Green Fun for the Whole Family

Check-In, Cleanup...

[Blog Post by Zoe Killian, zkillian@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov]

Pre-registration is open for Earth Day GreenUp – March 24th, 2018!

Join The Woodlands Township in a community-wide litter cleanup event, the annual Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup.

Together, we can target litter on pathways, along waterways, and in greenbelts to keep our community looking clean and green! This community-wide cleanup is an excellent opportunity for team building, meeting neighbors and enjoying the outdoors.

Before the Event

  1. Pre-register online for your check-in location of choice. **Everyone in your group MUST sign a waiver (included in online pre-registration or onsite at check-in).
  2. Be prepared for cleanup by wearing appropriate clothing – long pants and closed-toe shoes/boots. Remember hats, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and a reusable water bottle – we will have a refilling station at the celebration!

Clean Up Day

  1. Check-in at a designated park near you.
  2. Receive gloves, bags and instructions.
  3. Cleanup litter on your assigned pathway.
  4. Drop off bags of litter along pickup route.
  5. Join us at Northshore Park to drop off your supplies and get your free pizza, a t-shirt and enjoy entertainment!

The post-pickup party at Northshore Park will be from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Join us for food, live music by the Buck Yeager band, entertainment by Mr. Cirque the Acrobat and games. Volunteers who participated in the cleanup will be honored guests, receiving free pizza and drinks along with the 2018 event T-shirt. The general public may purchase pizza and drinks.

 

 

GREEN STARTS WITH ME!

The Woodlands Earth Day GreenUp is coordinated by The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department. For more information, call 281-210-3800.

Thank you to our sponsors: Waste Management, Berkeley Services, HEB, The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency (WJPA), Nature’s Way Resources, The Howard Hughes Corporation | The Woodlands Development Company, The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. and Papa John’s!

 

Show the Love: Volunteer!

Valentine Picture

Candied hearts? Check. Chocolate covered strawberries? Check. Romantic Haiku for your partner? Check. Signed up to volunteer for an upcoming Environmental Services Department event? Wait….

So if you’re feeling the notion to sign up as a volunteer – now is the time. We love our volunteers and what better way to say you love your community than by signing up today and getting involved?

The Environmental Services department hosts over 75 events per year that range in size from 15 – to over 1,000 in attendance. There’s so much to do – volunteers can help with event set up, day-of programming, informational booth, or by helping to collect litter from your area park. Nothing does a heart better than volunteering – really –  it’s been proven.

Show your love – volunteer today! For more information about volunteering with The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department, please contact Teri MacArthur at 281-210-3928 or go online to www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/volunteer.

March 24: Earth Day GreenUp – Our Great American Cleanup Event!

[Blog Post By Zoe Killian, Environmental Education Specialist, zkillian@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov]


Volunteer (3)Pre-register for Earth Day GreenUp 2018 before March 12th, 2018. A limited number of trash grabbers will be available for those who sign up early.


Join The Woodlands Township and communities across the nation by participating in Earth Day GreenUp, a Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup initiative on Saturday, March 24th, 2018.

earthdaygreenupearth only

Together, we can target litter on pathways, along waterways, and in greenbelts to keep our community looking clean and green!

Every “litter” bit makes a difference.  All litter can have adverse effects on wildlife, community aesthetics, public health, and even property values. [This report from Don’t Mess with Texas relays the true impact litter has on our state.]

This community-wide cleanup is an excellent opportunity for team building, meeting neighbors, and enjoying the outdoors.

After the cleanup, everyone is welcome to attend the post-cleanup party and celebration at Northshore Park from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Join us for food, music, education booths, and games from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Volunteers who participated in the cleanup will be honored guests, receiving free pizza and drinks along with the 2018 event T-shirt. The general public may purchase pizza and drinks.

The Woodlands Earth Day GreenUp is coordinated by The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department. For more information, call 281-210-3800.

