Christmas tree and deer in front of the Webster Fire Station
Upcoming Events
Growing Kid-friendly communities
Fall Planning WorkshopDecember 3 (Online)

Register today 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 panelists discussing best practices to plan welcoming and safe communities for families with children.

The event will be online, and registration is required.

Presenters and topics include:
  • Nikita Luke, Senior Project Associate, Road Safety and Health, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, will discuss creating child-friendly cities by considering children's needs in public policy processes and decisions.
  • Adam Bienenstock, Founder and CEO, Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, will discuss creating environments where children can take risks in the built environment safely to enhance confidence.
  • Sara Candiracci, PhD, Associate Director in the International Development Group, Arup, will discuss tools and methods needed to create child-friendly cities and related benefits for communities.
  • James Delaney, Chair, Block by Block Foundation, will discuss techniques for engaging families, such as integrating computer games into public space planning to engage community members.

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.
Bringing Back Main Street January 25, 2022 (Online)

Save the date for the next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

The event will be online, and registration is required.

At this workshop, we will explore Building Downtowns from Scratch and discuss how to strategically plan for and implement downtown gathering spaces. Jeff Taebel, FAICP, Director of Community and Environmental Planning at H-GAC, and Rick Leisner, AICP, Principal at Norris Design, will share information about the benefits of building a downtown and strategies for getting started.

Both presenters will take questions from the audience during an Ask the Expert Roundtable, so bring your questions, challenges, and success stories to share.

For more information, contact Sarah Torresen.
Color blocks depicting park scenes and words Parks and Nature Areas Awards
Parks and Natural Areas Summit and Awards February 11, 2022 (Online*)

Save the Date for the Parks and Natural Areas Awards recognition ceremony to be from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, February 11, 2022.

This event will be online*, and registration is required.

Award-winning projects serve as models for planning and project implementation for parks and natural areas in the region. Projects will be honored in four categories: Planning Process, On-the-Ground Projects Over $500,000, On-the-Ground Projects Under $500,000, and, new this year, Programming.

For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo.

*This event may be held as a hybrid in-person/online event. Register for the online event above, and check our webpage for more information about the possible in-person event.
Trash Free Texas logo
Trash Free Texas Adopt-A-Spot WebinarFebruary 24, 2022 (Online)

Save the date for a Trash Free Texas Adopt-A-Spot Map webinar from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, February 24, 2022.

The event will be online, and registration is required.

The Trash Free Texas Adopt-A-Spot Map is a free web-based tool that helps to connect volunteers to places in need of routine litter cleanup while allowing cities, counties, and organizations to maintain control of their own litter cleanup programs. Participants will hear from Trash Free Texas staff and partners and are encouraged to ask questions about how the tool can help meet their cleanup goals.

For more information contact Kendall Guidroz.
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!” ®

Find more, including registration links and public health guidelines at
Clear Creek Watershed Partnership Logo
H-GAC Begins Clear Creek Watershed Protection Planning Work

H-GAC is working with local governments, residents, businesses, and organizations to improve water quality in the Clear Creek Watershed of Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, and Harris counties. Due to local concern about water quality issues including fecal waste in Clear Creek and its tributaries, H-GAC secured funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to help local stakeholders develop a watershed protection plan.

Leadership and feedback from the public are a crucial part of this process to help protect local communities.

To learn more and get involved, visit the project website at Public meetings will begin soon. 
Coastal Communities Project Shares Holiday Awareness 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). The FOG messaging can be particularly helpful during the holiday season to explain what FOG is and why FOG and wipes should never go down the pipes.
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.
close up of magnolia blossom
H-GAC Seeks Information on Conservation Projects in the Region

As part of our Regional Conservation Initiative, H-GAC will actively assist with preparing grant applications, convening stakeholders, and otherwise supporting the implementation of priority conservation projects across the 13-county H-GAC region. To guide our efforts, we are collecting information about planned conservation projects from local governments and non-governmental organizations and categorizing the projects in a priority list.

There is no funding associated with this project priority list but selected projects will be eligible to receive H-GAC staff assistance.

On November 16, the H-GAC Board of Directors approved the inaugural priority project list. See the current priority project list and learn more about our work online. The list will be updated quarterly. 
Staff encourages you to submit your conservation projects here or email [email protected] with any questions.
Livable Centers with shadow of people walking
H-GAC Announces New Livable Centers Study Sponsors

In October 2021, the H-GAC Board of Directors approved the following new Livable Centers Study projects and local sponsors.

