Keeping you up to date on the community planning, economic development,
and environmental planning programs at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Upcoming Events
Parks and Natural Areas logo
Parks and Natural Area Roundtable - September 10

The next Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, September 10, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.
Representatives from Asakura Robinson and League City will present their award-winning parks projects, H-GAC staff will provide a program update, and participants will share information about upcoming parks and natural areas-related projects and events.
Online registration is requested. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.

U.S. Census PSAP Workshops - September 12, October 15

H-GAC is the official liaison for the United States Census Bureau's Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP) for the 13-county H-GAC planning region.  As part of the PSAP, the U.S. Census Bureau requires  re-establishing boundaries based on population growth or loss at the Census Tract and Census Block Group levels with every decennial census count. 

H-GAC staff will host a series of workshops to engage stakeholders in open dialogue about the process for reestablishing boundaries.  The workshops are designed for individuals at the county and local levels who use cCensus data for planning purposes and demographic data users who base research and policy decisions on Census Tracts, Block Groups, or Census Designated Places. They are free and open to the public, but you must register to attend either.

PSAP Workshop 1
Wednesday, September 12
1 - 4 p.m.
H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor
Registration Information
PSAP Workshop 2
Monday, October 15
9 a.m. - noon
H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor
Registration Information


For more information on the workshops, contact Brooks Andrews at 713-993-4519.

Connected Nation Logo
Broadband Listening Tour - September 13

H-GAC and the Gulf Coast Economic Development District will host a Broadband Listening Tour workshop from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Thursday, September 13, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.

Attendees will learn more about broadband opportunities in the region. Through collaboration with the Still Water Foundation, Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas Education Agency, and other foundations and stakeholders, Connected Nation is hosting listening tours and resource information sessions across the state.

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

Welcome to the Future of Retail Logo
Future of Retail: Your Community Destination Workshop - September 21

Join us for Future of Retail: Your Community Destination  from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, September 21, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.
At this half-day workshop, participants will gain insights from experts on retail trends and future opportunities and learn how small communities are attracting and retaining retail tenants while rebranding their retail destinations through practical policies, programs, and projects.
Presenters include Austin Farmer, Regional Project Director, The Retail Coach; Steve Spillette, President, Community Development Strategies; Aron Kulhavy, City Manager, City of Huntsville; Bret Gardella, Director, Rosenberg Economic Development Corporation; and Brad Stafford, City Manager, City of Navasota.
Breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m.  Registration  is requested. For more information, contact  Anita Hollmann  at 713-993-4587.

2018 Texas Energy Summit Logo
Texas Energy Summit - September 24-26

The 2018 Texas Energy Summit, formerly the Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency/CATEE Conference, will be September 24-26 at Hyatt Regency Houston/Galleria, 2626 Sage Road, Houston.

The annual summit provides a forum to 
  • Share information on state and local energy efficiency, renewable energy, and air quality policies;
  • Raise awareness of the importance of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability measures for the state's economic well-being;
  • Highlight and celebrate successful policies and programs being implemented to achieve emissions reductions and related environmental and economic benefits; 
  • Explore the growing importance of the Energy/Water Nexus; and
  • Consider advances in intelligent building design, Smart Cities and energy efficiency Internet of Things (IOT), including manufacturing/industrial IOT.
Registration is required. H-GAC partners can receive a 10% discount using PARTNER10 at checkout.

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

Save the date for H-GAC's next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, October 23. The location and topic are to be determined. 

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

For more information, contact Joey Kaspar at 713-993-4547.

Save the Date text
Fall Planning Workshop - November 9

Mark your calendars for the annual Fall Planning Workshop from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Friday, November 9, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

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

This year's workshop, Planning at the Edge, invites participants to join in discussion with local cities and counties,especially unincorporated areas, experiencing growth and development, . This workshop will focus on common issues, challenges, and potential management solutions.

For more information, e-mail

Trash Bash at Lake Houston
Trash Bash - March 30, 2019

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 30, 2019, for the 26th annual cleanup.
With locations across the Galveston Bay watershed, there's a cleanup location near home, work, or school. An educational area offers 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® 2019.

H-GAC Seeks Public Input on Use of Harvey Infrastructure, Buyout Funds

The H-GAC Board-approved a Method of Distribution (MOD) detailing the allocation of approximately $241 million in Harvey recovery funds to support infrastructure projects and home buyouts/acquisitions outside the City of Houston and Harris County in July 2018.

After review, the Texas General Land Office has requested that H-GAC seek additional input on the Council of Government (COG) Method of Distribution for 2017 Hurricane Harvey CDBG-Disaster Recovery Allocation Summary Form (Summary Form) that accompanies the allocations.

