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, awards, a call for partners, funding opportunities, and more.
Upcoming Events
Clean Waters Initiative Logo
CWI Gets Back to Basics on September 6

H-GAC's Clean Rivers Program staff will present Back to Basics on Water Quality as the next Clean Waters Initiative (CWI) workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, September 6, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. Staff will provide a program overview on current surface water quality in the region; discuss water quality data collection and quality assurance; and highlight ways to get involved in protecting water quality.

The CWI program offers workshops to help local governments, landowners, and residents develop effective strategies to reduce pollution in area waterways.

The workshops are free, but registration is required. For more information, contact Kathy Janhsen at 713-993-2423.

Recycling Bin
Explore the Circular Economy at Recycling Roundtable September 8

The next Regional Recycling Roundtable will be Thursday, September 8, from 10 a.m. to noon at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.


Learn about the circular economy and how companies like Dow Chemical and Hewlett-Packard  are incorporating recycling and circular economy objectives into their operations.  

 

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. To RSVP or be added to the list for notices of upcoming meetings, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

 


Spotlight on interactive web applications
Spotlight on Interactive Web Applications Set for September 13

Learn about H-GAC's Interactive Web Applications at a half-day workshop from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, September 13. 

 

The workshop focuses on applications that 

  • Identify existing activity centers based on the connectivity index, and population and employment density; 
  • Visualize workers' commuting patterns between home and workplace in different geographic levels;  
  • Provide quick and easy access to US Census American Community Survey (ACS) data; and 
  • Visualize and query current and forecasted population, employment, and land use.

Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops/tablets to participate in an interactive session to master the use of these web applications. 

 

Check-in and breakfast begin at 8 a.m. The workshop is free; but space is limited, and online registration is required.


H-GAC Stream Team Coordinator Will Merrell
H-GAC Texas Stream Team Monitoring Training September 16

An H-GAC Texas Stream Team certified water monitoring training course for volunteers will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, September 16, at the Friends of the River San Bernard Community Center (20450 CR 510 B, Holiday Shores Subdivision, Brazoria, 77422). 

Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the training will be completed in this full-day training session. Registration is required, and the training is limited to 24 participants. Learn more and register for the training. For more information, contact Will Merrell at 713-993-4594.

Pedestrians and bicyclist on a path
Workshop to Focus on Creating Walkable Places September 30

H-GAC will host Creating Walkable Places - A Sustainable Transportation Workshop, from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Friday, September 30, at H-GAC Conference Rooms B and C, Second Floor. 


The workshop will offer information on pedestrian-friendly streetscapes and an interactive, live demonstration of H-GAC's new Pedestrian Evaluation Tool.


Register for this workshop online. For more information, contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.


Trash Bash volunteers
Save the Date for Trash Bash® 


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


In 2016, nearly 4,600 volunteers collected 54 tons of trash, 1.4 tons of recyclable materials, and 518 tires at 15 locations in the Galveston Bay watershed. In 2017, you can make a difference by volunteering to "clean it like you mean it" or supporting the event as a sponsor.

 

Trash Bash®  also needs your help to design the 2017 t-shirt. The art contest is open to area students in grades 1-8. Details about the contest, which ends Friday, October 28, are available online.

More Upcoming Events

Benchmarking for Local Governments
SPEER Logo
The South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER) will host Benchmarking for Local Governments from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. Lunch will be provided. Benchmarking is the process of comparing your usage to similar facilities. Once you benchmark your facilities, you will know how to proceed in your efforts to reduce consumption. This workshop will provide the training to plan and benchmark municipal facilities. Registration is open online.

Environmental Education Seminar  
Houston Police Department Logo
The Environmental Investigations Unit of the Houston Police Department is offering a free Environmental Education Seminar from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, September 20. Topics include illegal dumping, batteries, household hazardous waste disposal, air and water pollution, recycling, and waste disposal. The seminar is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Third Ward Multi-Service Center, 3611 Ennis, Houston. This seminar is eligible for six CEUs. To register, complete this form and send it to Sylvia Brumlow with the Houston Police Department.

Bayou Preservation Association Symposium 
Bayou Preservation Association Logo
Save the date for the Bayou Preservation 50th Anniversary Symposium from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, October 12, at the United Way Community Resources Center, Houston. This year's keynote speaker will be Jenny Romer, the country's leading expert on plastic bag law and ordinance structures. Registration is now open.

Hermann Park Master Plan Update
Hermann Park Conservancy Logo
Hermann Park Conservancy is working with partners and an award-winning landscape architecture firm to develop an updated master plan for Hermann Park to guide park improvements. Over the next year, the master plan team will analyze data, meet with community members, and develop preliminary concepts. The next public meeting will be Thursday, October 27. Check the park website for details. Forward any comments or suggestions for making Hermann Park better to ideas@hermannpark.org.

Protecting Students from Mosquitoes, Zika Virus Webinar
EPA Logo
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Center for Expertise for School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is hosting a webinar for school districts and administrators to learn how to keep students, faculty, and staff safe from Zika virus. The webinar will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, September 20. Online registration is required.

