Upcoming Events
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. 

Program Notes
  • Dr. Charles Gilliland, Research Economist at the Texas Real Estate Research Center, will discuss the recent uptick in small property rural land sales and urban-to-rural migration trends in Texas.
  • Shelly Plante, Nature Tourism Coordinator at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, will suggest how rural and small towns in Texas can cultivate their nature tourism offerings.
  • Liz Thorstensen, Vice President of Trail Development at the Rails to Trails Conservancy, will share how rural towns have built and leveraged trails to bring people downtown. 

We will also highlight case studies from around the region.

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.
Solid Waste Workshop - November 18 (Online)

H-GAC's next Solid Waste Workshop will be from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, November 18.

The event will be online, and registration is required.

H-GAC's solid waste workshops focus on in-depth studies of different topics each quarter. For more information, contact Erin Livingston.
Fall Planning MeetingDecember 3 (Online)

Make plans to attend H-GAC's Fall Planning workshop from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, December 3. The topic will be Growing Kid-Friendly Communities, with a focus on the economy, safety, and strong communities.

The event will be online, and registration is required.

The Fall Planning Workshop is an annual workshop for local governments featuring presentations on planning best practices for communities.

For more information, contact Cheryl Mergo.
River, Lakes, Bays ‘N Bayous Trash Bash®March 26, 2022

The River, Lakes, Bays ‘N Bayous Trash Bash®, Texas’s largest single-day waterway cleanup, is excited to welcome back volunteers to the 28th annual event on Saturday, March 26, 2022.

Since its inception, more than 114,000 volunteers have collected over 2,300 tons of trash, 20 tons of recyclable materials, and 11,629 tires. Find out how to volunteer and promote a healthy Galveston Bay watershed at one of their many cleanup locations on March 26. Trash Bash hopes you will come out and help “Clean it like you mean it!” ®
Recycle bins
Applications for H-GAC Solid Waste Management Grants Close October 15

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 $1,050,000 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 close at noon Friday, October 15. H-GAC hosted a workshop on how to complete the grant application in September. The workshop presentation and recording are available online.

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.
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.
Trash Free Texas logo
Trash Free Texas Adopt-A-Spot and Quarterly Update

Trash Free Texas is recruiting partners and coordinators to add sites in their community to the Adopt-A-Spot map. The Adopt-A-Spot map helps connect people to places in need of routine litter cleanup, and we would love to talk to you about how it can be adapted to your needs and be an asset to your community cleanup efforts.

To learn more about the local Trash Free Texas efforts, consider subscribing to H-GAC's Trash Free Texas News and Updates. These quarterly newsletters offer information about Trash Free Texas, an initiative by the Houston-Galveston Area Council and partners to reduce or eliminate litter along area waterways. The newsletter also features litter reduction efforts from our partners across the region.

Join our mailing list if you are interested in receiving this update or sharing news about your litter reduction activities, or submit your stories about past or future litter reduction activities.
In The News
Impact in red bold font
Fort Bend County Demographics

Pramod Sambidi, PhD, program manager of socioeconomic modeling at H-GAC, was interviewed for a Community Impact Newspaper article focusing on the evolving demographics in Fort Bend County and Katy.

A highlight of the article is the increase in overall population and the significant increase in Asian population in the area.

Partner Announcements
Texas outline with Take Care of Texas written in blue
Take Care of Texas Student Video Contest
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) invites students in 6th through 12th grades to enter the annual Take Care of Texas Video Contest. Student videos should be 30 seconds long and portray positive ways Texans can help keep air and water clean, conserve water and energy, or reduce waste. The contest deadline is Friday, December 3, and the public will have the opportunity to pick their favorite videos January 18-29, 2022. There will be six winners. Waste Management of Texas, Inc. will provide prizes--GoPro cameras and scholarships. The middle and high school students who win first place will be recognized by the TCEQ Commissioners and representatives from Waste Management of Texas, Inc.
More Upcoming Events
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 4-6 (Online)
Mark your calendars for the 2021 Texas Recycling Summit hosted by the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling. The event will be October 5-6, and will now be fully virtual. The event will feature more than 40 expert speakers in more than 20 professional sessions.
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.
I love America Recycles Day November 15 using the chasing arrows recycling symbol in place of the heart
America Recycles Day November 15
For more than two decades, communities have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. Find tools for organizing or attending special events online.
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
Two Communities in H-GAC Region Earn Scenic City Certification

Scenic Texas announced that two cities in the H-GAC region are among 22 Texas cities that have been recognized as 2021 Certified Scenic City award recipients through the Scenic City Certification Program, a program of the statewide nonprofit and its 17 partner organizations, including H-GAC.

The Scenic City Certification Program recognizes cities for their demonstrated commitment to high-quality scenic standards for public roadways and spaces.

The City of El Campo was recertified at Gold status, and the City of Pearland upgraded its status to Platinum. A total of 85 cities across Texas have earned Scenic City Certification.
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: Fishermen near Fort Travis Park on Bolivar Peninsula and ships anchored near Galveston.
Photo by Marcus Tantillo

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