Keeping you up to date on the community planning, economic development,
and environmental planning programs at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Workshops, awards, training, funding sources, and more.
Upcoming Events
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On-Site Sewage System Courses for Homeowners Offered in July

Repair and replacement of a failing on-site sewage system can cost homeowners thousands of dollars. A failing system can also pollute area waterways and increase the likelihood of waterborne illness for swimmers, boaters, and people using area waterways for recreation.

But regular maintenance and inspection of a system can protect public and environmental health, increase system longevity, and protect private property use and value.

H-GAC will host two homeowner education courses in July. During these free three-hour courses, participants will receive
  • Information on system maintenance and inspection; and
  • Details on available resources to maintain, repair and replace aging systems.
The classes will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 8, at the Crosby Library, 135 Hare Road, Crosby, and from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, July 21, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, 2107 County Road 171, Angleton. Registration is requested for the July 21 course.

To request a copy of course materials, see additional resource materials, or to learn more, contact Will Merrell at 713-993-4594.

Parks Awards Winners Collage
Parks and Natural Areas Subcommittee to Meet July 10


The next meeting of the Parks and Natural Areas (PNA) Subcommittee will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, July 10, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. 


Agenda items include:

  • Discussion on the 2017 PNA Awards
  • Highlights from 2016 PNA Awards recipients Galveston Park Board and Galveston Bay Foundation

Registration is requested. 


The PNA Subcommittee meets the second Monday of January, March, July, and September, with visits to local parks in the spring and fall. The meetings are open to anyone interested in participating. 


To join the mailing list to get updates about meetings and activities, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.

Bringing Back Main Street Logo
Q&A With TxDOT on July 25

The next Bringing Back Main Street Revitalization Roundtable will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, July 25, at Magnolia City Hall, 18111 Buddy Riley Blvd., Magnolia.

Representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will discuss how working collaboratively with TxDOT can result in transportation improvements that include a more pleasing design. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions about TxDOT and the funding process.

Registration is requested. 

These roundtables help local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development interests promote the economy and revitalization of downtown areas.

For more information, contact Clint McManus at 832-681-2513.

H-GAC Offers 'TeachMeGIS' Training Courses

The H-GAC Data Services GIS Program is partnering with TeachMeGIS to host a series of instructor-led GIS trainings. The course dates, course topics, and pricing, including a 15% discount for H-GAC members and employees, are listed on the GIS Training web page. The next course will be Addressing in ArcGIS for NextGen 9-1-1, July 26 and 27 at H-GAC Training Room, Second Floor.

Detailed information on the content of each course is available by clicking on the course name. If interested in attending one of these courses, select the red "Register Now" button to register for a class on the TeachMeGIS website. When registering, please be sure to select "H-GAC" under the location column of the desired class to receive the discount. For more information on GIS Training at H-GAC, contact Brooks Andrews at 713-993-4519.

Basin 13 Map 2017
Basin 13 Bacteria Reduction Project Meeting is August 1

H-GAC is looking for stakeholders to help share their knowledge of local waterways to develop a plan to reduce bacteria levels in the Brazos-Colorado Coastal Basin, also known as Basin 13. Using basin characterization report data and other input, local stakeholders will work to create a plan to identify and address bacteria impairments across the basin, including watershed management tools and options available to residents, businesses, and governments to reduce the impairments.
H-GAC will host a meeting to provide updates from 3 to 5 p.m., Tuesday, August 1, at the West Columbia Civic Center (San Jacinto Room), 516 E. Brazos Avenue, West Columbia. 

Registration is not required.
For more information, contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.

Basin 11 Map 2017
Basin 11 Bacteria Reduction Project Meeting is August 10

H-GAC is looking for stakeholders to help share their knowledge of local waterways to develop a plan to reduce bacteria levels in the San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal Basin, also known as Basin 11. Using basin characterization report data and other input, local stakeholders will work to create a plan to identify and address bacteria impairments across the basin, including watershed management tools and options available to residents, businesses, and governments to reduce the impairments.
H-GAC will host a meeting to provide updates and discuss next steps from 3 to 5 p.m., Thursday, August 10, at the Brazoria County Public Library-Alvin Branch, 105 S. Gordon Street, Alvin. 

