Vendor at a farmers market with green vegetables
Upcoming Events
Color blocks depicting park scenes and words Parks and Nature Areas
Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable - July 12 (Online)

The next Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, July 12
The event will be online, and registration is required.

Attendees will hear from Justin Bower with H-GAC, discussing H-GAC's Regional Conservation Framework. Augustus "Auggie" Campbell, Executive Director of the Association of Water Board Directors, and Deborah January-Bevers, President and CEO of Houston Wilderness, will discuss HB1410, a new law that will raise the cap on the use of recreational bonds for nature-based infrastructure in MUDs and other water districts. 
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.
floating docks over water
Cotton Bayou Watershed Project Meeting – July 13 (Online)

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and H-GAC will hold a public meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 13, to discuss water quality in the Cotton Bayou Watershed. Project staff will review updates since the submission of the Watershed Characterization Report and provide an outlook on the development of a Technical Support Document and Total Maximum Daily Load calculation for Cotton Bayou.

The event will be online, and registration is required.
More information about this project is available online or by contacting Rachel Windham.
Bringing Back Main Street – July 27 (Online)

Save the date for H-GAC's next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, July 27.
The event will be online, and registration is required.

The topic will be How Local Food Fuels Your Economy and will look at the economic impact of food trucks, farmers markets, and restaurants in rural and small towns. The City of Tomball will be featured at this event.
H-GAC hosts quarterly roundtables to help local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development interests promote the economic revitalization of downtown areas.

For more information, contact Sarah Torresen.
Livable Centers Elements of Placemaking Under green boxes with people places and wayfinding signage
Elements of Placemaking Workshop – August 20 (Online)

Save the date for Elements of Placemaking, a free workshop, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, August 20.

The event will be online, and registration is required.

Placemaking is collaboratively creating or reimagining public spaces to meet the physical, cultural, and social needs of a community. At this workshop, Fred Kent, a pioneer of the placemaking movement, and local partners in the Houston-Galveston region will share their insights. The program will include discussions about projects in alleyways and on sidewalks, tips to reenergize underutilized buildings and open spaces, and quick placemaking solutions available to all communities.

For more information, contact Anita Hollmann.
close up of magnolia blossom
H-GAC's Regional Conservation Framework Earns NARC 2021 Achievement Award

H-GAC recently received a 2021 Regional Achievement and Leadership Award from the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) for the Regional Conservation Framework, a project funded by a grant from Houston Endowment, Inc..

The awards celebrate achievements in regional cooperation, excellence, and leadership, and seven projects from around the country received recognition. The Framework provides guidance for H-GAC efforts to preserve and enhance the region’s diverse natural heritage and realize the benefits of conservation.

In the next phase, H-GAC will focus on identifying priority projects across the region, aiding local governments and partners in securing grant funding for their projects, enhancing data and resources available to local governments, and raising public awareness to support conservation initiatives.

The Regional Conservation Framework expands on the work of other Houston-area conservation efforts by focusing on building local government capacity and fostering multijurisdictional partnerships on a regional level. In addition to traditional efforts to protect existing natural areas, the Framework seeks to promote restoration of degraded areas and add natural function in our built environment.

More information about the Regional Conservation Framework is available online.
map depicting land use coverage area
H-GAC Releases 2020 Land Cover Data

The Community and Environmental Planning GIS program at H-GAC developed the 2020 Regional Land Cover Data for use in planning and research applications at the regional level.

Land cover data is an important element in understanding the dynamics of the H-GAC region and is applicable for various analytical projects, such as regional and county water quality planning and watershed analysis, land use and socioeconomic modeling applications, large-area resource management planning, educational purposes for students and residents, broad-scale evaluation of impact analysis, and change detection.

Subscribe to the Trash Free Texas Newsletter Today

Beginning this month, H-GAC will send electronic copies of the Trash Free Texas News and Updates to subscribers only.
This regular newsletter offers 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.
screenshot of aerial imagery
H-GAC Releases Aerial Imagery for Public Sale

H-GAC's 2020 regional aerial imagery is available for public sale. This latest aerial imagery was captured during the leaf-off season of 2020 and is now available by individual tile, county, any combination of tile and county, or the entire regional coverage at 13,500 square miles. This aerial imagery data is heavily relied on by the GIS and engineering communities to plan for growth and expansion within our region. The imagery is available in 6-inch and 1-foot resolutions and in true color (RGB) or infrared color (CIR).
For additional details, coverage maps, and pricing, visit the H-GAC Aerial Imagery website.
Coastal Communities Project Shares Outreach Materials

Coastal Communities works to provide communities resources and opportunities to reduce pollution concerns in area waterways. One of the resources is the Coastal Communities Roadmap with free outreach messaging communities can share with residents on different topics, such as illegal dumping, pet waste, and FOG (fats, oils, and grease).

A full year’s worth of messaging is available, with two messages each month in four formats (social media graphic, web banner graphic, flyer, and bill insert).

All messages are free to download, and communities are welcome to add their logo/branding to all messages.

For more information, contact Kendall Guidroz.
Small Business Financing Opportunities through H-GALDC

Serving as H-GAC’s small business financing arm, the Houston-Galveston Area Local Development Corporation (H-GALDC) is able to help new or established small businesses access capital to purchase and develop real estate. With interest rates at all-time lows, now may be the time to move your business from a lease to a mortgage.

