Keeping you up to date on the community planning, economic development,
and environmental planning programs at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Upcoming Events
Bringing Back Main Street wordmark logo
Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable - January 28

Save the date for H-GAC's next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, January 28, at the Dayton Community Center, 801 S. Cleveland, Dayton. Registration, networking, and light breakfast begin at 9:30 a.m.

The focus will be on how small cities are raising development standards for future growth. Speakers include Theo Melancon, Dayton City Manager; Jody Czajkoski, Conroe City Councilman; and Courtney Sladek, El Campo City Manager.

H-GAC hosts quarterly roundtables to help local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development interests promote the economic revitalization of downtown areas.

Online registration is requested. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.

water body meandering through trees and grass
Chocolate Bay Watershed Bacteria Reduction Meeting - January 30

H-GAC and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality invite area stakeholders to help create a plan to reduce high concentrations of bacteria found in the Chocolate Bay Watershed, including Chocolate, Halls and Mustang bayous. The meeting will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 30, at Alvin Library, 105 S. Gordon Street, Alvin.

During the meeting, participants will review and discuss a draft plan to address the bacteria in the impacted watershed. 

For more information, contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.

Parks and Natural Areas Logo with stylized tree H-GAC logo swing bird water and soccer ball
Parks and Natural Areas Summit and Awards Ceremony - February 14

Save the date for the Parks and Natural Areas Summit and Awards Ceremony from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, February 14, 2020, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. The Summit will include presentations on topics and trends related to parks and natural areas.

The event will also include the annual Parks and Natural Areas Awards recognition ceremony. These projects serve as models for planning and project implementation for parks and natural areas in the region. Projects will be honored in three categories: Planning Process, On-the-Ground Projects Over $500,000, and On-the-Ground Projects Under $500,000. 

Online registration is requested. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.

Solid Waste Workshop Series: Enforcement - March 5

H-GAC's Solid Waste Workshop Series will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. The workshop will focus on enforcement.

H-GAC's Solid Waste Workshop Series focuses on in-depth studies of different topics each quarter.

Online registration is requested. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.

Parks and Natural Areas Logo with stylized tree H-GAC logo swing bird water and soccer ball
Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable - March 9

The next Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 9, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. Attendees will learn about the Nature and Eclectic Outdoors' Healthy Outdoor Communities initiative and will learn about an award-winning parks and natural areas project in the region. 

The Roundtable meets the second Monday of March, July, and September with field trips scheduled in May and November. The group is open to anyone who is interested in participating.  

Online registration will open soon. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.

trash bash logo
Trash Bash - March 28

Every year, thousands of volunteers gather to clean up trash and debris along area waterways by participating in the largest, single-day waterway cleanup in Texas, the River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash. Join them on Saturday, March 28, 2020, for the 27th annual cleanup.

With locations across the Galveston Bay watershed, there's a cleanup location near home, work, or school. Educational areas at each site offer opportunities to learn more about protecting water quality. Participating in Trash Bash is free, with supplies, t-shirts, lunch, and door prizes provided. Scouts and students are encouraged to participate. 

Learn more about becoming a volunteer or sponsor for Trash Bash 2020.

WISE Awards logo with water droplet styled to resemble an owl
Submit WISE Awards Applications Online Beginning January 6

H-GAC will accept Water Innovation Strategies of Excellence (WISE) Awards applications from Monday, January 6, through Thursday, February 6.

The WISE Awards are a new initiative honoring innovative strategies and projects in the Houston-Galveston region that serve as models for improving water quality in four categories: Planning and Policy; Education and Public Awareness; Built Project (Greater than $500k); and Built Project (Less than $500k). Winning projects must exhibit efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation.

For more information, visit or e-mail Kathy Janhsen.

Partner Announcements
Connected Nation in white on a field of blue
Wharton County Launches Broadband Survey
Counties across the Houston-Galveston region are working with Connected Nation - Texas to assess needs and develop plans for improving high-speed internet (broadband) connections for residents and businesses. Wharton County is seeking feedback through a broadband survey to determine the community's internet needs. Surveys for Liberty and Walker counties will follow later this year.

