All A-Buzz – its Pollinator Week!

pwgraphic-for-cover-photo[By Ann Hall, Environmental Education Specialist, enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov]

Celebrate the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles during National Pollinator Week , June 18-24, 2018.

When pollen is moved within a flower or carried from one flower of another of the same species, it leads to fertilization, a vital step to reproduce flowers, fruit and plants.  The vast majority of all flowering plants depend on insects and animals to move pollen from plant to plant.  More than 99% of pollinators are beneficial insects such as flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths and bees.

Pollinators are in decline.  Populations of honeybees, native bees and many butterflies have become much smaller in recent years.  Research has shown that this decline is partially due to the increased use of pesticides and the reduction of many native flowering plants.  The work of pollinators is crucial to maintaining full harvests of crops and the general health of plants everywhere.

What You Can Do For Pollinators

For information on what to plant in your own yard or garden and how to get involved with The Woodlands Township’s goal to become a National Wildlife Federation Monarch Champion City access the PolliNatives Project Page

 

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Plant for Pollinators and Water Savings at Free Workshop this Sat!

 

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Plant with a Purpose!

Join us for this free workshop and learn how to create habitat in your landscape while saving water at the same time.

We’ll delve into:

  • Importance of keeping invasive species at bay – 8:15 a.m.
  • Wonders of pollinators and how to attract them – 9:45 a.m.
  • Many benefits of native plants including water conservation – 10:45 a.m.
  • Best methods for seed collecting and propagation of the plants you love – 12:45 a.m.

Attend one or more FREE sessions – click here to save your spot.

Experts from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and Texas Master Naturalists will lead each session.

HARC Building (1)

DETAILS:

  • Saturday, June 23 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Join us for all or part of the program
    • Lunch provided
  • HARC Building, 8801 Gosling Rd, The Woodlands
  • Free but registration is required – click here to save your spot 

 

Thank you to our sponsors:

Houston Advanced Research Center, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Texas Master Naturalists, Woodlands Joint Powers Agency

 

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Recycling Dilemma #1003 – Moving Boxes and Oversized Cardboard

 

Cardboard Graphic

Whether you relocated from across the country, moved a kid home from college, or just received delivery of a new flat screen TV, dealing with those cardboard boxes is no problem!  Your curbside solid waste services through Waste Management provide a special pick-up day each month for recycling oversized and overabundance of cardboard boxes. The service is provided to each neighborhood in The Woodlands once a month at no additional cost.

2 Easy Steps:

Determine your pick-up day by Village

  • 2nd Monday of the Month: Alden Bridge, Cochran’s Crossing, Sterling Ridge.
  • 4th Friday of the Month: Creekside Park, College Park, Grogan’s Forest, Grogan’s Mill, Indian Springs, Panther Creek, Research Forest, Town Center.

Schedule bulk recycling pick-up of cardboard

  • At least 2 business days prior to the scheduled pick-up day, call Waste Management Customer Service at 1-800-800-5804.
  • Request and keep the confirmation number until service occurs. 

For a trouble-free pick-up, please follow these guidelines:

  • Flatten boxes, then bundle and stack them curbside.
  • Fold packing paper and place in your recycling cart for pick-up on your regular service day.
  • NO packing peanuts, Styrofoam™, bubble wrap or plastic.
  • Place items at the curb before 7 a.m. on the pre-scheduled pick-up day.

Give Moving Boxes Another Trip (1)

Have an abundance of cardboard and don’t want to wait?

Take it to one of our local Drop-off centers: 

The Woodlands Recycling Center | 5100 block of Research Forest, west of Bear Branch Recreation Center | Open Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Precinct 3 Recycling Complex | 1122 Pruitt Road | Call for details: 281-367-7283 | Open Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed for lunch 11:30 to 12:30


Did you move with more than you meant to, or don’t want to take it all to the new place? Check out the previous Recycling Dilemma # 1002 – Got Stuff? for resources to donate, declutter and discard.


For more moving day solutions see the Moving In/Moving Out Guidelines or call Environmental Services at 281-210-3800.

West Nile Virus Confirmed in Local Mosquito Samples

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The Montgomery County Mosquito Abatement team has detected the first and second mosquito samples to test positive for West Nile virus in The Woodlands Township. With this heightened risk of transmission residents should be diligent in protecting themselves and loved ones from mosquito-borne disease.

There have been no reports of human West Nile virus cases in Montgomery or Harris Counties at this time by the Texas Department of Health Services. However, mosquito surveillance programs exist because detecting the virus in mosquitoes provides the early warning system that protects our community from infection.

Treatment of the affected areas has been completed. Please visit South County Mosquito Abatement to view a map of the treatment areas.

Do Your Part to Prevent Mosquito-Borne Disease…

  • Use mosquito repellent when you are outside – day or night. Choose one with an active ingredient recommended by the Centers for Disease Control : DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus are proven effective by research.
  • Monitor and eliminate all sources of standing water around your property.
  • Treat standing water that cannot be drained with a biological larvicide such as Mosquito Dunks® or Mosquito Bits® – which are available for purchase at local home and garden centers.

