Four alligators
Upcoming Events
Color blocks depicting park scenes and words Parks and Nature Areas
Parks and Natural Areas RoundtableSeptember 13 (Online)

The next Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, September 13.
The event will be online, and registration is required.

Attendees will learn more about the Trust for Public Land's ParkServe tool, including a new equity component, and will hear about the Willow Waterhole, a stormwater and flood control amenity in Houston.

The roundtable meets the second Monday of March, July, and September with field trips typically scheduled in the spring and fall. The group is open to anyone who is interested in participating.

For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo.
H-GACs housing summit below line art of a skyline
Housing SummitSeptember 17 (Online)

Make plans to attend H-GAC's Housing Summit from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, September 17.
The event will be online, and registration is required.

H-GAC’s housing summit, “Paths to Locally Driven Affordable Rental Housing,” will explore opportunities related to housing with speakers from a variety of backgrounds and geographies. Panelists will discuss how preserving naturally occurring affordable rental housing, working with small builders and developers, and other locally-driven solutions can protect housing affordability. 

For more information, contact Cheryl Mergo.
Rural and Small Town Downtown Revitalization SummitOctober 26 (Online)

Mark your calendars for H-GAC's Rural and Small Town Downtown Revitalization Summit from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, October 26.
The event will be online, and registration is required.

Participants will consider recent urban-to-rural migration and opportunities for rural places to maximize their open spaces and outdoor recreation amenities. Strategies to explore include eco-tourism, trail-oriented development, and large-scale conservation. 

For more information, contact Sarah Torresen.
Bacteria Implementation Group Fall MeetingOctober 26 (Online)

The Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG) Fall meeting will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, October 26.

The meeting will be online, and registration is required.

Topics will include the 2021 annual report, BIG Implementation Plan revisions, and Total Maximum Daily Load updates.

For more information, contact Steven Johnston.
Color blocks depicting park scenes and words Parks and Nature Areas Awards
Parks and Natural Areas Awards Application Period Now Open

H-GAC's 16th annual Parks and Natural Areas (PNA) Awards program is now accepting applications.
The Parks and Natural Areas Awards honor projects in four categories: Projects Over $500,000; Projects Under $500,000; Planning Process and Policy Tools; and, new this year, Programming. Winning entries serve as models for planning and project implementation for parks and natural areas in the region. The application period will be open until 5 p.m. Thursday, September 30. 

An online application guide is available. No funding is associated with this awards program.
Winners will be notified in December and recognized in 2022. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo.
Recycle bins
H-GAC to Open Application for Solid Waste Grants on September 7

H-GAC receives a portion of the money collected as tipping fees at landfills across the state as pass-through funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to fund solid waste grant projects throughout the 13-county region.

As part of this program, H-GAC will award $1 million in solid waste program grant funds to eligible projects through a competitive process. Grants will begin in March or September 2022, and all work must be completed by June 2023. This is the only call for projects planned for this biennium.

The grant application period will open Tuesday, September 7, and will close at noon Friday, October 15. H-GAC will host a workshop on how to complete the grant application from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 21, online. Registration is required.

For more information about the grant program or to be added to an email list to receive future solid waste grant notifications, contact Erin Livingston.
H-GAC Releases New Regional U.S. Census Redistricting Data

H-GAC recently released data specific to the 13-county H-GAC region based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Redistricting Data.

The data is summarized for various geographies, including County (incorporated and unincorporated), Census Places/Cities, Independent School Districts, Voting Districts, Congressional Districts, Texas State Senate and House Districts, Census Tracts, and One-Square-Mile and Nine-Square-Mile grids.

The data includes information on
  • Total Population by Race and Ethnicity
  • Voting Age Population
  • Housing Units; and
  • Group Quarter Population

Some regional highlights include:
  • The 13-county region added 1.2 million people in the last 10 years.
  • The region is more diversified now with 37% Hispanic, 34% White, 17% Black, and 8% Asian population.
  • The voting age population accounts for 76% of the total population.
  • Among group quarters, the population in correctional institutions and juvenile facilities decreased, whereas the population in college dormitories and nursing homes increased.

For more information, contact [email protected].
close up of magnolia blossom
H-GAC Seeks Information on Conservation Projects in the Region

As part of the Regional Conservation Initiative, H-GAC is collecting information on conservation projects from local governments and non-governmental organizations for inclusion on a priority project list. This list will help H-GAC allocate staff time to assist with funding applications, convene partners and stakeholders, and otherwise advance conservation projects across the region. 

