Keeping you up to date on the many community planning, economic development, and environmental planning programs going on at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Workshops, awards, a call for partners, funding opportunities, and more.
Upcoming Events
Clean Waters Initiative Logo
Learn About Watershed Planning at CWI Workshop October 4

Gain a better understanding of how the region is addressing water quality through watershed planning at the Clean Waters Initiative (CWI) workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, October 4, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

Speakers will provide an overview of regional watershed planning and its three phases: 

  • Phase 1- Pre-planning
  • Phase 2- Plan Creation
  • Phase 3- Implementation
The workshops are free, but registration is required. For more information, contact Kathy Janhsen at 713-993-2423.

West Fork Watersheds Partnership
West Fork Watersheds Partnership to Discuss Pollution October 6


The West Fork Watersheds Partnership will host a public meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 6, at the San Jacinto River Authority offices, 1577 Dam Site Road, Conroe.

Participants will discuss ways to address sources of pollution in the West Fork San Jacinto River and Lake Creek. Everyone is welcome, and light refreshments will be served.


For more information, contact Justin Bower at  713-499-6653 or visit

Public Engagement is a two-way process
Fall Planning Workshop to Focus on Public Engagement October 21

Effective Public Engagement for Your Community is the topic for this year's Fall Planning Workshop, set for 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, October 21, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.


Participants will learn how to use public engagement tools and techniques to increase participation in and support for decision-making processes in their communities.

Sessions include

  • Do we really need to do this? Why participation matters beyond checking a box.
  • Does it have to be so hard? Developing effective public engagement plans step by step.
  • Is there another way? Rethinking the public meeting.
  • Did we include everyone? Engaging all of our community.
  • Can I get some help? Getting the community to engage their community.
  • Is there an app for that? A toolkit for engagement.


Space is limited for this popular workshop, so register online today. For more information, contact Amanda Thorin.

Bringing Back Main Street Logo
Downtown Revitalization is Topic for Workshop Series October 25

Learn how your community can create an attractive and functional downtown at the Bringing Back Main Street: Revitalization Roundtable, from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, October 25, at First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 8201 Harris Street, Fulshear.

Speakers will discuss land use policies for downtown areas, downtown best practices, and revitalization efforts in Fulshear.

H-GAC hosts quarterly roundtables that focus on downtown revitalization. Registration is available online. For more information, contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.

H-GAC Stream Team Coordinator Will Merrell
H-GAC Texas Stream Team Monitoring Training November 5

An H-GAC Texas Stream Team certified water monitoring training course for volunteers will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 5, at the Environmental Services Department Building of The Woodlands Township, 8203 Millennium Forest Drive, The Woodlands. 

Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the training will be completed in this full-day training session.
Participants are encouraged to bring a sack lunch and wear closed toe shoes and clothes appropriate for working outside. Learn more and register for the training.

For more information, contact Will Merrell at 713-993-4594 or Teri MacArthur at 281-381-3281.

Trash Bash picking up trash
Trash Bash®is March 25, 2017


Preparations are underway for the 24th River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash®on Saturday, March 25, 2017.


Every year, nearly 5,000 volunteers gather to do their part to clean up the Galveston Bay watershed by participating in the largest, single-day, waterway cleanup in Texas. Join them--as a sponsor or as a volunteer--learn how at Browse the education area to learn more about water quality. There are 15 convenient locations near where you live, work, or go to school.

For students in grades 1-8: Time is running out to enter the T-shirt Art Design Contest. Details about the contest, which ends Friday, October 28, are available online.

More Upcoming Events

Urban Farmer Lecture Series
Harris County Urban Farming Logo
Harris County Urban Farming and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension offer an in-depth training opportunity designed to give information on operating a small agricultural business in an urban setting. The Urban Farmer Lecture Series will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, October 4 - November 1 at a location to be determined. There will also be two Saturday workshops during this time frame. Sign up for the entire series or just one class. For more information, contact Christian at 713-274-0957.
Bayou Preservation Symposium 
Bayou Preservation Association Logo
The Bayou Preservation 50th Anniversary Symposium will be from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, October 12, at the United Way Community Resources Center, Houston. This year's keynote speaker will be Jenny Romer, the country's leading expert on plastic bag law and ordinance structures. Registration remains open.

