November Newsletter Banner - Pumpkins behind H-GAC Community and Environmental Planning Update
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H-GAC Projects Earn Recognition in Texas Chapter of American Planning Association 2022 Planning Awards Program

The Houston-Galveston Area Council Regional Conservation Initiative and two Livable Centers projects were selected for recognition in the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association’s (APA) 2022 Planning Awards program.

The H-GAC Regional Conservation Initiative earned Silver recognition in the Environmental Planning category. This award honors efforts to create more sustainable and greener communities that reduce the impact of development on the natural environment and improve environmental quality. The project was also recognized in the inaugural APA Texas Chapter Houston Section 2022 Planning Awards.

The H-GAC East Aldine Livable Centers study earned Silver recognition in the Best Practice category. This award is for a specific planning tool, practice, program, project, or process. This category emphasizes results and demonstrates how innovative and state-of-the-art planning methods and practices help to create communities of lasting value.

The H-GAC Old Seabrook Livable Centers study earned Silver recognition in the Urban Design category. This award honors efforts to create a sense of place, whether a street, public space, neighborhood, or campus effort.
white chalk-drawn thumbs up on a field of green
H-GAC Offers Shareable Social Media Content for Texas Recycles Day

November 15 is Texas Recycles Day. To supplement community or organizations' social media activities, H-GAC provides monthly content for use on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Communities can visit the H-GAC Solid Waste Management Educational Tools webpage to download any of the images and captions and post on their own social media. The images and captions are also available to share from H-GAC Recycling Facebook page. 

For more information about Texas Recycles Day, including shareable social media content, a press releases template, and a proclamation template, visit the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling Texas Recycles Day webpage
H-GAC Seeks Feedback, Public Comment on 2018 Hurricane Harvey Disaster Recovery Funds Reallocation

H-GAC is seeking input on an amendment to the 2018 Method of Distribution (MOD) for Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds for local infrastructure projects in the H-GAC region. The amendment would reallocate $2,305,505 in declined and/or de-obligated funds. Funded projects must directly address infrastructure damage from Hurricane Harvey and at least 70% of the funds must be used for persons of low-and moderate-income.

Only entities located in Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Waller, Walker, or Wharton counties are eligible for funds. The Texas General Land Office did not include Harris County and the City of Houston in the original 2018 allocation and will not include either entity in this reallocation as they each received direct allocations for local infrastructure projects from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Texas General Land Office.

H-GAC will host a public planning meeting on Zoom to provide more information on the proposed reallocation amendment, answer any questions, and accept feedback. The meeting will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 9. Registration is required to attend this meeting.

H-GAC will also hold a public hearing from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6. The hearing will be at 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston, and on Zoom. Registration is requested to attend the hearing in person, and registration is required to attend the hearing online.
For more information, including additional ways to provide public comment, visit 
Upcoming Events
waterbody between two grassy banks
Natural Resources Advisory Committee November 3 (Hybrid)

H-GAC's Natural Resources Advisory Committee will meet from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, November 3.

The meeting will be at H-GAC, Second Floor Conference Rooms, and on Zoom. Registration is required to attend online and requested to attend in person.

Brian Koch, Regional Watershed Coordinator with the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, will present on recommended practices for protecting and conserving natural resources, especially water resources.

For more information, contact Rachel Windham.
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Trash Free Texas Single-Use Plastic Reduction Workgroup Meeting November 7 (Online)

The Trash Free Texas teams from H-GAC and the North Central Texas Council of Governments invites cities, restaurants, third-party delivery providers, chambers of commerce, and restaurant patrons to participate in the next meeting of the Trash Free Texas Single-Use Plastic Reduction Workgroup from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, November 7, on Teams.

The purpose of this meeting is to hear feedback on two draft toolkitsone for cities and one for restaurantsthat include resources, templates, and strategies for voluntarily reducing the use of single-use plastics in restaurants. About 10 to 14 days prior to the meeting, the Trash Free Texas project team will email the draft toolkits to registrants for review.

Register to attend the meeting and receive meeting login information and review copies of the toolkits.

Interested participants can also receive copies of the toolkits for review without planning to attend the meeting.
Houston Area GIS Day written above a drawing of a skyline
Houston GIS DayNovember 16 (In-Person)

The 2022 Houston Area GIS Day is Wednesday, November 16, at the University of Houston – Clear Lake campus, 2700 Bay Area Blvd, Bayou Building, Houston. The Houston Area GIS Day is a free, one-day celebration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for local GIS professionals, universities, high school students, and teachers.

