Keeping you up to date on the community planning, economic development,
and environmental planning programs at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Parks and Natural Areas Logo with stylized tree H-GAC logo swing bird water and soccer ball
Parks and Natural Areas Awards Deadline Extended to October 7

Due to disruptions from Tropical Storm Imelda,
H-GAC's  Parks and Natural Areas (PNA) Awards applications will remain open until 5 p.m. Monday, October 7.
PNA awards honor projects in four categories: Projects Over $500,000; Projects Under $500,000; Planning Process; and Policy Tools. Winning entries serve as models for planning and project implementation for parks and natural areas in the region. 

An  online application guide is available.
Winners will be notified in December. The awards ceremony and half-day parks event will be in February 2020. For more information, contact  Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.

Solid Waste Grant
Application for H-GAC Solid Waste Management Grants due October 17

H-GAC receives a portion of the money collected as tipping fees at landfills across the state as pass-through funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to fund solid waste grant projects throughout the 13-county region.
As part of this program, H-GAC will award $1.1 million in solid waste program grant funds to eligible projects through a competitive process.
The deadline to apply is noon, Thursday, October 17. All applications must be submitted online. 
For more information about the grant program or to be added to an email list to receive future solid waste grant notifications, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Regional Data Lab logo
H-GAC Updates Interactive Applications With New Census Data

H-GAC recently updated the following applications based on the recently released US Census Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Origin-Designation data for 2016 and 2017.
Regional Employment Snapshot- The Regional Employment Snapshot is an interactive tool providing a quick summary of key workplace employment characteristics for a user-defined geography in the 13-County H-GAC region.
Commuting Patterns- This interactive application visualizes workers' commuting patterns between home and workplace for different geographic levels in the region. 
Historic Commuting Patterns- This interactive application visualizes workers' historical commuting patterns between home and workplace in 3-square-mile hexagonal grids in the region and analyzes the difference in average commute distances by workers' ages, earnings, and industries. 

H-GAC to Release Livable Centers Call for Planning Study Partners

H-GAC will release a  call for planning study partners for the Livable Centers program later this month.  Partners are local governments or other eligible project sponsors.
This is not a request for proposals from consulting firms. 
The objective of the Livable Centers planning studies is to
  • Help create quality, walkable, mixed-use places;
  • Create multi-modal travel choices;
  • Improve environmental quality; and
  • Promote economic development and housing choice. 
Study recommendations may lead to projects for possible inclusion in the Regional Transportation Plan and future Transportation Improvement Programs. H-GAC anticipates identifying four to six  Livable Centers studies to recommend for funding in 2020 and 2021.

H-GAC and project partners have completed 29 livable centers studies in the past 10 years, and 75% of those studies report that implementation expectations are on-track or exceptional. Learn more about the program's progress in the 10-year evaluation report and summary.

More information about deadlines, specific application content, and pre-proposal meetings will be available online.

For more information, email [email protected].

Cover screen shot from Westchase District Livable Centers study with district logo and triangle-shaped images and color blocks
Westchase Livable Centers Project Earns Recognition

The American Planning Association - Texas Chapter announced that the Westchase District Livable Centers Study is the winner of the 2019 Urban Design Planning Achievement Award - Silver. 

The awards program allows the Texas Chapter to promote the work of planners, planning officials, and students by recognizing exemplary work. The accomplishments show the value of effective community planning to Texas and its residents.

Completed in 2018 by the Westchase Management District, Asakura Robinson, and H-GAC, the Westchase Livable Centers Study provides recommendations that guide future land use and transportation investments east of Beltway 8, including adding a mixed-use pedestrian corridor, improving the district's bike network through new connections, and developing housing options. More information about the  Westchase Livable Centers Study is available online.

H-GAC's  Livable Centers program works with local communities to identify specific recommendations, such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, that can help create places where people can live, work, and play with less reliance on their cars.

Upcoming Events
Bringing Back Main Street wordmark logo
Rural and Small Town Downtown Revitalization Summit - October 22

H-GAC' s Bringing Back Main Street initiative will host a Rural and Small Town Downtown Revitalization Summit from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 22, at H-GAC Conference Room B.  

At this half-day event, participants will learn about best practices supporting downtown revitalization, including protecting community character, staying competitive, implementation tools, and tying it all together.

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

BIG logo
Bacteria Implementation Group Fall Meeting - October 29

The Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG) Fall Meeting will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, October 29, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. 

Topics will include the 2019 annual report, BIG Implementation Plan revisions, and Total Maximum Daily Load updates.  

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

Fall Planning Workshop - November 1

mosaic beside the word Equity and above Fall Planning Workshop
Fall Planning Workshop is an annual half-day workshop for local governments featuring presentations on best planning practices for communities. This year's workshop will focus on Building Equity Into Planning and will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon  Friday, November 1, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. 

