Benefits of a healthy waterway

“Forested and vegetated waterways provide a multitude of benefits to our air and water quality, flood resilience, our sense of community, and public health” according to Justin Bower, Principal Planner, Community and Environmental Planning, for Houston-Galveston Area Council. He also points out that “everything that happens on the land, including our yards, driveways, roads and open spaces, can wash pollutants and contaminants into our waterways when it rains.” 

Explore the critical benefits of healthy forests, riparian areas (streamside vegetation) and waterways by attending the Smarter About Sustainability Seminar on Saturday, May 14 with Justin Bower. You’ll learn… 

  • How riparian areas are the last line of defense for slowing and filtering stormwater before it reaches the creeks and lakes we depend on.  
  • The direct link between our lawns and landscapes and healthy riparian zones and waterways. 
  • Best landscaping practices for protecting our waters and riparian zones including adding native plants and organic fertilizing.  
  • Opportunities to join community volunteer efforts.  

A body of water with trees around it

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Summer clouds over Bear Branch

We’ll also dive into the damaging effects of invasive species. Ashley Morgan-Olvera, Outreach and Education Director for the Texas Invasive Species Institute at Sam Houston State University, will fill us in on why keeping invasive, and destructive, animals and vegetation out of our community’s forests and stream areas enhances the benefits we gain from these critical ecosystems. Learn how you can make a difference by volunteering with our local Invasives Task Force to help remove invasives from our pathways and public green spaces by attending. 

Smarter About Sustainability Seminar 

Date/Time: Saturday, May 14, 2022 | 9a.m. to noon 

Location: Online 

This is a FREE Seminar. REGISTRATION is required. 

Earth Day GreenUp: Join the Clean Your Block-Party this Saturday!

Join the green team of volunteers sweeping our community for litter this Saturday, March 26, 2022 at Earth Day GreenUp. Team up with family and friends to target litter in our parks and green spaces. Each year more than a thousand GreenUp volunteers remove over 4,500 pounds of litter - the equivalent of 76 of our curbside trash carts!    

On the day of the event, check in between 8 and 10 a.m. at one of eight Township parks. There you’ll receive disposable gloves, bags, a map to a nearby cleanup location and a limited supply of trash grabbers. Please bring your own reusable water bottle and work gloves. Once you’ve checked in it’s time to head out and clean up. The event runs until 11 a.m. but finishing earlier is fine.   

When you’ve returned bagged litter and equipment to the check-in site, it’s time to party! The Woodlands Township, your local Village Association, and event sponsors will host “clean your block parties” at each check-in site. Enjoy a pizza lunch and celebrate your efforts with your neighbors from 11 a.m to noon.  

On event day, remember:

* All participants will need to sign a waiver at check-in if they did not register online. Participants under the age of 18 must be signed in by a parent or legal guardian.

* Wear appropriate clothing – long pants and closed-toe shoes or boots are recommended.

* Remember hats, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, reusable gloves and water bottle.

Earth Day GreenUp is coordinated by The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department with support from Waste Management, Woodlands Water, H-E-B, Howard Hughes Corporation, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Papa John’s Pizza, Keep Texas Beautiful and The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. 

For more information, please email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov or call 281-210-3800.   

Join Earth Day GreenUp 2022  

Online registration is now closed, but walk up participation is welcome.   

Check-in:  Saturday, March 26, 8 to 10 a.m. at a location near you.  

  • Cleanup:  8 to 11 a.m.  
  • Check-out & Clean Your Block Party: 11 a.m. to noon   
  • More Info:  Call Environmental Services at 281-210-3800   

Earth Day GreenUp 2022

Join the community-wide litter cleanup day!  

The 11th annual Earth Day GreenUp is nearly here. Team up with family and friends to target litter in our parks and green spaces. Each year more than a thousand GreenUp volunteers remove over 4,500 pounds of litter - the equivalent of 76 of our curbside trash carts!    

On the day of the event, check in between 8 and 10 a.m. at one of eight Township parks. There you’ll receive disposable gloves, bags, a map to a nearby cleanup location and a limited supply of trash grabbers. Please bring your own reusable water bottle and work gloves. Once you’ve checked in it’s time to head out and clean up. The event runs until 11 a.m. but finishing earlier is fine.   

When you’ve returned bagged litter and equipment to the check-in site, it’s time to party! The Woodlands Township, your local Village Association, and event sponsors will host “clean your block parties” at each check-in site. Enjoy a pizza lunch and celebrate your efforts with your neighbors from 11 a.m to noon.  

