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 Application Now Open

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. The application period will be open until 5 p.m. Monday, September 30. 

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
H-GAC to Open Application for Solid Waste Grants on September 4

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 grant application period will open Wednesday, September 4. H-GAC will host a workshop on how to complete the grant application from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 17, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. Registration is requested. 
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.

water way with grass on one side and trees on the other
H-GAC, TCEQ Work with Stakeholders to Develop Watershed Protection Plan for Big Creek

H-GAC is working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and local stakeholders to develop a better understanding of water pollution issues in Big Creek, a tributary of the Brazos River.  

The area of land that drains to Big Creek includes a 221 square mile portion of central Fort Bend County. The most pressing water quality concern for Big Creek is elevated levels of bacteria in the water, threatening its use for recreation and water supply. H-GAC project staff gathered and analyzed water quality data, information about land use, and other information to characterize the watershed in support of future projects to improve Big Creek's water quality. 

H-GAC welcomes feedback on the project from local stakeholders. For more information contact Justin Bower at 713-499-6653.

Cypress Creek Watershed Partnership Logo
Watershed Protection Plan for Cypress Creek Underway, Partnership Meeting to Be in September

Cypress Creek in Harris and Waller counties is a popular waterway for recreation and serves as one of the area's water supply sources. High levels of bacteria in the water are a threat to the creek's ability to support these uses and the public health, local economies, and ecology that depend on good water quality.  

H-GAC and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) are working with local governments, residents, agricultural interests, businesses and community groups to identify the causes of Cypress Creek's water quality challenges as the Cypress Creek Watershed Partnership. The Partnership will use technical information and stakeholder knowledge to develop a watershed protection plan for Cypress Creek. The plan will recommend voluntary and effective strategies for reducing fecal pollution in Cypress Creek, and identify potential funding sources, timelines, and responsible parties for implementing solutions.  

The next meeting of the Partnership will be later this month. To receive notification of project news or find out more, visit the project website.

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

The next Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, September 9, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. Speakers include Bryan Frazier with the Brazoria County Parks Department and Luis Guajardo and Katie Coyne with Pasadena Healthy Parks.
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.

words Livable Centers Live Work Play
LIVE, Work, and Play: Facilitating Housing for Livable Centers -  September 20

H-GAC's Livable Centers Program seeks to create places where people can Live, Work, and Play. The next Livable Centers workshop, LIVE, Work, and Play: Facilitating Housing for Livable Centers, will focus on the "Live" component --- providing a range of housing choices where residents can make many of their daily trips on foot, by bicycle or transit. The  workshop will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, September 20, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

Participants can gain insight on how to incorporate housing into planning strategies and learn about the tools available in the region to help promote successful housing development. Attendees will have a chance to join in a conversation with an expert panel to see what it takes to make a housing development "pencil," and we'll answer questions about localized housing strategies.

Registration is requested. For more information, contact Anita Hollmann at 713-993-4587.

Save the Date text
Fall Planning Workshop - November 1

Mark your calendars for the Rural Downtown Revitalization Summit and the Fall Planning Workshop.
H-GAC's 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 equity and will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon  Friday, November 1, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. 

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

The 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.

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
Take Care Of Texas Story - Pending
football helmet on field with take the pledge above it
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's outreach program, Take Care of Texas, has partnered with J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans to ask individuals to pledge to do their part for the environment. Every Texan who pledges by Sunday, September 8, will be entered into a drawing to win a signed J.J. Watt football helmet.  Pledge now for a chance to win. The winner will be announced on the Take Care of Texas  Facebook page on Monday, September 9.

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.

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
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Texas Parks and Wildlife Grant Writing Workshop
Texas Parks and Wildlife will host a grant writing workshops for two of their grant programs on Friday, September 6, at TPWD Region 4 Headquarters, 14200 Garrett Road, Houston. The workshop for the Local Park Grant Program will be from 9 a.m. to noon, and the workshop for the Co-Op Grant will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Discussions will focus on newly adopted scoring criteria for the grant program, program requirements, and an overview of the application process. Registration is requested. Additional workshops are scheduled around the state.

Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Fall Cleanup
Adopt a Beach logo
The 2019 Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Fall Cleanup will be from 9 a.m. a.m. to noon Saturday, September 21, at 30 sites along the Texas coast. There are 10 sites in the Houston-Galveston area: four in Galveston County, one in La Porte, two in Brazoria County, and three in Matagorda County. Registration is requested.

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  sponsorship levels  are available.

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.

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.
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.
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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, 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:  Alligator seen at Brazos Bend State Park. 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.