This year’s activities include:
  • Live Educational Presentations for Students
  • Live Geospatial Presentations for Professionals
  • College and University GIS Program Exhibitors
  • Geospatial Exhibitors and Vendors
  • Student GIS Activities and Games
  • Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Texas "Mappy Hour" Post-Event
  • Professional Map Contests and More!

More event information is available on the 2022 Houston Area GIS Day website.
Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable Field Trip November 17 (In-Person)

Join us for H-GAC's Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable Field Trip at 1:30 p m. Thursday, November 17. We will meet at Francesca’s Garden in Rick Rice Park, 700 Mason Creek Trail, Katy, to learn more about this award-winning park. 

Registration is requested. 

For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo.
Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG) Fall Meeting November 29 (Hybrid)

The Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG) Fall meeting will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, November 29.
The meeting will be at H-GAC, Second Floor Conference Rooms, and on Zoom. Registration is required to attend online and requested to attend in person.
Topics will include the 2022 annual report, BIG Implementation Plan revisions, and Total Maximum Daily Load updates.
For more information, contact Steven Johnston.
Fall Planning Workshop December 2 (Online)

Save the Date for H-GAC's annual Fall Planning Workshop from 9 to noon, Friday, December 2.

The event will be online, and registration is required.

The topic will be Accommodating Your Community: ADA Requirements for Local Governments. Experts will discuss Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules, policies, and best practices for making built environments and engagement accessible for all. The keynote speaker will be Kori Allen, ADA & Capital Programs Coordinator at City of Coppell and member of the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities. 

For more information, contact Cheryl Mergo.
water body between tree-lined banks with grass in front
Chocolate Bay Stakeholder Meeting December 13 (Hybrid)

H-GAC invites residents, local governments, businesses, and non-profits within the watersheds that make up Chocolate Bay—Chocolate Bayou, Mustang Bayou, and Halls Bayou—to attend a stakeholder meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, December 13. 

The meeting will be at the Alvin Public Library, 105 South Gordon, Alvin, and on Zoom. Registration is required to attend online
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss water quality issues affecting communities in the Chocolate Bay watershed, including Algoa, Arcola, Alvin, Fresno, Hillcrest, Iowa Colony, Liverpool, Manvel, Missouri City, Pearland, and Santa Fe. Pollutants, specifically fecal bacteria, in these waterways may impact public health, local economies, and the natural environment. Residents and organizations are invited to participate and provide input toward the development a watershed-based plan to address water quality and reduce fecal bacteria
water body in the background with leaves in the foreground
Oyster Creek Stakeholder Meeting December 14 (Hybrid)

H-GAC invites residents, local governments, businesses, and non-profits within the Oyster Creek Watershed in Brazoria and Fort Bend counties to attend a stakeholder meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, December 14. 

The meeting will be at the Lake Jackson Library, 250 Circle Way, Lake Jackson, and on Zoom. Registration is required to attend online
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss water quality issues affecting communities in the Oyster Creek watershed south of Sugar Land, including Angleton, Arcola, Bailey’s Prairie, Bonney, Clute, Holiday Lakes, Iowa Colony, Juliff, Lake Jackson, Missouri City (Sienna Plantation), Richwood, Rosharon, and Sandy Point. Pollutants, specifically fecal bacteria, in this waterway may impact public health, local economies, and the natural environment. Residents and organizations are invited to participate in this and future meetings to provide input that will be used to review the draft bacteria reduction plan and to consider the next steps needed to put the plan into action. 
Trash Bash March 25, 2023 (In-Person)

Mark your calendar for the 29th River, Lakes, Bays ‘N Bayous Trash Bash®, Texas’s largest single-day waterway cleanup on Saturday, March 25, 2023. 
Since its inception, more than 117,000 volunteers have collected over 2,400 tons of trash, 22 tons of recyclable materials, and 11,965 tires. Find out how to volunteer and promote a healthy Galveston Bay watershed at one of their many cleanup locations on March 25.

Cleanup supplies, event t-shirts, and lunch are provided to all volunteers. Trash Bash hopes you will come out and help “Clean it like you mean it !” ® 
Partner Announcements
take care of texas written in blue with outline of Texas in green
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 2, and the public will have the opportunity to pick their favorite videos January 17-23, 2023. There will be six winners. Waste Management of Texas, Inc. will provide prizes—gift cards and scholarships.  
More Upcoming Events
America Recycles Day is 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
Funding Sources
Funding Sources

H-GAC's Community and Environmental Planning Department 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, and conservation projects.

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 Recycling, and Trash Bash.
Conservation Note of the Month

Forests in the Houston-Galveston region provide habitat for native plants and wildlife. This habitat is important to the delicate balance of the region’s diverse ecosystems, that contribute to local economies, such as ecotourism..
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: Seasonal pumpkins 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 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