Earth Day GreenUp is coordinated by The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department with support from Waste Management, Woodlands Water, H-E-B, Howard Hughes Corporation, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Papa John’s Pizza, Keep Texas Beautiful and The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N.  For more information, please email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov or call 281-210-3800.   

Join Earth Day GreenUp 2022  

  • Register through Monday, March 21 at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/greenup      
  • Check-in:  Saturday, March 26, 8 to 10 a.m. at a location near you. Walk-ups welcome.   
  • Alden Bridge: Alden Bridge Park   
  • Cochran’s Crossing: Shadowbend Park    
  • College Park: Harper’s Landing Park   
  • Creekside Park: The Lodge at Rob Fleming Park    
  • Grogan’s Mill: Sawmill Park    
  • Indian Springs: Falconwing Park   
  • Panther Creek: Ridgewood Park   
  • Sterling Ridge: May Valley Park   
  • Cleanup:  8 to 11 a.m.  
  • Check-out & Clean Your Block Party: 11 a.m. to noon   
  • More Info:  Call Environmental Services at 281-210-3800   

On event day, remember:   

  • Walk ups are welcome    
  • All participants will need to sign a waiver at check-in.  Participants under the age of 18 must be signed in by a parent or legal guardian.    
  • Wear appropriate clothing – long pants and closed-toe shoes or boots are recommended    
  • Remember hats, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, reusable gloves and water bottle   
  • Disposable gloves and bags will be provided   
  • A limited number of grabbers and vests will be available for groups that register  

Why is Drip Irrigation so Popular?

Less water, less work, healthier plants

Drip irrigation is the smarter way to water. It’s the most effective way to deliver water directly to a plant’s root zone, resulting in lusher, healthier plants. No wonder it’s become a revolution in home landscaping. Oh, and you’ll save A LOT of water, time and money, too!

If you haven’t taken a dive into drip yet, perhaps it’s because drip systems seem intimidating – a lot of hoses and connectors and such. That’s understandable. But the reality is, drip systems are simple in concept, something any DIYer can install and manage themselves. All the parts you need can be found at your local home improvement store, an average system can be set up in a couple hours, and the cost is usually recouped in one season of watering.

A few basic fundamentals (like where drip works best), a step-by-step guideline with a parts list, and a few pro tips will have you set up for success. You’ll find all this and more at the …

Drip Irrigation Workshop

Saturday, March 5 9 to 11 a.m.

Online via Zoom

If you’re considering hiring an installer for your new system, we still recommend you attend so you’ll know how to maintain your system and be able to add to it over time if you like.

During the workshop you can visit information booths, ask questions specific to your landscape, and learn how to get a 50% rebate on your drip purchases applied to your Woodlands Water bill. Did you know you can get rebates on native plants, rain barrels, smart water controllers, and rain sensors, too? We’ll show you how.

The workshop is free but registration is required to receive the Zoom link.

  • Date: Saturday, March 5, 2022
  • Location: Online via Zoom
  • Time: 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Presenter: John Taylor, President – Green Industry Solutions

Want a quick preview of how easy it is to convert a sprinkler head to drip? Check out this video.

The dilemma of protecting essential riparian buffers – how will you help?

Riparian buffers – ribbons of vegetation alongside streams and lakes – offer a host of critical ecological functions. Depending on their health, they can act as safety nets, protecting sensitive aquatic ecosystems or they can devolve into conduits for pollution and actually degrade water quality, making life difficult for aquatic organisms. Proper management is key.

“Riparian forest buffers can deliver a number of benefits including filtering nutrients, pesticides, and animal waste…stabilizing eroding banks…providing wildlife habitat and corridors…providing space for recreation.” – USDA National Agroforestry Center

What does proper management look like? For one…where these buffers lack trees, streams tend to be narrower because of encroaching grasses and other herbaceous plants. Forested riparian buffers shade out an overabundance of these less valuable, and potentially detrimental, elements. In deforested buffers, invasive plants and animals increase from the loss of habitat diversity, while native fish and other aquatic organisms decrease because of the degraded habitat.

In forested riparian buffers, the diversity of all native wildlife – frogs, turtles, beavers, birds, mammals – is full supported for food, shelter, nesting, travel corridors and species richness. Songbirds especially are best protected when buffers are wide and diverse.


To learn more about what you can do in your own landscape to protect our riparian buffers, don’t miss an online workshop on February 19, 2022 on Invasive Species. This presentation of The Woodlands Township Environmental Services will feature Ashley Morgan-Olvera, Director of Outreach and Education with Texas Invasive Species Institute at Sam Houston State University. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link to the workshop.

Yes, one person can make a difference, especially when part of a team of dedicated volunteers. You can join them!
photo courtesy of Kathie Herrick