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For more tips on protecting your family from mosquito-borne diseases, please visit the Mosquito Control webpage.

To schedule a presentation about reducing mosquitoes for neighborhoods or groups, please call The Woodlands Township Environmental Services at 281-210-3800.

 

World Ocean Day: Pledge to use less plastic

Copy of How will you celebrate

Summer is sizzling and has some of us grabbing our gear for a weekend beach trip! Many feel a natural connection to the ocean as it covers 70% of our planet, houses fascinating marine life, and connects us all.

June 8th is World Ocean Day reminding us to celebrate the many wonders of our aquatic frontier.

This year’s focus is a call to action on plastic pollution. You may have seen the unsettling images of sea life fatalities; our plastics are reaching new shores that have never seen pollution before.  Now is the time to address the issue before we create a world of plastic beaches.

bottles-cropped

Plastics are synthetic organic polymers created with petroleum. They are so long lasting that all the plastic that has ever been created still exists today, yet industries create more every day. Most marine plastics originate on land as litter. Once they enter our waters, plastics entangle marine life or erode into smaller particles that are then ingested. Every piece of litter we pick up on land helps the ocean and the life within.

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today“

Abraham Lincoln

 

Let’s answer the call to action for our oceans!

Here’s how we can start making a difference:

  1. Coordinate your own cleanup
    • Bring a bucket for treasures and a bucket for trash – recycle what you can
    • Leave no trace – leave only footprints behind
  2. Support an organization
    • There are many groups forming their own cleanups. Become involved or consider making a donation.
  3. Not able to make it to the shoreline? There’s plenty you can do at home:
    • Reduce packaging when grocery shopping
    • Reuse as much as you canbring your own bags or bottles
    • Recycle right – stay up to date on your local municipality’s recycling guidelines
    • Refuse single use plastics such as straws, bags and cutlery

The Summer Scavenger Hunt Begins!

Look Out For Litter Banner

Blog Post By Zoe Killian, Environmental Education Specialist

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting in the wind… is a real eye sore?  Well, school’s out and now is the time to lookout for litter!

Encourage our young citizens to take action against litter by joining The Woodlands Township for our 4th annual summer litter scavenger hunt— Lookout for Litter. In addition to free fun in the sun and keeping our community beautiful, everyone who completes a log will earn a t-shirt and a free ice cream cone. It’s easy! Go to the Look Out for Litter page to register and to print a litter log and share this poster with your friends.

What litter do you see regularly? Can you think of a solution for this specific litter? By recording the different trash you find, you’ll be able to observe patterns and explore solutions to stop litter at the source.

At one school, 5th graders picked up 1,247 pieces of litter on their campus. They identified plastic straw wrappers as the most common type of litter.

So the school stopped buying straws!

These 5th Graders were inspired to fight litter with technology through Litterati. Become a citizen scientist – add the Litterati app to your phone and help us map litter in our community while contributing to a global database.

For information on how to register and to print a litter log, please visit The Woodlands Township Look Out for Litter page, or call 281-210-3927.

 

Attract Hummingbirds All Summer with Texas Red Yucca

Native Plant Focus:  Texas Red Yucca

Hesperaloe parviflora

More effective at attracting hummingbirds than a feeder, the Texas Red Yucca is also a nectar source for butterflies and native bees.  Actually a member of the Century Plant family, the Texas Red Yucca thrives in our hot Texas summer although it is cold tolerant enough to survive freezing temperatures.

With low watering requirements after establishment, this striking perennial evergreen shrub produces dramatic 3-4 foot spikes of pink to coral to red tubular flowers.   These beautiful flower spikes provide focal interest in landscape beds, large containers, rock gardens or as a single specimen plant.  Each bloom produces a seed capsule which dries to offer winter interest in the landscape.  The evergreen leaves turn a deep shade of purple in cold weather, further enhancing the garden.

Thriving in full sun to part shade and needing only natural rainfall, this plant is adaptable to any soil. Maintenance is minimal – removing the dried flower spike before spring begins is optional.  Planting this succulent in your landscape or a large container will provide beautiful blooms from May through October.  Texas Red Yucca is readily available in most local retail outlets offering bedding plants as well as those specializing in Texas natives.  Enjoy this easy to grow plant along with the hummingbirds and insect pollinators it will draw into your garden.

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Solid Waste Services NOT Impacted by Memorial Day

Mem Day - American Flags

Reminder: All solid waste services in the community will occur as usual over the Memorial Weekend holiday.  There will be no interruption or delay of services. Waste Management will provide curbside pick-up of trash, recycling, and yard trimmings to all residents on their regularly scheduled service day, including Monday, May 28, 2018.  Simple Recycling will also be providing curbside textile recycling with no service interruption.

If your holiday celebration generates more trash than the 96-gallon trash cart can hold, extra service tags are available for purchase for $1.75 each at Township offices, Kroger and Randalls.  One pink service tag should be affixed to each plastic bag of household trash that will NOT fit into the trash cart.

Please note that the Precinct 3 Recycling facility will be closed on Monday, May 28. 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 2018 Holiday Collection Schedule, the only holidays that will affect residential trash and recycling collection this year 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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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.