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Enhance Your Landscape with Kitchen and Yard Waste

 

[Blog Post by Ann Hall, Environmental Education Specialist, ahall@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov]

Compost is composed of two basic types of organic materials:  brown material and green material.

Brown Material

  • Leaves
  • Pine needles
  • Dried yard trimmings (dead branches, plants)
  • Frozen plant material (from winter freezes)
  • Shredded cardboard
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Nut shells

Green Material

  • Vegetable scraps and peelings
  • Fruit cores and peelings
  • Egg shells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea bags
  • Grass clippings

Brown material is a source of carbon while green material adds nitrogen to the compost bin.  Collect leaves in bags or a compost bin.  Kitchen scraps may be stored in a small counter top bucket with a lid.  When kitchen scraps are abundant, freeze them in zipper top bags to add later to the compost pile.  Coffee grounds, filters and used tea bags may also be stored in zipper top bags.

Layering brown material alternately with green material in a compost bin creates a perfect environment for beneficial microorganisms to begin to decompose these organic materials.  As the microorganisms break down the sources of carbon and nitrogen, heat is generated.  An actively heating compost bin will heat for 3-5 days with a temperature ranging from 80-160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

As the bin cools, other decomposers such as small insects will enter the compost bin to continue the maturing process which provides available nutrients for plants.  Finished compost may be used on house plants, outdoor ornamental containers, planting beds or vegetable gardens.  Turning kitchen and yard waste into useful compost is a rewarding gardening activity. 

Compost Class Event Cover

Free composting classes are offered at 10 am continuing on the first Saturday of  February and March at The Woodlands Township’s Parks, Recreation and Environmental Services Department facility located at 8203 Millennium Forest.  Join us to learn more about back yard composting.

For details, please visit us online.

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New Dates, Format, and Location: 2018 Walk in the Woods

WITW LogoExplore nature at your back door as experts reveal the extraordinary plants and wildlife of East Texas!

The next Walk in the Woods is scheduled for Thursday, February 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Recreation Center at Rob Fleming. Attendees will be treated to an interactive wildlife presentation followed by an evening walk through the George Mitchell Preserve.

Our keynote speaker will be Kevin Gaines of Sky Kings Falconry and he will present birds of prey. A noted expert in the research and rescue of birds, Kevin will discuss various species and specifically the rescue work that his organization supports in the area.

KevinGaineswithOwlKevin has been working with raptors for almost 10 years. He has worked with birds as small as Kestrels and Conures to ones as large as Bald Eagles and Andean Condors! He has presented programs at the Texas, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, and Mobile Renaissance Festivals, Callaway Gardens and numerous school programs. Recently, he started using his skills in the bird abatement field, and founded “Sky Kings Falconry Service” in order to spread the message of wildlife conservation and offer an environmentally friendly alternative to bird problems.

falconLocated on the edge of the Big Thicket, Montgomery County is home to a diverse plant and wildlife population. Walk in the Woods Nature Lecture Series provides an introduction to the unique species that inhabit our community. Guest speakers recognized for their expertise present topics ranging from bats and owls to hummingbirds and habitat gardening. Featuring exquisite photography and occasionally live specimens, Walk in the Woods appeals to nature enthusiasts of all ages and levels of interest, from students to retirees.

For the upcoming spring season, Walk in the Woods Nature Lecture Series will take place on  February 8, March 8, and April 12. All programs will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the Recreation Center at Rob Fleming. Each program will focus on a different topic area and each program will feature an outdoor walk or presentation with a keynote speaker.

Volunteer (2)

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Better irrigation AND water savings?

[Blog Post By Terrilyn MacArthur, Environmental Education Specialist, TMacArthur@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov]

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Texas  State Comptroller, Glenn Hegar, says, “As Texans, we must remain committed to conserving water year-round. Join me in making small changes to your lawns, flower beds and gardens. Together, we can make sure we have plenty of drinking water for future generations of Texans.”

