tires.


The next Trash Bash is set for Saturday, March 24, 2018. Save the date to celebrate 25 years of great work. Learn more about volunteering or sponsorship opportunities.


Partner Announcements

Keep Texas Beautiful Youth and Educator Awards
Take Care of Texas Proud Partner Logo
Congratulations to Aaron Lopez, a fifth-grade student at Shadow Oaks Elementary School in Houston, for winning first place in the Houston Region (Region 12) Take Care of Texas Art Competition. More than 3,275 students from across the state submitted artwork showing how they help keep air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste. Take Care of Texas is a statewide campaign from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that provides helpful information on the state's successes in environmental protection. Students from 16 regions across the state received recognition and prizes. All winning artwork is showcased online.

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. 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 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.
Banner Photo: Sunflowers by Cheryl Mergo.
 
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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