Texas Compost Training 
STAR Logo
Registration is open for the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling's (STAR) Texas Compost Council Summit and Training September 26-28, at the Lone Star Convention and Expo Center, Conroe. This training is the leading educational and networking event for industrial composters in Texas.
 
STAR Recycling Conference 2016 Logo
STAR Recycling Summit 
Registration is open for the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) 2016 Recycling Summit October 16-18 at the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade. Recycling professionals attend this event for educational sessions, equipment demonstrations, roundtable discussions, and training opportunities. 

Broadband Webinar Series  
BroadBandUSA logo
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) continues its series of monthly webinars to gather input on the Community Connectivity Initiative providing communities with self-assessment tools and information to better understand policies and programs supporting broadband internet connectivity. The next webinar in this series will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, September 8.

IEDC 2016 Webinar Logo
IEDC Disaster Preparedness Webinars  
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) will host the following free Disaster and Economic Recovery webinars: Building Economic Independence-Soft Skill Development, Thursday, September 15; Building Resilience in Rural and Small Communities, Thursday, October 13; Asset Mapping for Economic Resilience, Tuesday, November 15; and Guiding Your Community Image and Brand Through a Disaster, Thursday, December 8. All webinars are from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
 
National Association of Development Organizations logo
NADO Conference  
The preliminary agenda for the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) 2016 Annual Training Conference is now available. Registration for the conference, October 15-18 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk, San Antonio, is open. Attendees will exchange ideas, learn from experts, participate in mobile workshops, and engage in conversations about ways to make a difference in their regions.
 
CATEE Conference 2016
CATEE Conference
The Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency (CATEE) 2016 Conference will be December 17-22 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk, San Antonio. Registration will open soon, and special room rates are now available. Opportunities for sponsorships for this educational conference and business exhibition are still available.         
Announcements
H-GAC and LID Map
H-GAC's Designing for Impact Project Earns National Recognition

H-GAC's Designing for Impact is a National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) 2016 Innovation Award recipient. The awards honor NADO members for their creative approaches to advancing regional community and economic development and improved quality of life.


The Designing for Impact project promotes the use of Low Impact Development (LID) techniques in new development by providing information and strategies for educating the public about LID functions, benefits, and barriers to implementation. The project included the publication of a LID guide for local governments, education through a series of workshops,  and a webpage and interactive mapping tool highlighting LID projects already implemented in the region.


Parks Awards Application Period Ends September 7

 

The H-GAC Parks and Natural Areas Subcommittee (PNA) Awards applications will be accepted through Wednesday, September 7.

 

PNA Awards honor projects in four categories: Projects $500,000 or more; Projects under $500,000; Planning Process; and Policy Tools. Winning entries demonstrate best practices and collaboration between developers, local governments, engineering and planning agencies, businesses, resources, environmental groups, and citizens. Entries are evaluated on innovation, merit, and regional impact. These projects serve as models for planning and project implementation for parks and natural areas in the region.

 

Winners will be notified in November, and the awards ceremony will be in January 2017. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo.


Bicycles parked at Discovery Green in Houston.
H-GAC Seeks Partners for Pedestrian/Bicyclist Implementation Studies

H-GAC's call for planning study partners is now available. Local governments are invited to submit proposals to conduct pedestrian/bicyclist implementation studies within their jurisdictions.

 

For more information, attend the optional pre-submittal meeting at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 21 at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor, or contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.
 

Applicants must notify H-GAC of their intent to apply by 3 p.m. Wednesday, October 16, using an online application. Full applications are due by 3 p.m. Friday, November 18.


Dates to remember: 

  • Wednesday, September 21 - optional pre-submittal meeting
  • Wednesday, October 19 - notifications for intent to apply due
  • Friday, November 18 - full applications due

PlanSourceLogo-square
PlanSource Releases Request for Qualifications for Community Planning Services

PlanSource, H-GAC's program for cooperative purchase for planning services, is soliciting qualifications for a broad range of community planning services and related services for local governments. 

 

For more information, attend a pre-submittal conference at 1 p.m. Tuesday, September 13, at H-GAC Conference Room C, Second Floor, or contact Amanda Thorin.

 

Responses are due by Wednesday, October 26. 

 

Qualifications packages, including the RFQ, are available at online.

Our Great Region Awards logo
H-GAC Launches Our Great Region Awards

Does your organization have an outstanding local project for transportation, environment, economic development, resiliency, housing, or healthy communities? If so, consider applying for the new Our Great Region Awards.

Our Great Region Awards will recognize outstanding projects in the region that advance the goals and strategies identified in the Our Great Region 2040 plan. Plans, programs, projects or policies since January 1, 2013, that have furthered or implemented a strategy of the Our Great Region 2040 plan within the 13-county region are eligible to submit. Any organization may apply for the award(s).

Bastrop Bayou
Bastrop Bayou Watershed Protection Plan Accepted by EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has accepted the Bastrop Bayou Watershed Protection Plan (WPP). H-GAC and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) facilitated a partnership of local stakeholders to develop the WPP to identify causes and sources of water quality issues in Bastrop Bayou and recommend voluntary solutions to address them.