One of the suggestions made by Hegar is to install a soaker hose or drip irrigation to water shrubs. On Saturday, January 13, 2018, The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department is hosting a workshop on how to convert your sprinkler head(s) to drip and how to maximize rainwater harvesting to conserve even more water for use on your landscape.

Specialists in both topics will present classroom instruction followed by hands-on training so you can learn the correct way to make conversions and to use your rain barrel to the best advantage.

Converting a sprinkler head on your automated system to drip irrigation is a water saver! Watering all your landscaped beds in this way makes for healthier plants, too! Less frequent but deeper watering strengthens roots and using drip irrigation helps prevent loss of water through runoff.

Volunteer (2)

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Feb 3: Creating Wildlife Habitats in Community Spaces Workshop

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Volunteer (2)For years, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (T.P.W.D.) has provided educational programming about habitat for wildlife, for

large acreage landowners, local communities and individuals. The Board of Directors of The Woodlands Township has resolved to support creation and improvement of habitat for pollinators within the Township, beginning in 2018.

On Saturday, February 3, 2018 residents are invited to learn practical ways to create and maintain habitat for pollinators and other desirable wildlife such as birds. The workshop will introduce concepts and issues that led the Township Board to adopt the pollinator initiative resolution.

Residents will be given the tools to extend the program into their own landscapes and provide information about habitat certification programs for homeowners.

map and directions

The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at The Woodlands Emergency Training Center (16135 I-H 445 South, Conroe, 77385). For additional details and to register for the free workshop, please use the registration link, or call 281-210-3800. Lunch is included for workshop participants. Registration is required, space is limited so register now for this informative class. The deadline to register is Thursday, February 1, by 5 p.m.

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Can you dig it? Gardening 101 Workshop on Jan 13

Learn How to Improve Your Overall Soil Health
According to the Texas State Historical Association, Texas soils are complex because of the wide diversity of climate, vegetation, geology and landscape. More than 1,300 different kinds of soil are recognized in Texas. Each has a specific set of properties that affect its use.

How healthy is your soil?

scott snodgrassJoin us for a free program on Saturday, January 13 to learn how to improve the soil health of your garden. Our featured keynote speaker is Scott Snodgrass, co-founder of Loam Agronomics. He will be providing an overview of the work performed by his farm and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). He will also provide simple tips and resources to improve your soil. In addition, learn how to test your soil and take home a free sample of compost to begin improving your garden’s health right away.

Gardening 101 and 102 workshops provide interactive instruction and education about common gardening issues in our area. The event is free to attend, but you must register. The program begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at noon and will be held at Whole Foods in The Woodlands. [Please note our new location!]

Space is limited and the event will happen rain or shine. Deadline to register is Thursday, January 11, 2018, by 5 p.m.

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New Year Holiday Reminders for Solid Waste Collection

As you plan your upcoming holiday, please remember there will be NO solid waste collection services on Monday, January 1, 2018. Waste Management will resume pick-up on the day following the holiday. Trash and recycling pick-up for the observed holiday and all subsequent days of the week will be delayed by one day. For instance, Monday service will occur on Tuesday and Tuesday service will occur on Wednesday, etc. Households with Friday service will receive pick-up on Saturday. 

These schedule changes will impact all services—trash, recycling, yard trimmings, bulk pick-up, and textile recycling.

The regular pick-up schedule will resume the following week.

solid waste schedule New Years 18

For a trouble-free pick-up, please place carts at the curb before 7 a.m. on your regular pick-up day. Keep streets clear of parked cars to allow trucks to safely access carts. Please make sure that lids on carts close completely and follow service guidelines.

Failure to follow guidelines will result in items being left at the curb.

The Woodlands Recycling Center on Research Forest Drive will be open every Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. regardless of holidays.

Per the Holiday Collection Schedule, the only holidays that will affect residential trash and recycling collection for 2018 will be New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Find more information about trash and recycling services – visit Environmental Services online. To report missed pick-ups, please call Waste Management Customer Service at 800-800-5804.