H-GALDC also leverages funding from the Small Business Administration and the Economic Development Administration to offer a variety of loan products. Loans can range from $25,000 for working capital to over $5,000,000 for the purchase of land and new construction.
For more information about H-GALDC and its resources visit or email [email protected] and learn how H-GAC can help your business.
Partner Announcements
Cursive Rethinking Recycling on a blue field of green stars with the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling stylized star in the middle.
2021 STAR Texas Environmental Leadership Awards Nominations Open Until July 16
The State of Texas Alliance for Recycling is accepting nominations for the 2021 Texas Environmental Leadership Award. These awards recognize individuals, communities, organizations, and businesses developing and maintaining programs involving recycling, composting, sustainable materials management, public outreach, special event recycling, and more. Award nominations are due Friday, July 16.
NADO Impact Awards logo with face profiles on the side illustrating creativity
NADO Impact Awards Application Open Until July 16
Each year, the National Association of Development Organizations recognizes member organizations that demonstrate innovative approaches to regional economic and community development through the Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Awards program. Previous award-winning projects have showcased innovative efforts in a variety of program areas, including planning, brownfields, sustainability, technology, transportation, and workforce development. Applications are due Friday, July 16. For more information, contact Brett Schwartz or Laurie Thompson.
Texas Main Street Designation Applications Open Until July 30
The Texas Historical Commission is accepting applications from cities interested in becoming designated Main Street Communities. Each year, the Commission may select up to five cities for official designation. Communities selected this year will enter the program in January 2022. Main Street is an economic development program focusing on small business development using historic preservation and reuse of historic properties as primary tools. Full applications are due Friday, July 30. Main Street communities in the region are Bay City, Houston-Emancipation Avenue, Huntsville, and Sealy.
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.
Texas General Land Office Logo
Clean Coast Texas
Texas General Land Office, in partnership with members of the Texas Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Program, launched a comprehensive, online resource for coastal communities to learn about managing and protecting water quality along the Texas coast at CleanCoast.Texas.Gov. The website contains state-of-the-art technical manuals and general information for local governments, builders, engineers, and homeowners with helpful links and guidance on how communities can do their part to protect their local water sources. Please complete this 10-minute survey to inform future workshops and opportunities for Clean Coast Texas to serve your community.
WaterMyYard Website & App
Residents in Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend, and Brazoria counties and select cities across Texas now have access to a new water conservation tool. WaterMyYard is a free website and app that uses local weather data to help users water less and keep their yards beautiful. Download WaterMyYard and receive free customized weekly watering advice. Galveston Bay Foundation is working alongside partners at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District on this tool to increase water conservation, reduce subsidence, and improve water quality.
Headwaters to Baywaters Interactive Story Map
Bayou Land Conservancy, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Galveston Bay Foundation, Houston Audubon, and Katy Prairie Conservancy announce Headwaters to Baywaters: A Story of Urban Resilience, an interactive website explaining the scientific importance of riparian corridors and the organizations' conservation efforts to preserve them in the Houston-Galveston region.
Upcoming Events
EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference - August 8-12
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 is hosting the Annual EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference August 8-12 in New Orleans, Louisiana. There will also be 450 virtual registration slots available. The conference provides participants national, regional, and state updates on water regulations and policy, as well as information on stormwater controls, water conservation management practices, and new technologies that can address stormwater pollution discharges to surface waters. On-site registration is $350 (if you register by July 13), and virtual registration is $225 (while slots are available).
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.
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.
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 ICMA National Brownfields Training Conference will be December 8-11 in Oklahoma City, Okla. 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
Texas outline with Take Care of Texas written in blue
Alvin 5th Grader Takes Home Prize in Take Care of Texas Art Contest

Isabella Trevino, a student at Bob and Betty Nelson Elementary School in Alvin, was chosen as the 5th-grade winner in the 2021 Take Care of Texas Art Contest.

Each year, the Take Care of Texas Kids Art Contest is a fun way for K-5 students to learn about protecting the environment and come up with creative ways to share this knowledge with others! Students submit their artwork of how they, along with their friends and family, help keep the air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste. The students that submit the best art can win a tablet or laptop computer.

Prizes are made possible through a donation from the Texas Chemical Council.
APA SUSTAIN on a field of blue
Pasadena Parks Plan Earns Planning Association Recognition

The Pasadena Healthy Parks Plan received the 2021 Excellence in Sustainability Award for parks and open space plans from the American Planning Association’s Sustainable Communities Division.

The goal of the Healthy Parks Plan is to identify the highest priority investments to ensure that Pasadena continues to thrive through making its parks healthy, welcoming, and accessible to all. The long-term vision for the Healthy Parks Plan is a healthy, thriving, and connected Pasadena where safe, beautiful, welcoming parks ensure that everyone has a place to belong, be active, and enjoy nature.

The American Planning Association Awards for Excellence in Sustainability honor projects, plans, policies, individuals, and organizations whose work is dedicated to supporting sustainable communities.
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: A vendor sets up her booth at the Tomball Farmers Market. Learn more about farmers markets and other local food systems at this month's Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable.
Photo by Sarah Torresen

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