Registration is not required.
For more information, contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.

Heavy construction equipment moving debris
Photo courtesy of Cherry Demolition
Regional Recycling Roundtable Set for August 24    

H-GAC will host a Regional Recycling Roundtable from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, August 24, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. The topic will be "Managing Construction and Demolition Debris in the Circular Economy." 

The roundtable is open to businesses, governments, organizations, and residents with an interest in learning more about recycling. 

Registration is requested.
For more information, contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410.

Hurricane Ike - Debris Pile, Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston County
Series of Disaster Debris Workshops Concludes August 31

To address the need for communities to perform efficient and timely cleanup of disaster debris, H-GAC provides training and resources to help local governments prepare.
The 2017 Disaster Debris Workshop Series concludes with Summer Update from FEMA, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, August 31, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.
Discussion points for this workshop include:  
  • FEMA Annual Update - Policy changes and how they impact debris operations.
  • State Update - New policy changes and tips for coordinating with state agencies for debris operations.
Registration is requested. The workshop is also available via webinar
For more information, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Farmers Market at Clear Lake Shores
Instant Impact Workshop Set for September 29

H-GAC will host Instant Impacts: A Land Use Planning Workshop from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, September 29, at the White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine Drive, Houston.

The workshop will cover the uses and benefits of Instant Impact projects, a way to use inexpensive and quick techniques to build public interest and excitement for walkable, vibrant places in a community. Participants will hear from experts and practitioners who have used Instant Impact tools during and after the planning process to move projects forward, including some highlighted in H-GAC's Instant Impact Guide: Temporary, Cost Effective Ideas for More Vibrant Streets.

Registration will open four to six weeks before the event.

To be added to the list to receive more information, contact Clint McManus at 832-681-2513.

Save the Date text
Annual Fall Planning Workshop to be October 20

H-GAC's Fall Planning Workshop for Local Governments will be from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, October 20, at H-GAC.

This annual half-day workshop series for local governments features presentations on best planning practices for communities.

This year's workshop will focus on implementation. Discussion points will include

  • How do you keep your plan off the shelf?
  • How do you pay for it?
  • How do you do it?

Registration will open in the fall.  


To be added to the list to receive more information, contact Amanda Thorin at 713-993-4587.

More Upcoming Events

Texas Watershed Steward Workshop
Texas Watershed Steward Logo
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will host a Texas Watershed Steward Workshop from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, at the Brazoria County Fairgrounds EEA Building, 901 Downing Road, Angleton. Topics will include water quality, water quality law, agricultural and urban best management practices, hydrology, and others. The event and its available continuing education credits are free and open to the public. For more information, including a complete list of CEUs, visit the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service website. Online registration is requested.

Engaging the Campus to Improve Recycling Participation Webinar
The College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC) 2017 Webinar Series continues with Engaging the Campus to Improve Recycling Participation from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 13. The CURC Webinar series is designed to share technical knowledge between program managers, student interns and others involved with promoting waste reduction on college campuses. Scheduled on the second Thursday every other month, CURC webinars cover a range of topics related to sustainable materials management such as material collections and processing, education, and promotion and procurement. Registration is required.

Texas Watershed Coordinator Roundtable
Texas Water Resources Institute logo
The Texas Water Resources Institute will host a Texas Watershed Coordinator Roundtable from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 26, at Texas A&M University, Thomas G. Hildebrand Equine Complex, 3240 F&B Road (Andras B Classroom), College Station. For more information, contact Nikki Dictson at 979-575-4424. 