H-GAC is continuing our Citizen Participation process and seeking input to help inform guidance we will make available to local governments as they plan and prioritize use of their allocated CDBG Disaster Recovery infrastructure and home buyout/ acquisition funds. W e are especially seeking input to the elements found on pages 5-8 of the Summary Form. We are not seeking comments on the H-GAC Board-approved allocation formula.

The public comment period regarding the Summary Form opened at noon Thursday, August 30, 2018, and will close at noon, Friday, September 14, 2018. We will take comments online, by e-mail, by mail, hand-delivered, and at a public meeting from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, September 10, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. More information about the means for submitting input are available on the project website.

Parks and Natural Areas logo
Parks and Natural Areas Awards Application Open Until September 28

H-GAC will accept Parks and Natural Areas (PNA) Awards applications  through Friday, September 28.
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.
Winners will be notified in December. The awards ceremony and half-day parks event will be in February 2019. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.

Current County Viewer Screen Shot
H-GAC Launches Current County Data Viewer

H-GAC recently released the Current County Data ViewerThis interactive application displays the most recent county-level data of the 13-county H-GAC region. The tool offers demographic, economic and housing data. Most of the data used in this application is only available at the county level.

H-GAC's interactive web applications provide information in a convenient, easy-to-use format. The applications are accessible on any browsers and are mobile-friendly.

Partner Announcements
2019 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 2019 awards is now open. Winners will be honored at an awards banquet  May 15, 2019, where videos of the winning projects will be featured. Applications will be accepted through Friday, September 28.

Federal Highway Administration Environmental Excellence Awards
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is accepting nominations for the 2019 Environmental Excellence Awards through Friday, September 14. This biennial awards program recognizes partners, projects, and processes that use FHWA funding sources to go beyond environmental compliance and achieve environmental excellence.

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 15 to November 15 but  registration  is open now. There are both competitive and non-competitive divisions for this program.

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) 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 14, and the public will have the opportunity to pick their favorite videos January 10 through 24, 2019.  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 2019 Environmental Trade Fair and Conference.

Texans in Leadership Logo
Texas Rural Leadership Program
The Texas Rural Leadership Program (TRLP) offers leadership development training in communities through its TRLP Leaders-In-Action Workshop Series. TRLP partners with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Texas A&M University Public Partnership & Outreach. For more information about what TRLP offers, visit  or contact Craig Rotter at 979-587-1992.

Community Resilience Collaborative Logo
Community Resilience Collaborative
The Community Resilience Collaborative (CRC) provides technical assistance for planning, outreach, and education aimed at coastal communities, particularly resource managers, land use planners, and emergency managers who deal with hazard mitigation. Planning is emphasized to address critical land use, environmental, hazard mitigation, and disaster recovery issues through coastal planning. Priority is placed on providing planning assistance to low-capacity, low-resource, and/or underrepresented communities. For more information regarding the CRC, contact Heather Wade at 979-845-3855.
More Upcoming Events
Center for Houston's Future Summer Salons
Center for Houston's Future Logo
The Center for Houston's Future is hosting the third of  three monthly summer salons at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 13, at the Junior League of Houston, 1811 Briar Oaks Lane, Houston. This casual breakfast conversation brings  big-picture thinkers and regional experts together with broader audiences for an extended discussion on regional issues, with a focus on the next steps for creating a sustainable and competitive Houston region. Registration is $30 per person and includes a seated breakfast.

Greater Houston Partnership Economy Series
greater houston partnership logo
The Greater Houston Partnership and Visit Houston will host Placemaking - The Role of Tourism on Houston's Perception from noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday, September 21, at Marriott Marquis, 1777 Walker Street, Houston. The two-part luncheon includes the State of Tourism address from Mike Waterman, Executive Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Houston First Corp. and President of Visit Houston. Aaron Price, Chief Marketing Officer for Brand Expedia Group, will then describe what it takes for cities to transform their communities into great places. Registration begins at $90 for members. For more information, contact Ryan Albright at 713-844-3632.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Recreation Grants Criteria Discussion
Texas Parks and Wildlife
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Recreation Grants program is hosting a series of public input meetings to discuss and assess evaluation criteria for awarding funds through the Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP) Grant and for Local Park Grants. A meeting in the H-GAC region will be Thursday, September 13, at TPWD State Parks Region 4 HQ, 14200 Garrett Road, Houston. Local Park Grant evaluation criteria discussion will be from 9 to 11:30 a.m., and Co-Op Grant evaluation criteria discussion will be from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Webinars are available for anyone who cannot attend in person. Existing evaluation criteria for each of these grant programs is available online. For more information, e-mail Recreation Grants or call 512-389-8224.