Tentative Topics include: 
  • The State of Equity in Our Communities 
  • Reaching Out to Our Communities/Including Equity in Planning 
  • Measuring Equity in Our Efforts 
  • On-the-Ground Examples of Successful Equity in Planning

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

Parks and Natural Areas Logo with stylized tree H-GAC logo swing bird water and soccer ball
Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable Field Trip -  November 14

H-GAC's   Parks and Natural Areas (PNA) Roundtable field trip will be  Thursday, November 14, with a presentation and short walk at Spring Creek Nature Trail. We will meet at Rob Fleming Park, 6464 Creekside Forest Drive, The Woodlands at 10 a.m.

Transportation to and from H-GAC can be provided for up to 20 registrants. We will leave H-GAC at 8:30 a.m. and return at approximately 3 p.m.
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.

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

Batteries, recycling symbol, computers, tires
Solid Waste Workshop Series: Challenging Waste Streams - November 21

H-GAC's  Solid Waste Workshop Series  continues from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, November 21, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. The workshop will focus on special waste.

Speakers will discuss challenging waste streams, including pharmaceuticals, tires, construction waste, household hazardous waste, and used electronics.

H-GAC's  Solid Waste Workshop Series  provides information on a variety of solid waste topics. 
RSVP is requested. For more information, contact   Erin Livingston  at 832-681-2525.

trash bash logo
Trash Bash - March 28, 2020

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.

Partner Announcements

America Recycles Day logo with Recycle symbol
America Recycles Day 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.

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 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. 
More Upcoming Events
State of Texas Alliance for Recycling Summit 
The  State of Texas Alliance for Recycling 2019 Summit will be  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. Registration is required and is available at member and non-member rates.

International Erosion Control Association Texas Stormwater Conference
ICEA with abstract circle design above
The International Erosion Control Association Texas Stormwater Conference will be October 7 and 8 at the Hilton Houston Post Oak by the Galleria, 2001 Post Oak Blvd., Houston. I ndustry professionals will participate in education sessions covering Industrial Stormwater, Construction Stormwater, and Stormwater Programs for MS4s or other  Texas-related stormwater issues. Keynote speakers will discuss flooding in Houston. Registration is required and is available at member and non-member rates.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Autumn Environmental Conference, Expo
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Autumn Environmental Conference and Expo will be October 8-10 at the Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Spring Road, Austin. The Autumn Environmental Conference and Expo combined the former Advanced Air Permitting and Water Quality/Stormwater Seminars. This event provides engineers, environmental managers, consultants, and the regulated community updates on permitting rules, requirements, issues, and regulations. Attendees may choose to register for Air Permitting and Wastewater/Stormwater Permitting, Air Permitting only, or Wastewater/Stormwater Permitting only.    Registration is required.

Citizens' Environmental Coalition Wild About Houston Film Festival Preview
CEC logo
The Citizens' Environmental Coalition's Wild About Houston: A Green Film Festival preview will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, October 16, at Rice University Media Center, 2030 University Blvd., Houston. This one night screening of short environmental films will give audience members the opportunity to vote on which films will be shown at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour in January 2020. The screening is free, but registration is requested. For more information, contact [email protected].

Drug Enforcement Administration National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
DEA National Drug Take Back Logo
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 26. Check the DEA website in early October for area drop-off locations. The collection event provides a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications and environmental contamination. Law enforcement agencies interested in hosting a collection site should call the point of contact for this area.

Bayou Preservation Association Symposium
Bayou Preservation Association Logo
The 16th Annual Bayou Preservation Symposium will be Wednesday, October 30, at the United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive. The Symposium will address the impact of healthy soil on the wellbeing of our watersheds. The symposium be from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., followed by a special screening of the film  Dirt! - including popcorn (sponsored by Talley Landscape Architects) that will end by 5 p.m.  Registration is required and is available in varying levels.

2019 Texas Energy Summit
2019 Texas Energy Summit written over an outline of the state of Texas
The 2019 Texas Energy Summit, formerly the Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency(CATEE) Conference, will be November 12-14 at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. This 16th annual educational conference and business expo gives attendees the opportunity to engage with industry experts, state and local policy makers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, facility and energy managers, and utility and energy service experts in a conversation about cleaner air, a better built environment and a new energy economy. Registration is required.

Take Care of Texas Video Contest
Take Care of Texas Proud Partner Logo
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 6, and the public will have the opportunity to pick their favorite videos January 15-29, 2020. The middle and high school students who win first place will be invited to travel to Austin, along with their teacher, parent, or guardian, to be recognized by the TCEQ and Waste Management of Texas, Inc., at the 2020 Environmental Trade Fair and Conference.

Galveston Bay Estuary Program State of the Bay Symposium
Galveston Bay estuary program logo
Save the date 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. Registration opens Tuesday, October 15.
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 .

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:  Beaches in the Houston-Galveston region are an ideal location for vacations or taking a break from your daily activities. Photo by Justin Bower. 

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.