Disaster and Economic Recovery Webinar Series
IEDC 2017 Webinar Series Logo
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) provides a free Disaster and Economic Recovery webinar series each year focusing on practical information on key topics for economic development professionals and chambers of commerce. The next webinar will be Staying on the Ready: Strategies for Communities Welcoming Evacuees from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Thursday, July 20. This webinar will explore strategies on how to best support evacuees while addressing the needs of the community's residents. Upcoming workshops include What's Cooking? Niche Food Businesses, That's What!, Thursday, July 27; Leveraging Transportation Routes for New Opportunities in Rural Areas, Tuesday, August 15; Reinvigorating Downtown: Strategies to Drive Traffic Post-Disaster, Thursday, August 24; and Retail Boomtowns: Creating an Atmosphere for Retail Attraction, Thursday, September 14.

CEC logo
Greater Houston Environmental Summit
Save the date for the Citizens' Environmental Coalition (CEC) annual Greater Houston Environmental Summit from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, August 4, at the United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive, Houston. The summit will include keynote presentations, small-format table talks, and a featured panel in conjunction with EarthShare of Texas. The CEC is also partnering with environmental education collaboratives to offer an Environmental Education Expo for teachers and informal educators. Anyone interested in exhibiting at the expo should contact Suggestions for table talks may be forwarded to

EPA Region 6 19th Annual Stormwater Conference
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Early registration continues for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 19th annual Stormwater Conference September 17-21 at the Hilton Palacio del Rio, 200 South Alamo Street, San Antonio. Stormwater professionals will learn about stormwater management programs, construction and industrial stormwater management, low impact development, and advanced research topics. 

Annual STAR Texas Recycling Summit
The State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) Texas Recycling Summit 2017 will be October 22-25 at the Double Tree Hotel, 6505 N I-35, Austin. This is the only state conference dedicated entirely to recycling and waste diversion activities in Texas. It's also an opportunity to network with professionals from the recycling industry to learn, collaborate, share successes, and support recycling efforts. Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available.
Our Great Region Awards logo
Applicants Sought for 2017 Our Great Region Awards

Does your organization have an outstanding local project for transportation, environment, economic development, resiliency, housing, or healthy communities? If so, consider applying for the annual Our Great Region Awards.


Our Great Region Awards recognize outstanding projects in the region that advance the goals and strategies identified in the Our Great Region 2040 plan. Plans, programs, projects, or policies since January 1, 2014, that have furthered or implemented a strategy of the Our Great Region 2040 plan within the 13-county region are eligible to submit. Any organization may apply for the award(s).


Application information is available online at Our Great Region Awards. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 1.

Gulf Coast Economic Developmetn District Logo
Communities Encouraged to Participate in Economic Resilience Surveys

The Gulf Coast Economic Development District (GCEDD) is conducting research on Economic Resilience in the 13 counties of the H-GAC planning region through a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant.

GCEDD is seeking local expertise on what economic vulnerabilities are faced by each county and what strategies are being employed to address those concerns. Learn more about the project and provide insight on the region's economic vulnerabilities by participating in a survey for your county. The survey will close Tuesday, August 1.


For more information, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.

person at desk typing on laptop keyboard
RFP/RFQ Notifications Sign-Up List Now Available for PlanSource, Livable Centers

H-GAC's PlanSource and Livable Centers programs send out periodic notices and updates about requests for proposals and requests for qualifications.
Sign up for each program's updates below:

Aerial Imagery example
Call for 2018 Aerial Imagery Cost-Share Participants

H-GAC's Geographic Data Workgroup is launching the 2018 Aerial Imagery Cost-Share project this summer and is looking for cost-sharing partners to contribute to the overall cost of the 2018 Aerial Imagery. 

This biennial project relies on a cost-sharing procurement effort to ensure the data can be acquired by sharing the total cost between all those involved. All cost-sharing participants will receive data before it becomes available for public purchase, additional data formats not available for public purchase, capture methodology details and data, and a chance to QA/QC the data before it is made available. 

