Keeping you up to date on the community planning, economic development,
and environmental planning programs at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Our Great Region 2019 Awards
Our Great Region Awards Application Open  Through July 31

The Our Great Region Awards recognize outstanding projects in the region advancing the goals and strategies identified in the Our Great Region 2040 plan.

The application is open through Wednesday, July 31. Plans, programs, projects, or polices that implemented or are implementing a strategy of the Our Great Region 2040 plan within the 13-county H-GAC planning region in the past three years are eligible to apply.

More information is available in the 2019 application guide or by contacting Andrea Tantillo.

Upcoming Events
Parks and Natural Areas Logo with stylized tree H-GAC logo swing bird water and soccer ball
Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable July 8

The next Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, July 8, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. Attendees will learn about projects at the City of Houston, including riparian buffer conservation and restoration and Mont Belvieu's criteria manual for stormwater detention, including requirements for aesthetically pleasing or recreationally capable amenities.
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.

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

H-GAC Water Resources Logo wordmark
Big Creek Watershed Characterization Meeting - July 11

H-GAC will host a Big Creek Watershed Characterization meeting from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview Drive, Richmond. 

During this informational public meeting, H-GAC staff will discuss and seek feedback on a project to evaluate water quality issues in the Big Creek Watershed of central Fort Bend County and plan for future solutions. Light refreshments will be served. 

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

Bringing Back Main Street Logo
Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable - July 23

H-GAC's next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, July 23, at the Friendswood Public Library, 416 S. Friendswood Drive, Friendswood . Speakers include the Honorable Mike Foreman, Mayor of Friendswood; Brett Banfield, President of Friends of Downtown Friendswood Association; Ron Cox, Past President of Friendswood Economic Development Corporation; and Isaac Perez, Senior Business Developer at H-GAC.

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

RSVP is requested. For more information, contact Cheryl Mergo  at 713-993-4520.

woman in front of recycling bundles
Rural Recycling Workshop - July 25

H-GAC and Cooperative Teamwork & Recycling Assistance are hosting a rural recycling workshop to discuss issues and brainstorm potential ways to work together to enhance rural recycling centers and recycling programs in the region. The workshop will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, July 25, at the George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview Drive, Richmond.

Registration is requested. For more information, contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410 or Rachel Hering at 512-236-1134.

Cypress Creek Watershed Partnership wordmark with green and blue design above
Cypress Creek Watershed Informational Meeting - July 25

H-GAC will host the first informational meeting for the Cypress Creek Watershed Partnership on Thursday, July 25. Time and location will be announced at

Residents, business owners, property owners, government staff and officials, and other stakeholders are invited to join this locally led project to identify and address water quality issues in the Cypress Creek Watershed for Harris and Waller counties.  

For more information, visit the project website or contact Justin Bower at 713-499-6653.

yellow bulldozer in pile of wood debris
Disaster Debris Webinar - July 30

H-GAC is offering a multimedia-guided webinar from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 30, for participants to explore considerations in disaster debris management for wildfire and other debris generating incidents. The webinar will examine lessons learned from past incidents, including tornadoes, the Bastrop and Tri-County fires in 2011, and challenges in debris operations as a result of terrorism-related incidents.

Registration is required. Contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410 for more information.

Clean Waters Initiative Logo
Clean Waters Initiative Field Trip  - August 8

The next Clean Waters Initiative (CWI) workshop will be a field trip from 10 a.m. to noon. Thursday, August 8, at  North Harris County Regional Water Authority, 3648 Cypress Creek Parkway, Houston.

The Save Water Texas Coalition will present their programs, and attendees will tour the coalition's Water Quality Mobile Teaching Lab. 

Participants are asked to dress in cool, comfortable, casual clothing appropriate for outdoor weather. Parking is available, but carpooling would be helpful if several people from one organization are attending. Transportation will not be provided to the field trip location.

The CWI program offers workshops that help local governments, landowners, and residents develop effective strategies to reduce pollution in area waterways.

Registration is requested. For more information, contact Brian Sims at 713-993-2438.

roll off containers for debris collection
Disaster Debris Workshop - August 16

H-GAC's Disaster Debris Workshop will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, August 16, at H-GAC, Conference Room B, Second Floor. This half-day workshop will be guided by a multimedia presentation and will be available via webinar. The workshop will focus on the following topics: 
  • Findings from the Hurricane Debris and Impacts on Landfills Report
  • Findings and recommendations regarding debris management from the Report of the Governor's Commission to Rebuild Texas
  • Lessons learned and trends in disaster debris management
  • Recent changes in regulations, guidance, and legislation 
The workshop will provide participants an opportunity to discuss concerns and share best practices and lessons learned from past debris management response and recovery efforts. 

Register to attend in person or via webinar. Contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410 for more information.

plate of food with a fork
Solid Waste Workshop Series on Food Donation - August 22

H-GAC's Solid Waste Workshop Series continues from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, August 22, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. The workshop, cohosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will focus on food waste, specifically how to begin using food donations in communities to reduce waste and feed people in need.

H-GAC's Solid Waste Workshop Series provides information on a variety of solid waste topics. The final workshop in the 2019 series is November 21, and will focus on special waste streams. 