There is no funding associated with this priority project list. Learn more about the priority project list here

Email [email protected] to set up a one-on-one meeting to discuss your conservation projects and priorities. 
Partner Announcements
2022 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards Applications Open Until September 24
Each year, the Governor's Office and commissioners from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality honor the state's most outstanding environmental projects through the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards. Winners from across the state exemplify how Texans set the standard for ensuring clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste. The application period for the 2022 awards is now open. Applications already submitted for the previously suspended 2021 awards will also be considered. To see winners from 2013 to 2020, visit the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards webpage. Applications will be accepted through Friday, September 24.
More Upcoming Events
Texas in blue with Texas Citizen Planner printed in the panhandle area
Texas Citizen Planner Course for Flood Mitigation - September 2
The Texas Citizen Planner course covering community planning for flood managers is a no-cost, one-day online workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, September 2. It is designed for local elected officials, staff, and consultants to learn about local trends in flood management and how to plan, fund, and implement activities communities can use to reduce their flood risks including open space preservation, buyouts, and the Community Rating System. This event has been approved for 5 continuing education credits (CECs) for Certified Floodplain Managers and 5 certification maintenance (CM) credits for American Institute of Certified Planners professionals. Registration information and an agenda is available online.
bird week September 18-25 2021
Houston Audubon Bird Week - September 18-25
Houston Bird Week 2021 celebrates the important role Houston plays in the journey of billions of migratory birds and the everyday lives of resident birds. Houston Audubon and local conservation partners arrange a week of events centered around our region’s birds and wildlife – from bird walks to mindfulness talks to Purple Martin watch parties. Organizers are looking for partners interested in hosting a cleanup or some other wildlife/bird-related event for this year’s Bird Week, scheduled for September 18-25. If you or your organization are interested, please email Houston Audubon at [email protected] or visit for more details.
Seatheaast Texas Ag Summit logo with black and white farm drawing
AgriLife Extension Southeast Texas Ag Summit - September 30 - October 1
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Southeast Texas Ag Summit will be September 30-October 1 at the Baytown Community Center, 2407 Market Street, Baytown. Continuing education topics include beef cattle production and management, pasture and range management, conservation of natural resources, and farm safety and management. Five continuing education unit (CEU) credits are pending Texas Department of Agriculture approval. Registration ($40 for individuals, $60 for couples) includes the Texas Bred and Texans Fed Barbecue on September 30. For more information, contact Shannon Dietz.
Cursive Rethinking Recycling on a blue field of green stars with the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling stylized star in the middle.
STAR 2021 Texas Recycling Summit - October 5-8
Mark your calendars for the 2021 Texas Recycling Summit hosted by the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling. The event will be October 5-8, and it will be online and in-person at Lake Granbury. The hybrid event will include speakers and sessions held online the first two days and workshops, the Texas Environmental Leadership Awards dinner, a live auction, networking, and games during the final two days.
take back DEA
Drug Enforcement Administration National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 23. Check the DEA website in early October for area drop-off locations. The collection event provides a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications and environmental contamination. Law enforcement agencies interested in hosting a collection site should call the point of contact for this area.
Brownfileds 2021 with spiral in green and blue
EPA, ICMA Brownfields Training Conference 2021 - December 8-11
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and International City/County Management Association (ICMA) National Brownfields Training Conference will be December 8-11 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The National Brownfields Training Conference is the largest event in the nation focused on environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment. Held every two years, the National Brownfields Conference attracts over 2,000 stakeholders in brownfields redevelopment and cleanup to share knowledge about sustainable reuse and celebrate the EPA brownfields program’s success.
News and Notes
AARP Livable Communities written around bicyclists pedestrians bus and housing
Houston Projects Selected for AARP Livable Communities Challenge

According to the American Association of Retired Persons, nearly $3.2 million will be distributed to 244 quick-action projects across the country, helping urban, rural, and suburban communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages.

AARP Community Challenge grants were awarded to projects across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Five projects were selected in Houston, including one with components in two Livable Centers planning studies.

Houston: Greater Northside Management District
Wayinding signage will be installed in five communities to improve pedestrian connections to businesses, increase safety, and enhance neighborhood identity. Two locations identified in this project are within the Northside Livable Centers study (2010) and Independence Heights-Northline Livable Centers study (2012) for Irvington Boulevard at Fulton and Irvington Boulevard at Cross Timbers, respectively.

Houston: City of Houston Planning Department
Preapproved construction documents will be assembled and made available to homeowners interested in building an accessory dwelling unit (or ADU).

Houston: Houston Land Bank
The installation of lights, raised garden beds, and an accessible pathway at a community garden will better enable the space to be used for community events and educational workshops. 

Houston: My Connect Community 
Funding will be used to convert underutilized street-side lots into people-friendly green spaces by adding shade trees and structures, seating, landscaping, and a mural.

Houston: North Houston Management District
As one of Houston’s first augmented reality installations, a new mural will help make the Aldine Branch Library a more engaging destination.
Funding Sources
Funding Sources

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, conservation projects, and economic recovery resources.

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.
More Information and Programs
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.

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 RecyclingTrash Bash, and Regional Data Lab.
Unless otherwise noted, all meetings scheduled at H-GAC are at 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston, Texas. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, H-GAC will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities attending H-GAC functions. Requests should be received 72 business hours prior to the function. Contact the meeting organizer to make arrangements.

Banner Photo: Alligators at the San Bernard Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Kendall Guidroz

Would you like us to consider featuring your municipality, program, or regional photo on the C&E Planning Update banner? Just forward your picture to Andrea Tantillo, along with some information about the subject and the photographer, and you might see it in a future month's newsletter.
Houston-Galveston Area Council