For more information on the 2018 Aerial Imagery Cost-Share project, contact Brooks Andrews at 713-993-4519 or visit

SE Texas LiDAR example
Call for SE Texas LiDAR Acquisition Cost-Share Participants 

H-GAC's Geographic Data Workgroup is partnering with the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to acquire approximately 9,400 square miles of quality level two (QL2) or greater LiDAR data in southeast Texas. To achieve this, H-GAC is calling for cost-sharing participants to contribute to the overall cost of the project in addition to state and federal funding efforts from TWDB and USGS. 

For more information on the Southeast Texas LiDAR Acquisition project and cost-sharing effort, contact Brooks Andrews at 713-993-4519 or visit

Partner Announcements

Keep Houston Beautiful Mayor's Proud Partner Awards
Keep Houston Beautiful-Proud Partner Logo
Keep Houston Beautiful is accepting applications for the 2017 Mayor's Proud Partner Awards. Applicants can submit a project that best illustrates commitment to keeping Houston beautiful. Applications are due by Monday, July 24. Awards will be presented at the Mayor's Proud Partners Luncheon in October.

Texas Main Street Designation Application
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The Texas Historical Commission is now accepting applications from cities interested in becoming designated Main Street Communities. Each year, the Texas Historical Commission may select up to five cities for official Main Street Designation. Communities selected this year will enter the program in January 2018. Main Street is an economic development program focusing on small business development, using reuse of historic properties and historic preservation as primary tools. Full applications are due Monday, July 31. Main Street communities in the region are Bay City, Huntsville, Rosenberg, and Sealy.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Environmental Excellence Awards
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is accepting applications for the 2017 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards. Share environmental success stories by applying for or nominating a project in one of nine award categories. View these categories and apply online. The deadline to submit is Friday, September 29.

Green Infrastructure in Parks Guide
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new guide, Green Infrastructure in Parks: A Guide to Collaboration, Funding, and Community Engagement, encourages partnerships between park and stormwater agencies to promote the use of green infrastructure on park lands. The guide offers an approach for building relationships with potential partners and includes information on how to identify and engage partners, build relationships, involve the community, leverage funding opportunities, and identify green infrastructure opportunities. It includes recommendations on the types of projects that are most likely to attract positive attention and funding and which provide a wide range of benefits.

Free Bike Racks in Houston
The City of Houston is partnering with Go Healthy Houston to provide free bike racks. Businesses and nonprofits can apply to have racks installed on their property. This program recently launched, and approximately 250 racks are available. More information is available online.

Bike Parking Guidebook
Bike Parking Guidebook Cover
Sportworks, a bicycle products designer and manufacturer, offers a free bicycle parking guide for communities and organizations. The guide includes examples of quality bike racks, short-term and long-term parking options, capacity, ideal locations, and security. The guide encourages readers to request a free bike parking layout by e-mailing
News and Notes
Livable Centers Brochure Cover
Livable Centers Study Earns Honor Recognition from ALSA Texas

The Museum Park Livable Center Study was recently honored by the American Society of Landscape Architects Texas Chapter with an Honors Award in the Analysis and Planning category. Completed in 2016, the overall goal of the study was to create a Livable Centers plan for a sustainable, context-sensitive, multimodal environment. The study was completed by H-GAC, SWA Group, the City of Houston, Museum Park Super Neighborhood, and Houston Southeast (Greater Southeast district).

H-GAC's Livable Centers Program works with local communities to identify specific recommendations, such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, that can help facilitate the creation of Livable Centers. H-GAC has completed studies in urban, suburban, and rural areas throughout the eight-county region.
Funding Sources
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.

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 to see the latest information, including Census, Regional Forecast, and more.
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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, Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG), West Fork Watersheds Partnership, and Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership.

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Find the latest information about activities around the region at H-GAC's Twitter feed @hgaccog. H-GAC's water resources program also offers Twitter updates on water quality issues in the region, including fish consumption advisories, @HGACwater.
Banner Photo: U.S. flag display at the Tom Blakeney, Jr. Hike and Bike Trail in Alvin.
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.  
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