  • Healthy Pasadena Livable Centers Study, City of Pasadena
  • South Houston Livable Centers Study, Harris County Precinct 2
  • City of Alvin Livable Centers Study, City of Alvin
  • Central Sugar Land Connectivity Study*, City of Sugar Land
  • City of Prairie View Livable Centers Study, City of Prairie View

All study area locations are available for review via H-GAC's ACE tool.

Established in 2008, H-GAC’s Livable Centers program works with local communities to reimagine auto-focused infrastructure, policies, and programs to be more multi-modal friendly.

*This study will be a Focused Study that targets small areas, such as a community node or destination or specific Livable Centers goal.
Partner Announcements
Protect Our Pipes City of Houston Public Works
Houston Protect Our Pipes Campaign
Around 70% of sanitary sewer overflows in Houston are caused by clogs from fats, oils and grease poured down the drain and wipes flushed down toilets. The City of Houston’s Protect Our Pipes campaign provides resources to educate residents on how they can help prevent sewer overflows in their community. Visit for more information and to download flyers, infographics, fact sheets, and videos for online and print distribution. You can contact the campaign at [email protected] or follow Protect Our Pipes on Facebook or Twitter.
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
mocking bird
Audubon Christmas Bird Count – December 14-January 5
The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is December 14 through January 5 each year. Organized by the National Audubon Society, this global, all-volunteer effort collects data on local bird populations. Individual counts are open to birders of all levels, and there is no fee to participate. Several events are scheduled across the region.
Texas General Land Office Logo
Collaborative Green Infrastructure Workshop – December 7 (online and in-person)
Texas General Land Office Clean Coast Texas is hosting a Collaborative Green Infrastructure Workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, December 7. The workshop will be online and in-person at the Aransas Pass Civic Center, 700 West Wheeler Ave., Aransas Pass. This free, half-day workshop will teach you more about nature-based practices to clean and conserve stormwater for people and wildlife at any scale. Speakers will focus on how green infrastructure practices, from small to large, can work to reduce flood risk in your community. Continuing education hours are available for AICP CM or CFM credits. Both in-person and virtual attendance options are available, but in-person seating is limited. Registration is required for both virtual and in-person attendance options.
Texas Watershed Sterward logo
Texas Watershed Steward Workshop – December 8 (online and in-person)
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is offering a Texas Watershed Steward Workshop from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, December 8. The event will be online or in-person at the Kenney Agricultural Society Hall, 444 Hall Road, Bellville. All participants at this free, half-day workshop will receive beneficial and applicable watershed education and a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Curriculum Handbook. Registration is required for both online and in-person attendance options.
News and Notes
Texas APA Logo
Montrose Livable Centers Study Earns Planning Association Award

The Montrose Livable Centers Study was recently recognized by the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association with a Silver Best Practices Award. 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.

Completed in 2021, the Montrose Livable Centers Study provides recommendations for the Montrose TIRZ. The goal of the study was to complete the first comprehensive and stakeholder-driven plan for Montrose which builds-off previous plans, leverages past and current infrastructure improvements, improves pedestrian and bike infrastructure, access to transit, greenspace amenities, and housing and economic development into a unified vision and implementation plan.

Livable Centers are places where people can live, work, and play with less reliance on their cars. They encourage a complementary mix of land uses that are designed to be walkable, connected, and accessible by multiple modes of transportation, including bus, bike, foot, or vehicle (multi-modal). Established in 2008, H-GAC’s Livable Centers program works with local communities to reimagine auto-focused infrastructure, policies, and programs to be more multi-modal friendly.
Main Street America written with stylized street light above
Freeport, Conroe Join Prestigious Main Street Revitalization Program

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has designated Freeport and Conroe as incoming 2022 official Texas Main Street communities. The announcement was made on October 29 at the THC’s quarterly commission meeting in Austin.

Effective January 1, 2022, Freeport and Conroe join 88 other designated Main Street communities throughout Texas committed to a preservation-based economic development program focused on their historic downtowns.

Both Freeport and Conroe were previously official Texas Main Street communities—Freeport from 2000 to 2012 and Conroe from 2006 through 2010. The cities’ re-entry into the Texas Main Street Program underscores their commitment to downtown revitalization and their desire to take advantage of resources available to designated Main Street communities.
Every year, the THC may select up to five communities for official Main Street designation. Local Main Street programs receive a wide range of services and technical expertise from the THC, including design and historic preservation, planning, economic development, organizational management, and training. The Texas program is affiliated with the National Main Street Center/Main Street America, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
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: Webster Fire Station decorated for the holidays. 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