Texas Back in Business in white on a blue background around a red and blue outline of Texas
General Land Office Launches Economic Recovery Program
The Texas General Land Office launched Texas Back in Business, a $100 million economic revitalization program for small businesses impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The program provides grants from $50,000 to $250,000 to small businesses for hiring, training, operating capital, machinery, equipment, supplies, or inventory. The application period is through February 2020.

Neighborhoods, USA Annual Awards Competition
NUSA logo
Applications are now open for the Neighborhoods, USA 2020 Awards Competition honoring neighborhood efforts and initiatives. Applications are being accepted for Neighborhood of the Year, Best Neighborhood Program, Neighborhood Newsletter, and Who's Who in America's Neighborhoods. The application deadline is Friday, February 1. More information, including application guidelines and fees, is available online.

Scenic City Applications Available
H-GAC and Scenic Texas support vibrant, healthy communities across the state. Partnering with Scenic Texas and other agencies to form the Scenic City Certification Program has been a natural fit for H-GAC. See the full roster of certified Scenic Cities and review program requirements by exploring The 2020 application is available for review, and the 2020 application period continues through Tuesday, March 31.

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RecycleMania Collegiate Recycling Competition
RecycleMania, a collegiate recycling competition, kicks off in February, and registration is open now.

Keep Texas Beautiful logo
Keep Texas Beautiful Awards
Each year, Keep Texas Beautiful honors Texas communities, businesses, schools, media outlets, and individuals who work to keep the environment clean. Learn more about the Individual and Organization Awards, the Governor's Community Achievement Awards, and the Youth and Educator Awards. Applications open and close at various times throughout the year.

Get Involved With Trash Free Texas
Trash Free Texas strives to keep trash out of area waterways by working with communities and organizations across the state to connect people to places that need routine litter cleanup activities. Local governments and organizations can get involved by using the Adopt-a-Spot online interactive mapping application
More Upcoming Events
Audubon Christmas Bird Count
The Audubon Christmas Bird Count continues through January 5 . 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.

Galveston Bay Estuary Program's State of the Bay Symposium
Galveston Bay estuary program logo
Registration is open for the 11th Galveston Bay Estuary Program State of the Bay Symposium January 22 and 23, 2020, at Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center, 7 Hope Blvd., Galveston. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from regional leaders and local experts, and connect with other leading scientists and natural resource management experts. 

Citizens' Environmental Coalition's Wild and Scenic Film Festival On Tour
CEC logo
The Citizens' Environmental Coalition will host the Wild and Scenic Film Festival On Tour on January 28 and 29, 2020. This event will be at 7 p.m. each night at the River Oaks Theatre, 2009 W. Gray Street, Houston. Tickets are available to purchase online.

Funding Sources
Funding Opportunities

Tree with $ Money
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.

EPA Brownfield Grants Available
Deadline: Ongoing
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has grants available for cleaning up brownfields. 

Brownfields are properties that have been contaminated by pollutants or hazardous waste. The EPA offers Area Wide Planning Grants, Assessment Grants, Revolving Loan Fund Grants, Cleanup Grants, and Job Training Grants. Learn more.

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.
Community and Environmental Planning Programs
GIS Globes
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.
find us on facebook
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, Trash Bash, Regional Data LabBacteria Implementation Group (BIG), West Fork Watersheds Partnership, and Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership.

Twitter Logo
Find the latest information about activities around the region at H-GAC's Twitter feed @HouGalvAreaCog. H-GAC's water resources program also offers Twitter updates on water quality issues in the region @HGACwater.
All meetings scheduled at H-GAC conference rooms are at 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston, Texas.

Would you like us to consider featuring your municipality, program, or regional photo on the C&E Planning Update banner? Just forward Andrea Tantillo your picture, 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, PO Box 22777, Houston, TX 77227-2777
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