Hermann Park Master Plan Update
Hermann Park Conservancy Logo
Hermann Park Conservancy will host a community meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, October 27, at Ripley House, 4410 Navigation Blvd., Houston. Members from Hermann Park's master plan team, including landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) and mobility and transportation consultants Nelson\Nygaard, will be on hand to share their preliminary ideas for the park and take questions and feedback. If you can't make it to the meeting but still want to offer feedback, e-mail your comments to

STAR Recycling Conference 2016 Logo
STAR Recycling Summit 
Registration is open for the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) 2016 Recycling Summit October 16-18 at the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade. Recycling professionals attend this event for educational sessions, equipment demonstrations, roundtable discussions, and training opportunities. 
Broadband Webinar Series  
BroadBandUSA logo
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) continues its series of monthly webinars to gather input on the Community Connectivity Initiative, providing communities with self-assessment tools and information to better understand policies and programs supporting broadband internet connectivity. The next webinar in this series will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, October 13.

IEDC 2016 Webinar Logo
IEDC Disaster Preparedness Webinars  
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) will host the following free Disaster and Economic Recovery webinars: Building Resilience in Rural and Small Communities, Thursday, October 13; Asset Mapping for Economic Resilience, Tuesday, November 15; and Guiding Your Community Image and Brand Through a Disaster, Thursday, December 8. All webinars are from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
National Association of Development Organizations logo
NADO Conference  
The preliminary agenda for the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) 2016 Annual Training Conference is now available. Registration for the conference, October 15-18 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk, San Antonio, is open. Attendees will exchange ideas, learn from experts, participate in mobile workshops, and engage in conversations about ways to make a difference in their regions.

CURC Waste Recovery Webinar  
CURC webinar series logo
The College and University Recycling Coalition will host a webinar from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, October 20, to look at Food Waste Recovery on Campus. The webinar will feature a case study about the University of Michigan's comprehensive approach to addressing food waste across campus. Registration is available online.
CATEE Conference 2016
CATEE Conference
Registration is now open for the Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency (CATEE) 2016 Conference, December 17-22 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk, San Antonio. Registration will open soon, and special room rates are now available. Opportunities for sponsorships for this educational conference and business exhibition are still available.         
Pedestrians and bicyclist on a path
H-GAC Releases Pedestrian Evaluation Tool 

Sidewalks, paths, intersections, and other pedestrian amenities are an important part of the transportation network. H-GAC now provides a Pedestrian Evaluation Tool to help local governments and other interested stakeholders evaluate the safety, comfort and convenience of pedestrian facilities in their community, helping them plan future infrastructure investments. 


This tool, available online and as a printable PDF, is intended to be used for preliminary planning and project prioritization. 


For more information, contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.

Bicycles parked at Discovery Green in Houston.
H-GAC Seeks Partners for Pedestrian/Bicyclist Implementation Studies

H-GAC's call for planning study partners is open. Local governments are invited to submit proposals to conduct pedestrian/bicyclist implementation studies within their jurisdictions.


Applicants must notify H-GAC of their intent to apply by 3 p.m. Wednesday, October 19, using an online application. Full applications are due by 3 p.m. Friday, November 18. 


For more information, contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.

Our Great Region Awards logo
Our Great Region Awards Applications Due October 25

The deadline to submit an application in the inaugural Our Great Region Awards is Tuesday, October 25. 

Our Great Region Awards will 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, 2013, 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).

PlanSource Logo - Horizontal
PlanSource Releases Request for Qualifications for Planning Services

PlanSource , H-GAC's program for cooperative purchase for planning services, is soliciting qualifications for a broad range of community planning services and related services for local governments. 

Responses are due by Wednesday, October 26. 

Qualifications packages, including the RFQ, are available onlineFor more information, contact Amanda Thorin.

Partner Announcements
West Houston Bike Challenge  
I Love to Bike logo element
The 2016 West Houston Bike Challenge is a month-long workplace challenge encouraging more people to take up cycling. Organizations, their departments, and their staff will compete against others in West Houston to see which can get the most people to ride a bike. People can ride anywhere, anytime during October. Registration is open now.

NTIA logo
Broadband Research Comments Sought
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and National Science Foundation (NSF) are asking for public comments contributing to the development of a National Broadband Research Agenda. Comments are due by Tuesday, October 11. Additional information and instructions on how to submit comments can be found here.

Recycle Bowl Logo
Recycle Bowl Registration
Keep America Beautiful presents Recycle Bowl, a national K-12 competition between schools to invigorate student participation in recycling efforts. The competition runs from October 17 to November 15, but registration is open now. There are competitive and non-competitive divisions for this program.

