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.

Recycle Beyond the Curb at 3R Bazaar

3R Bazaar Blog 2Step into the future of recycling with The Woodlands Township! The Environmental Services Department is hosting the annual 3R Bazaar, an America Recycles Day celebration, on November 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 8203 Millennium Forest Drive.

Bring the whole family to learn how fun and easy it can be to reduce, reuse, and recycle beyond the curb. The 3R Bazaar is the perfect opportunity to refresh your recycling knowledge, support your village, and enjoy eco-friendly games and festivities. Participate in expanded collection opportunities to reuse and recycle commodities beyond curbside with local businesses and charitable organizations.

Reduce
Visit participating booths to learn about commodity items that are destined for recycling, not wasting away in a landfill.

Reuse
Residents are invited to donate usable clothing to The Salvation Army and eyeglasses to the Lions Recycle for Sight program.

Recycle
Give new life to old products by recycling them at one of our collection booths.

Participate in the 2017 Village Challenge! Earn scholarship funds for your village by bringing CD/DVD disks and jewel cases for recycling with The CD Recycling Center of America.

Watch nature’s method of recycling by enjoying an outdoor compost class offered at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Scouts who attend a class receive a  badge!

Repurpose
Meet Grant Manier, the eco-impressionist as he creates one of his “coolages” using only recycled items. Bring your worn t-shirts to upcycle into fashion accessories or dog toys at the No-Sew Boutique. Explore other creative outlets to breathe new life into waste and turn trash into treasure.

ReBuy
Complete the cycle by shopping at the award-winning Buy Recycled Boutique hosted by Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. Find eco-chic items created from recycled or sustainable materials. All products are made in the United States or certified Fair Trade. Every product has been gifted an extended life! From Green Toys™ to jewelry, view the current lines from new and favorite manufacturers.

The 3R Bazaar is brought to you by The Woodlands Township Environmental Services with sponsorship from The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. and Waste Management. For more information, volunteer opportunities, or participation in a collection for next year, please visit us online or contact the Environmental Services Department at 281-210-3800.

 

3R Bazaar Logo
Recycling Guidelines
LISTED ITEMS, ONE DAY ONLY!

  • Alkaline Batteries
    • AA, AAA, C, D and 9 volt ONLY
    • NO rechargeable; NO lead-acid
  • Clothing and Shoes
    • Clean and usable condition – Salvation Army
    • Unusable condition – Simple Recycling
  • Electronics
    • Small electronics such as cell phones, mp3 players, and tablets
    • NO TVs
  • Eyeglasses
    • Prescription and reading glasses, sunglasses
    • Plastic and metal frames; cases
  • Flip Flops
  • Oral Care Products
    • Collected by Girl Scout Cadette Troop 11953
    • Used toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes, and floss containers
  • Yard Signs
    • Corrugated plastic signs

Village Challenge

  • CD/DVD Disks and Jewel Cases
    • Disks must be separated from case and paper insert

Secure Document Shredding by Southern Shred

  • Boxed or bagged personal documents
  • Residential only
  • 5 cans of food or $5 per box benefits Interfaith Food Pantry
  • No limit

Eco-Carnival

  • Live Music
  • Eco- Friendly Games
  • Prizes

Design your own Water-Wise Landscape

Gardening 102 October 2017 banner graphicAre you on a budget, but your landscape needs a face-lift? 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.

Visit: http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/gardeningevents to register.

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.

Walk in the Woods: Join us on Thursday, October 12

WITW Logo

Join Environmental Services as we host Mary Anne Weber, Education Director at Houston Audubon Society. During this Walk in the Woods, she will reveal the wonder of songbirds.

Thursday, October 12
7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
McCullough Junior High
L.G.I. Lecture Hall
3800 S Panther Creek Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77381

FREE to attend, no registration required.

Mary Anne WeberMorning chorus, daytime chatters and nighttime cooing! Ms. Weber reveals them all in the program about why birds sing and how they sing. Meet some of the noisy raptors from Houston Audubon as you discover the amazing world of bird vocalizations.

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.

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.

 

Woodlands Landscaping Solutions: Your One Stop Gardening Shop

WLS FB Event Banner 3

Environmental Services Department Presents: FREE how-to gardening event!

The Environmental Services Department invites you to a morning of learning and fun! The Woodlands Landscaping Solutions is an interactive educational experience, where attendees visit with experts and explore the grounds learning simple ways to care for their garden and the environment.

Join us this coming Saturday, September 30 from 9:00 a.m. until noon. This is a wonderful program for everyone from the seasoned gardener to the youngest child creating their first garden.

Already made plans to attend? Click here —> YES! I’m coming. 