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January 6: Join us for Compost Class

Compost Class Event CoverLearn to Compost – Have a Healthier Garden
Join us for free outdoor composting classes offered on the first Saturday of January, February and March. Learn how to turn kitchen waste, yard trimmings and leaves into rich, hand-made compost.

Try out the variety of composting tools and equipment. Find out how compost benefits plants, gardens and lawns.

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Located at 8203 Millennium Forest, The Woodlands, TX 77381, our outdoor composting class is taught by certified, experienced Montgomery County Master Gardeners. Composting resources, problem-solving, trouble-shooting and tips are provided at each class.

High-quality collapsible compost bins are available for purchase at a reduced price. Compost-related door prizes, including a new compost bin, will be raffled off.

Class begins promptly at 10 a.m. and will conclude by 11 a.m. Interested residents may wish to experience the optional hands-on class segment following the composting presentation. Our informal, interactive class is packed with information and great fun. Free! No registration required.

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Christmas Holiday Reminders for Solid Waste Collection

Please note: there will be no trash or recycling service on Monday, December 25, 2017. Waste Management will resume pick-up on the day following the holiday. Trash and recycling pick-up for the observed holiday and all subsequent days of the week will be delayed by one day. For instance, Monday service will occur on Tuesday and Tuesday service will occur on Wednesday, etc. Households with Friday service will receive pick-up on Saturday.

These schedule changes will impact all services—trash, recycling, yard trimmings, bulk pick-up, and textile recycling.

solid waste schedule DEC 17

To assist residents with recycling gift boxes and wrappings, additional holiday recycling pick-up will be offered on each household’s first solid waste service day following December 25, 2017.

Please note guidelines for holiday recycling.tree recycling

  • Break down smaller gift and mailing boxes to consolidate into one box.
  • Put extra paper wrappings in a paper bag or small box.
  • Place bags and boxes at the curb next to the recycling cart.
  • The holiday recycling truck is a traditional rear-loading truck reserved only for holiday boxes and wrappings.
    • NO plastic bags
    • NO Styrofoam™
    • NO bubble wrap
    • NO ribbons, decorations, Christmas lights or other tanglers.

For a trouble-free pick-up, please place carts at the curb before 7 a.m. on your regular pick-up day. Keep streets clear of parked cars to allow trucks to safely access carts. Please make sure that lids on carts close completely and follow service guidelines.

Failure to follow guidelines will result in items being left at the curb.

The Woodlands Recycling Center on Research Forest Drive will be open every Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. regardless of holidays.

Per the Holiday Collection Schedule, the only holidays that will affect residential trash and recycling collection for 2018 will be New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Find more information about trash and recycling services – visit Environmental Services online. To report missed pick-ups, please call Waste Management Customer Service at 800-800-5804.

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Saturday, February 10: Volunteer with Village Tree Planting

villlage tree plantingLiving in The Woodlands, it’s easy to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds our daily commutes whether in cars, on bikes, or on foot. Nature keeps us healthy and the tree canopy in our community provides cool shade and verdant color to brighten our days. Trees also reduce air pollution, take up and store carbon dioxide, reduce storm water runoff, and cools nearby buildings and homes.

Each year, in partnership with The Woodlands Development Company
and in celebration of Arbor Day, over 3,000 seedlings are planted to sustain this natural amenity. On Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 8 a.m. until noon in Creekside Village, residents can take part in this fun, family friendly activity.

The first event recruited 25 volunteers, last year there were over 350 participants. And for the upcoming Village Tree Planting, the Environmental Services department will again recruit close to 350 volunteers to help.

village tree planting 2

Volunteers range from young kids to retirees. For the half-day commitment, volunteers will help with digging, spreading soil, planting the seedlings and watering.  Interested parties can sign up online.

Plan to join your neighbors and friends on Saturday, February 10 to plant a tree and build our livable forest.