EPA Logo
EPA Smart City Air Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is offering up to $40,000 each for two communities to help develop and implement plans for collecting and sharing data from air quality sensors through the Smart City Air Challenge. To qualify for the challenge, communities will need to submit plans for deploying air quality sensors and managing the data they collect by Friday, October 28.

America Recycles Day logo
America Recycles Day Event Registration
For almost two decades, communities have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. Do you have plans for hosting a special event on that day? Register your event here.

Take Care of Texas Video Contest
Take Care of Texas Proud Partner Logo
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Waste Management of Texas, Inc. invite 6th-12th grade students to enter the Take Care of Texas Video Contest. To enter, participants must submit a 30-second video portraying positive ways to Take Care of Texas. Three 9th-12th grade students will be awarded scholarship funds and three 6th-8th grade students will receive GoPro cameras and accessories. Entries must be received by Friday, December 16.

walgreens logo
Walgreens Safe Medication Program Interactive Map
To reduce the amount of prescription drugs improperly disposed of, Walgreens installed safe medication disposal kiosks in more than 500 pharmacies across 35 states, including Texas. Kiosks are available during regular pharmacy hours. To learn more, check out this interactive mapping tool.

sign pointing to beach
EPA Marine Beach Sanitary Survey Mobile App
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a free mobile app for its Marine Beach Sanitary Survey form available for use on Android and Apple tablets. Sanitary surveys help state and local beach program managers and public health officials identify sources of beach water pollution.

NOAA Free Online Coastal Conservation Training Resources
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office for Coastal Management released a new online training resource, How to Consider Climate Change in Coastal Conservation. This step-by-step approach can be used to create a new conservation plan or update an existing one that incorporates climate change information. It is suitable for anyone managing or conservinglands in coastal areas.
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 other websites, is for informational purposes only. Users of this content are responsible for checking its accuracy, currency, and suitability.
News and Notes
San Jacinto Waste Pits map
EPA Opens Comment Period
on San Jacinto Waste Pits Remediation Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the proposed plan to address contamination at the San Jacinto waste pits Superfund site in Harris County. EPA's preferred remedy proposes removing a total of about 202,000 cubic yards of contaminated material from the northern and southern impoundments. 

The plan will be open for public comment through Monday, November 28. EPA will also host a public meeting at the Highlands Community Center, 604 Highland Woods Drive, Highlands, on Thursday, October 20, where members of the community will be invited to offer comment. After the public comment period has ended, EPA will carefully consider and prepare a response to the comments and announce the selection of the final remedy. EPA may select a different alternative or a modified version of the preferred remedy based on new information or public comments.

Public comments can be presented at the public meeting or submitted during the public comment period by an online formemail, or mail to Remedial Project Manager, U.S, EPA Region 6 (6SF-RA), 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.
Community and Environmental Planning Programs
Storm Debris
Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services
H-GAC's Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services Program helps communities perform efficient and timely cleanup of debris generated by natural disasters by having debris hauler contracts in place prior to events. The Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services Program offers access to a pool of the most qualified debris removal contractors, saves time and money associated with the procurement process, and helps maximize eligible FEMA reimbursement.

Walking in a cross walk
Temporary Pedestrian-
Bicyclist Counters
H-GAC has temporary pedestrian-bicyclist counters available for use by local governments to count the number of people using sidewalks and/or trails, giving implementing entities and H-GAC a better understanding of the demand and use of these facilities.

Illegal Dumping Camera Sharing
To help track and reduce illegal dumping, H-GAC offers surveillance cameras and accompanying accessories through a sharing program. Participation in the program is for local governments within the 13-county H-GAC region and involves specific agreements, including a commitment to only use the cameras for solid waste purposes and report results to H-GAC.

Community Enhancement Grants help municipalities, counties, and nonprofit organizations enhance public spaces, such as gateways, parks, waterfronts, and business districts.
H-GAC's Community and Environmental Planning Department currently manages three loan programs: Small Business Administration 504 Loan Program, Business Loan Fund, and Government Loan Fund.

GIS Globes
Mapping Applications
Looking for interactive applications or GIS data related to the H-GAC Community and Environmental Planning Department, visit to see the latest information, including Census, Regional Forecast, and more.

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, Bacteria 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 @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 - Lucy enjoying the start of fall in the Montrose area. Photo contributed by Andrew Pompei
 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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