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

Partner Announcements
GHP HYPE Impact Awards
Impact Awards and geometric design
The Greater Houston Partnership is seeking nominations for its HYPE Impact Awards. The awards are presented to Houston young professionals and entrepreneurs for their contributions to their communities. The mission of the Partnership's HYPE (Houston Young Professional and Entrepreneurs) program is to grow the region's future business leaders and empower young talent through professional development, connections, and access to Houston's thriving business community. The deadline to submit a nomination is Sunday, September 1. 

2020 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards
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 2020 awards is now open. See the winner videos for 2019. Applications will be accepted through  Friday, September 27.

NADO Impact Awards
NADO impact award logo with faces and dots
Each year, the  National Association of Development Organizations recognizes member organizations that demonstrate innovative approaches to regional economic and community development through the Impact Awards program (formerly the Innovation Awards) program. Previous award-winning projects have showcased innovative efforts in a variety of program areas, including business and economic development, community health initiatives, emergency planning, brownfields, sustainability, technology, transportation, and workforce development. Applications are due Friday, July 19. For more information, contact Brett Schwartz or Laurie Thompson.

Texas Main Street Designation Applications Open
Texas Historical Commission Logo
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 2020. 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 Wednesday, July 31. Main Street communities in the region are Bay City, Houston-Emancipation Avenue, Huntsville, Rosenberg, and Sealy.

Texas Homeowner Assistance Program Continues
General Land Office logo
Individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey may qualify for assistance through the Texas Homeowner Assistance Program  to repair, rehabilitate, or rebuild if they owned their home, it was damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, and it was their primary residence at the time of the storm, among other eligibility factors. Applications for the Homeowner Assistance Program take approximately 30 minutes to complete.  Applications are available online or may be completed in-person. For more information, visit  or call 1-844-893-8937.

Get Involved With Trash Free Texas
Trash Free Texas works 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 with this Adopt-a-Spot online interactive mapping application that identifies locations that are littered frequently and need to be adopted and matching those spots with volunteers to keep them cleaned up. For more information about submitting new spots or adopting a spot in the Houston-Galveston region, contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410.
More Upcoming Events
Texas Association of Regional Councils e-Learning Summer Series
Texas Association of Regional Councils beside red and blue star logo
Throughout the summer, the Texas Association of Regional Councils is hosting a series of webinars designed to provide information, tools, and tips to overcome barriers to productivity on a day-to-day basis. Participants will learn how to measure tasks, create plans, and realize goals. Each session will focus on a different aspect of time management. The final two webinars are Handling Interruptions at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, and Prioritization at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 14. The first two webinars are available for viewing by registering for How We Use Our Time and Procrastination.

Galveston Bay Foundation Logo
Galveston Bay Foundation Rain Barrel Workshops
The Galveston Bay Foundation is hosting a series of rain barrel workshops Saturday, July 13. Registration is $35 and includes admission to the workshops, a 35-gallon rain barrel, and a RainRecycle connector kit. For more information, including locations, visit .

Texas A&M Forest Service  Forest Therapy
Texas A-M Forest Service Logo
Texas A&M Forest Service offers three opportunities to participate in Naturally in Nature-Forest Therapy during the summer at Jones State Forest. During these free sessions, participants will learn to increase physiological relaxation. Sessions are from 8:45 to 11 a.m. at Jones State Forest, 1328 FM1488, Conroe. Saturday, July 13, is for adults and children. Saturday, August 3, is for adults only. Registration is required.

Texas AgriLife Readiness for Resilience 
Texas AM AgriLife Extension on a maroon background
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension will host  Readiness for Resilience: A Smart Technology Roadmap for Texas workshop on Tuesday, July 9, at the University of Houston Student Center, 4455 University Drive, Houston. Community leaders, stakeholders, and technology experts will convene and discuss post-Harvey regional project directions, case studies, public-private partnerships, and funding opportunities at this workshop. Registration information will be available soon.

2019 EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference
EPA Logo
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 annual stormwater conference will be July 28 to August 1 in Denton, Texas. The theme of the conference is Responding to Change: Dynamic Stormwater Management in Economic, Political, and Climatic transitions. The agenda includes a variety of general and breakout sessions, plenary speakers, and field trips. Keynote speaker Katherine Hayhoe, Ph.D., director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, will discuss management during climatic transitions. Registration is open online.

State of Texas Alliance for Recycling Summit 
Registration is now open for the  State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) 2019 Summit  October 7-9 in San Antonio. Approximately 200 to 300 professionals representing private sector companies, governments, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and trade associations attend the summit each year. The summit features educational sessions, equipment demonstrations, roundtable discussions, and training opportunities.  Exhibitor  applications and various  levels of sponsorships  are available.
Funding Sources
Rural Utilities Service Water & Environmental Programs

The  USDA's Rural Utilities Service Water and Environmental Programs (WEP) has $165,475,000 in supplemental grant funding available for repairs to drinking water systems and sewer and solid waste disposal systems impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Applications will be  accepted on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Entities wishing to apply for assistance or needing additional information should contact: 

USDA Rural Development State Office
Federal Building, Suite 102 
101 South Main, Temple, TX 76501
254-742-9700/TDD 254-742-9712

Local water and sewer departments having workforce challenges to recruit and retain qualified workers within the Houston-Galveston region are encouraged to contact  Traci Nolen at 713-993-2468.

Additional 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 .

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.
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 .

Banner Photo: Galveston Island State Park. 

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.