Saturday, September 30
9:00 am – Noon
The Woodlands Township Parks, Recreation and Environmental Services
8203 Millennium Forest Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77381

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

Hear from experts || Purchase plants & compost bins || Visit “how-to” booths

ES Email Footer

Pollution Prevention Week: Just Breathe, Prevent Air Pollution with Ease

Pollution Prevention Week

How ironic is it that our fast-paced lifestyles have led us to the new trend of idling?

Too little time to run errands, go into the bank, have a nice sit-down lunch, or walk the children to school has plunged us into what may seem like an endless idling cycle. That time spent with your engine running increases the amount of air pollutants coming from the tailpipe – yuck! Stay diligent by checking out the current air quality index for updates. You’ll observe a critical difference in the months of March-November.

Don’t be vexed about vehicle emissions – the solution is simple! Break the cycle and reduce your emissions by turning off the engine when you would be idling for more than 10 seconds outside of traffic.  Join us in this simple pollution source reduction initiative during Pollution Prevention Week September 18-24, 2017.

Don’t stand idly by, sign the pledge to stop idling and join us for the October Walk to School Initiative.

The Township will be promoting air quality in October during the Walk to School activities at 12 schools in The Woodlands.

Read more about what you can do to prevent pollution here.

 

 

 

1997 – 2017: Woodlands Landscaping Solutions

WLS FB Event Banner 2

Environmental Services is pleased to announce that Woodlands Landscaping Solutions is celebrating its 20th Anniversary! Join us for this FREE how-to gardening event.

In celebration, here is a snapshot of 20 things you will learn or experience: (We promise there’s much more!)

  1. Landscape and yard design
  2. Greenscaping
  3. Attracting beneficial bugs to your garden
  4. Build and use your own rain water barrel
  5. Gardening with native plants
  6. How to compost (and buy a bin!)
  7. Vegetable gardening tips
  8. Buy native plants for your own garden
  9. How to conserve water
  10. Hear from local experts
  11. Listen to Dulcimer Doins’
  12. Receive current program information from Environmental Services
  13. How to identify and preserve antique rose varieties
  14. Learn about native wildlife
  15. Hear from Texas Parks and Wildlife Rangers
  16. Meet with representatives from PoliNation
  17. Understand invasive species and how to identify
  18. TREES! TREES! TREES!
  19. Bluebirds (and other friends of the Avian species)
  20. Meet and mingle with friends, knowledgeable volunteers and your friendly Environmental Services Staff!

Mark your calendars and join us on Saturday, September 30 from 9 a.m. to noon at The Woodlands Township Parks, Recreation and Environmental Services facility. (8203 Millennium Forest Drive, The Woodlands.) Please CLICK HERE for more information.

Join us on Thursday, September 14

WITW Logo

Join Environmental Services as we host Dr. Christopher Comer, Assistant Wildlife Professor at Stephen F. Austin University. During this Walk in the Woods, he will reveal the wonder of black bears.

Thursday, September 14
7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
McCullough Junior High
L.G.I. Lecture Hall
3800 S Panther Creek Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77381

FREE to attend, no registration required.

Bears capture the imagination, fascinating both children and adults. Intelligent, shy and adaptable, black bears were once plentiful throughout the state. According to Dr. Comer, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department documents three to ten credible sightings of the Louisiana black bear in Texas each year. More common in our neighboring state, Louisiana black bears are a subspecies of the American black bear.

Chris Comer
Enjoy an evening dedicated to black bears with Dr. Comer. Learn about their habits, range and challenges. A Discovery Trunk will enable attendees to touch a bear pelt, claws and skull replica; gauge the growth of cubs; and enjoy other hands-on activities.

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.

Post-Harvey: Tips to reduce mosquitoes and “Fight the Bite!”

flooding_boots.jpgAs the flood waters recede, Environmental Services would like to remind residents to take precautions against mosquitoes, as their population can greatly increase. Help to control population growth – today!

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 

Prior to Hurricane Harvey, no local spread of  Zika, dengue, or other viruses spread by Aedes aegypti or Ae. albopictus mosquitoes had been reported in Houston or the areas affected by flooding. Although the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey is severe and an increase in mosquito populations is expected in the coming weeks, CDC does not expect to see cases of Zika appear in the area because of flooding.

West Nile virus is primarily spread by Culex mosquitoes. Cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Texas this summer. CDC does anticipate additional cases of West Nile virus to be reported throughout the summer, but not as a result of flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

The best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites and viruses spread through mosquito bites is to prevent mosquito bites.

Here are some basic tips for you, your family, and your home:

Enjoy the outdoors
• Wear repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.
• Cover up with long, light, loose clothing.
• Use oscillating fans to keep air moving across porches and decks and weak-flying pests away.
• Keep mosquitoes outside by using air conditioning and keeping windows and screens in good shape.

Prepare your home
• Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs
• Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.
• Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.
• For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
• Use larvicides to treat large containers of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out.
• If you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps. Cover open vent or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.