 

Water YOU doing to conserve?

WWC Sign Up Pledge Banner[Blog Post By Terrilyn MacArthur, Environmental Education Specialist, TMacArthur@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov]

If you haven’t already heard, the annual Water-Wise Village Challenge is well under way. Since October 15, residents have been encouraged – in fact, urged – to turn off their automated sprinkler systems for the winter. The benefits are great: save water, make your grass healthier, and earn points for your village toward possible scholarship funds. How could you go wrong?

Here’s a secret, though. Don’t tell anyone! If your household pledges before December 31, you earn two points, rather than only one. Shhh.

Pledge online now to help your village be one of the three with the most points for the scholarship donations.

And that healthier grass thing? Did you know that watering over the winter inhibits the deep growth your grass’s roots need to be strong and insect-resistant in the spring? So use your hose end sprayer nozzle for your plants and trees and let the grass go brown. It will definitely thank you when winter is over.

Pledge online and in two minutes you will be done and busy saving water. THREE great things accomplished before bedtime today.

So, water you doing to save the earth? For more ideas, call the Environmental Services Department of The Woodlands Township at 281-210-3800.

Celebrate World Soil Day: December 5, 2017

[Blog Post by Ann Hall, Environmental Education Specialist, ahall@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov]

Soil is where our food begins.  World Soil Day (December 5, 2017) celebrates the importance of soil.  Healthy soil grows healthy food and other plants.  The nutritional value of food is directly connected to the health of the soil.  A limited resource, soil has been degraded worldwide by poor management practices, expansion of urban areas and population increases.

World Soil Day is a time to consider what you can do to enhance the health of the soil in your own yard and garden.  Creating healthy soil consists of a few simple steps every homeowner can do:
• Obtain a soil test
• Use the soil test results to add the proper balance of nutrients to your soil
• Add organic matter (such as compost) to improve soil structure, water holding capacity and add microorganisms

Texas A&M University’s Soil Testing Laboratory provides a complete soil analysis for a very low cost.  The procedure includes sampling your soil, submitting the sample to the soil testing laboratory and adding the soil amendments recommended by the testing lab. The Urban and Homeowner Soil Sample Information Form may be accessed here.

Learning to compost is a cost-effective way of creating rich organic matter containing crucial microorganisms to enhance your soil.  Join the Montgomery County Master Gardeners as they provide free classes on how to compost.  Classes are held the first Saturday of December, January and February. For more information on The Woodlands Township’s compost classes, visit our website.

“Caring for the planet starts from the ground,” the theme of World Soil Day 2017, is something each person can do. You can make a difference in your own landscape and garden and celebrate World Soil Day by incorporating these steps into your gardening routines.

Thanksgiving Holiday Reminders

Andra trashcartAs you plan your Thanksgiving holiday, please remember there will be NO solid waste collection services on Thursday, November 23.

Curbside service will resume on Friday, November 24.  Households that usually receive pick-up on Thursday or Friday will receive collection on the day following their regular service day.

All services are affected—trash, recycling, yard trimmings and bulk pick-up.

Please see the chart below to confirm your service day:

solid waste schedule

The regular pick-up schedule will resume on Monday, November 27.

For your convenience, the Woodlands Recycling Center on Research Forest Drive will be open during regular hours:
• Open on Wednesday, November 22 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• Open on Saturday, November 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Be a good neighbor this Thanksgiving holiday week.  Courtesy matters:
• If you have house guests, keep streets clear of parked cars on trash days to prevent blocked streets and missed pick-ups.
• Assist out-of-town neighbors by placing and removing their trash and recycling carts from the curb to keep our community clean and green.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

The mission of The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department is to empower informed choices for the sustained health of our community and environment. The department coordinates a wide variety of programs that provide information and resources for healthy, sustainable living. For more information, please visit us online at https://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/105/Environmental-Services or call 281-210-3800.