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.

Use Less Useless One-Use Items

use less stuff picIt’s not as difficult as it sounds!

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

“Buy, buy, says the sign in the shop window; Why, why says the junk in the yard.” – Paul McCartney

As we enter the holiday season, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the shopping frenzy. Before you know it, you may be swimming in a sea of disposable coffee cups, plastic water bottles, plastic bags, and take out containers in your own car or home.

November 2nd is Use Less Stuff Day and reminds us all that by using less stuff, we not only save the environment, but ourselves as well.  With the New Year approaching, it may be time to do some self-reflection and think of how much we are sending to the landfill that can be easily prevented.

Imagine how many coffee cups you would save if you simply kept a travel thermos or mug to work? That would cut out at least 5 disposable cups a week if you caffeinate daily. That’s 260 disposable cups from one very caffeinated office worker that could have been avoided if they brought their own from home!

The same goes overwhelmingly for plastic bottles and plastic bags and film. Take a moment to imagine the impact of simply stashing an arsenal of reusable items in your work space. Estimate how much disposable cutlery and dishes you could cut out if you simply armed yourself with reusable, quality tools.

Remember, we can all make a difference in our daily lives by using less useless one-use items. It’s not as confusing as it sounds! Start your sustainable arsenal now.

This Saturday, November 11 – join us for 3R Bazaar!

3rOn Saturday, November 11 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., join The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department to celebrate America Recycles Day!

Bring select items for recycling or donation, participate in the Village Challenge, and discover new opportunities for recycling beyond the curb throughout the year.

Bring these items to recycle
Batteries | Eyeglasses | Flip flops | Cell phones | Oral care products
Yard signs (corrugated plastic) | CDs | DVDs | Jewel cases
Gently used clothing | Documents for secure shredding

Activities for entire family
Buy Recycled Boutique | Compost Classes
Appearance by Grant Manier, Eco-Impressionist

Join the Village Challenge
Bring CDs and DVDs and jewel cases and receive scholarship funds for your village.

The event will be held at The Woodlands Township Parks, Recreation and Environmental Services 8203 Millennium Forest Drive, 77381.

Order rain barrels today with great discount [only $85]

For a limited time, the 50-gallon Ivy Rain Barrels from Rainwater Solutions can be purchased at a special discount price. A portion of these funds will support environmental education in The Woodlands area with college scholarships, library donations, lectures, field trips, and other environmental education activities.

WOODLANDS GREEN

This offer is provided by The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N., a non-profit environmental

 

 

education network founded in The Woodlands by residents in 1990.

Retail: $129
Discounted Price: $85*
*with WJPA rebate: $42.50

Deadlines for Ordering & Instructions for Pick-Up

ORDERING — Orders can be submitted on-line until 11:00 pm, Sunday, November 5th
PICK-UP – Saturday, November 11th, 9:00 am to Noon
Rain Barrels will be available for pick up at the 3R Bazaar event

Parks, Recreation, and Environmental Services Building
8203 Millennium Forest Drive
The Woodlands
[Click HERE for map]

Why purchase a rain barrel? 
A rain barrel is a container that captures and stores rainwater draining from your roof. Barrels usually range from 50 to 80 gallons and have a spigot for filling watering cans and a connection for a soaker hose. Combining the use of rain barrels with appropriate plant selection and mulching promotes water conservation. Rain barrels benefit your home, garden and community.

What Are the Benefits of Rain Barrels?
Rain barrels provide free irrigation for your garden and reduce harmful runoff into streams, rivers and lakes.

Money Saver
Rain barrels save homeowners money on their water bills. According to the Woodlands Joint Power Agency, lawn irrigation accounts for 50 to 80% of water used. Rain barrels provide a free water source for irrigation and ease reliance on water supply.

Healthy Plants and Soil
Tap water contains inorganic ions and fluoride compounds that accumulate in the soil over time and potentially harm plant roots and microorganisms in the soil. Rainwater does not contain the same additives found in tap water. It benefits plants in your garden by cleaning the soil of salt buildup, thereby promoting an environment conducive to root development.

Reduction of Runoff
Rain barrels help reduce the flow of storm runoff. When it rains, runoff picks up soil, fertilizer, oil, pesticides and other contaminants from hard surfaces and landscapes. Storm runoff is not treated and flows directly into streams, lakes and other bodies of water nearby. Runoff fertilizers increase algae growth in lakes, and excess soil alters the habitat for fish. Bacteria can even make lakes and oceans dangerous for recreational activities. Rain barrels capture water that would have swept over a paved surface or lawn, thereby minimizing runoff pollutants.

Space still available – register today!

Gardening 102 October 2017 banner graphic

Are you on a budget, but your landscape needs a facelift? Transform your landscape into a water efficient landscape. Come learn basic design principles, plant placement, and hardscape so you can do it yourself.

Saturday, October 28, 2017
9 a.m. to noon
The Woodlands Township Emergency Training Center
16135 I-45 South
The Woodlands, TX 77385

FREE to attend, registration required.

patrick-squareFeatured speaker: Patrick Dickinson, Horticulturist and Project Coordinator

Patrick Dickinson is a Horticulturist with Water University. His programs focus on landscape water use efficiency. He specializes in landscape design, plant selection, rainwater harvesting and irrigation design, drip irrigation and new technologies.