America Walks Logo
America Walks Webinars 
America Walks is hosting free monthly webinars at 1 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month. These webinars look to expand knowledge, highlight success stories, and share new tools and resources. Registration is required. Upcoming webinars include Pedestrians are People Too: The Criminalization of Walking, September 12; Walk Into Action: Walking and Walkability Policy Issues, October 10; Where Do We Go Next? Mapping and Tracking in the Future, November 14; and On a Sustainable Path: The Role of Walkability in Addressing Climate Change, December 12.

Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Fall Cleanup
Adopt a Beach logo
The 2018 Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Fall Cleanup will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, September 15, at 30 sites along the Texas coast. There are 10 sites in the Houston-Galveston area: four in Galveston County, one in LaPorte, two in the Freeport area, and three in the Bay City area. Registration is requested.

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Wednesday Webinars 
Gulf of Mexico Alliance Logo
The   Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) is hosting a Wednesday Webinar series at 2 p.m. the last Wednesday of every other month.  Join to learn about resources and projects from around the Gulf. Preregistration is not required. Upcoming webinars include Tool Highlights (Dave Reed), September 26; and Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) Detection (Kate Hubbard), November 28. 

NADO conference logo
National Association of Development Organizations Conference
Registration is open for the National Association of Development Organization's (NADO) 2018 Annual Training Conference, Investing in the Future of Regional Development October 13-16 in Charlotte, NC. The conference will be four days of interactive learning, networking with peers, thought-provoking plenary sessions, hands-on learning labs and workshops, mobile workshops, and more.   

Drug Enforcement Agency National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
DEA National Drug Take Back Logo
The Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) 
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 27. 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.

STAR Texas Recycling Summit
STAR Summit 2018 logo - shaped like a sand dollar - words STAR Texas Recycling Summit - Galveston October 28-31 2018
Registration is now open for the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) Texas Recycling Summit 2018  October 28-31 at Moody Gardens, 7 Hope Boulevard, Galveston. 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.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service logo
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Master Gardeners Composter Training
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Fort Bend County Master Gardeners Association are hosting a three-day composter specialist event from 10 a.m. to noon December 5-7 at the AgriLife Extension Office, 1402 Band Road, Suite 100, Rosenberg. This training is sanctioned by the Texas Master Gardener program, and the 24 attendees will receive the title of "Composter Specialist." More information, including an agenda and registration, is available online.
Funding Sources
USDA Rural Water Infrastructure Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development has more than $4 billion in direct loans available to help rural communities build or upgrade water infrastructure. Water districts and rural communities can apply for USDA loans electronically using the interactive RDApply toolUSDA state and field offices are available to help during the application process.

The deadline to apply is Thursday, September 30.

Recycling Partnership Logo
Texas Coastal and Waterway Community Recycling Grant

The Recycling Partnership and The Coca-Cola Foundation have opened the new coastal and waterways community grant program to help address the challenge of waste in waterways and help improve the collection of recyclables for reuse. The program will provide new carts with lids for curbside recycling programs located on the coastal shorelines.
The deadline to apply for the first round of funding is Friday, September 21. Anyone interested in this program should contact Rob Taylor before applying.

H-GAC Septic System or Aerobic System Repair/ Replacement 

H-GAC has funding available for the repair or replacement of failing conventional septic systems or aerobic on-site sewage facilities in the H-GAC service region. 

Funds are available to homeowners who meet certain income restrictions. No cost sharing is required. For more information, contact   Brian Sims at 713-993-2438.

US Economic Development Administration logo
EDA Harvey Recovery Grants

The U.S. Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Austin regional office received $129,119,000 in supplemental funding for disaster relief and is actively seeking projects to help communities in the Houston-Galveston region recover from Hurricane Harvey. 

The recently released Notice of Funding Opportunity outlines the requirements, which include the following:
  • Projects require a 20 percent match, which can include in-kind contributions
  • Typical projects will range from $1-$2.5 million
  • First round of 14-15 applications anticipated to be funded by September 2018, with 1 or 2 subsequent rounds of funding
  • Must demonstrate a nexus to Harvey in terms of economic recovery or resilience
  • Eligible applicants include governments, nonprofits, and universities
For more information, contact Robert Peche of the EDA.

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  @hgaccog. H-GAC's water resources program also offers Twitter updates on water quality issues in the region  @HGACwater.
Banner 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.