Solutions identified in the WPP include fixing malfunctioning septic systems, assisting agricultural producers with land improvement projects, addressing pet waste, and education. The acceptance of the WPP by EPA is a major milestone toward improving water quality in Bastrop Bayou. 


Partner Announcements

West Houston Bike Challenge  
I Love to Bike logo element
The 2016 West Houston Bike Challenge is a month-long workplace challenge aimed at encouraging more people to take up cycling in west Houston. Organizations, their departments, and their staff will compete against others in west Houston to see which can get the most people to ride a bike. People can ride anywhere, anytime during October. Registration is open now.

Galveston Bay Water Brigade  
Galveston Bay Water Brigade logo
The Galveston Bay Foundation has launched the Galveston Bay Water Brigade. Individuals, businesses, and organizations are invited to commit to conserve water in and around Galveston Bay. Take the pledge at www.gbwb.org and find money-saving tips to conserve water.

Artist Boat Bucket Beautification 
Artistboat logo
Artistic individuals, families, and groups are invited to participate in Artist Boat's Beautify the Bucket Competition and decorate trash receptacles for Galveston beaches. The competition is open through Friday, September 23.

TEEA Logo
TEEA Awards 
The TCEQ is now accepting applications for the 2017 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards.Share environmental success stories by applying for or nominating a project in one of nine award categories. View these categories and apply online. The deadline to submit is Friday, September 30. 

FHWY
FHWA Environmental Excellence Awards
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is accepting nominations for the 2017 Environmental Excellence Awards through Thursday, September 15. This biennial awards program recognizes partners, projects, and processes that use FHWA funding sources to go beyond environmental compliance and achieve environmental excellence.

National Association of Development Organizations logo
NADO Photo Contest  
The National Association of Development Organization (NADO) 2016 Photo Contest continues through Friday, September 16. Member organizations will be judged in four categories: Building Vibrant Places, Strengthening the Built and Natural Environments, Investing in our Regional Economy, and Sustaining our Communities. Winners and runners-up will be selected in these four categories and a "People's Choice" winner will be selected by public votes through NADO's Facebook page.

Recycle Bowl Logo
Recycle Bowl Registration  
Keep America Beautiful presents Recycle Bowl, a national K-12 competition between schools to invigorate student participation in recycling efforts. The competition runs from October 17 to November 15, but registration is open now. There are both competition and noncompetition divisions for this program.

America Recycles Day logo
America Recycles Day Event Registration  
For almost two decades, communities have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. Do you have plans for hosting a special event on that day? Register your event here.
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
Bicyclist-White-Oak-Bayou-Trail-Houston
White Oak Bayou: Connecting Communities in Houston

The City of Houston, Houston Parks Board, and other organizations are working to build a network of pedestrian and bicycle facilities along White Oak Bayou. When complete, the White Oak Bayou Trail will stretch approximately 15 miles, connecting neighborhoods in Northwest Houston to the downtown area. Many segments are complete, and additional portions are under construction. Hundreds of Houstonians walk and bike along White Oak Bayou Trail each day, according to H-GAC's pedestrian/bicycle counters


Construction of White Oak Bayou Trail has helped spur redevelopment in surrounding communities. In August, community members in Northwest Houston celebrated the opening of Raspado Xperts, a bicycle-friendly business near White Oak Bayou Trail with a drive-thru for cyclists. As part of its Pedestrian-Bicyclist Program, H-GAC helped a property management company identify ways to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to access their shopping center from White Oak Bayou Trail.

 

For more information about H-GAC's Pedestrian-Bicyclist Program, contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.
Signage in Near Northwest Management District
Livable Centers Program In Action

H-GAC completed a Livable Centers study with the Near Northwest Management District in 2011. Community input during the study development process led to a shared vision of branding for the area. 

NNMD recently installed and landscaped four 16-foot tall markers in the community, in the Antoine corridor area of Houston (off U.S. 290, near the I-610 loop) to "represent recent changes in the area and remind everyone why the area is a great place to live, work and play."

Community and Environmental Planning Programs
Bicycles parked at Discovery Green in Houston.
Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services
H-GAC's Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services Program helps communities perform efficient and timely cleanup of debris generated by natural disasters by having debris hauler contracts in place prior to events. The Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services Program offers access to a pool of the most qualified debris removal contractors, saves time and money associated with the procurement process, and helps maximize eligible FEMA reimbursement.

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.

Camera
Illegal Dumping Camera Sharing
To help track and reduce illegal dumping, H-GAC offers surveillance cameras and accompanying accessories through a sharing program. Participation in the program is for local governments within the 13-county H-GAC region and involves specific agreements, including a commitment to only use the cameras for solid waste purposes and report results to H-GAC.

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: -the Small Business Administration 504 Loan Program, the Business Loan Fund, and the 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 - Texas Gatorfest at Fort Anahuac Texas - The Alligator Capital of Texas is September 16-18.
(photo by Justin Bower) 
 
 Would you like for 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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