It’s Pollinator Week!

Celebrate the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles during National Pollinator Week, June 20-26 2022. 

A celebration of pollination 

When pollen is moved within a flower, or carried from one flower to another, it leads to fertilization, an essential step in reproducing flowers, fruit, and plants. The vast majority of flowering plants depend on insects and animals for pollination, including 35% of the world’s food crops like almonds, coffee, avocados and so much more. 

More than 99% of pollinators are beneficial insects – flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths and bees. Unfortunately, pollinator populations are in decline, mostly due to pesticides and the loss of feeding and nesting habitat.  

Ten Things You Can Do in Your Yard to Encourage Pollinators 

1. Plant a pollinator garden—provide nectar and feeding plants (flowers and herbs). Visit our website for more information on planting a pollinator garden or register your existing garden. 

2. Provide a water source—place shallow dishes of water in sunny areas or create a muddy spot. 

3. Provide shelter and overwintering habitat (bee boxes, undisturbed soil areas, and piles of woody debris). 

4. Stop using pesticides. Use natural alternatives

5. Provide sunny areas out of the wind – a sun drenched stone near a shrub is a perfect place to rest and recharge. 

6. Plant native species. Mimic local natural areas by selecting native plants. Bluebonnets and black-eyed susans aren’t just roadside beauties. Make your pollinator garden a showstopper with native plants and wildflowers for your neighbors and pollinators to enjoy.   

7. Grow flowers throughout the seasons. Provide a variety of colors and shapes. 

8. Plant in clumps and layers. Use trees, shrub layers, with some low growing perennials and vines—intermix with flowering annuals. 

9. Use compost instead of commercial fertilizers. 

10. Look but do not touch. More than being mindful of a potential sting, pollinators are delicate insects easily harmed if handled. Take a photo instead! 


Come celebrate pollinators, and more of our natural world, on Saturday, June 25. Join the Environmental Services Department and nature specialists at our annual BioBlitz. Learn about our migrating bird populations, try your hand at insect identification, explore the weird world of mushrooms and investigate what’s living in our waterways.  

Stop by the Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park with the whole family between 8 – 11 a.m. Bring your mobile device to access the iNaturalist app and make as many observations as you can while exploring the recreation campus and the nearby George Mitchell Nature Preserve. Staff will be available to assist with iNaturalist. 

Click the button below for more information on this free event. 

Care about water? Become a water specialist!

Get certified this summer! Join the corps of well-informed volunteer specialists who provide education, outreach, and service to keep our local water bodies healthy. This unique certification program, made possible by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department, is offered to both students (grades 9 – 12) and adults.

You can be certified as a Texas Waters Specialist after completing just 8 hours of training based on the Texas Waters curriculum guide. You’ll receive a certificate and an official pin designating you as a certified waters specialist. Then volunteer with The Woodlands Township and other local agencies to educate and work beside your neighbors in protecting local aquatic resources.

The good news: you can attend classes to obtain the needed training hours right here in The Woodlands! The Environmental Services Department has several class dates scheduled through the summer. If you need more information, email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov with the subject line: water specialist inquiry.

Get started today and register as a TPWD volunteer here. For more detailed instructions on how to register, follow along with this document.

To earn your hours through The Woodlands Township, register for an upcoming class here.

Upcoming water lab classes are scheduled for Saturday, July 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. and Saturday, August 20 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Bear Branch Recreation Center.

Clean, Green Fun for Kids!

Summer is just around the corner, although it may feel like it’s already started. Summer break is a great time to inspire your kids to appreciate our natural environment. Environmental activities help kids understand why the environment is important and provides them with the building blocks they need to live eco-friendly and sustainable lives. Check out these five simple eco-friendly activities for kids.

1-Recycle veggie scraps into compost

Did you know about 30% of our household trash is food waste? It’s easy to divert this “resource” away from the landfill through backyard composting. Composting is a fun and rewarding way for kids to watch natural processes in action and they’ll think twice about wasting their uneaten vegetables. Follow this easy guide and try out composting at home this summer.

2Plant a butterfly garden

Kid or adult, who doesn’t enjoy having butterflies around! Your garden will also attract hummingbirds, bees and other pollinators who need our help. It’s a great way for children to learn about the cycle of life and explore the relationship between plants and animals. Here’s an easy guide to get started. For examples of great plants for The Woodlands, check out this list.

3-Turn trash into treasure by making recycled paper

Here’s a fun way to show kids how paper that’s recycled curbside turns into something new. All you need are a few supplies found at home to make a brand new sheet of paper from old newspaper. Follow the instructions here.

4-Litter cleanup day

Enjoy a walk outdoors and help keep our community beautiful at the same time by picking up litter. The Township has litter grabbers and bags available for loan any time of the year. Check out The Woodlands Litter Cleanup Guide here.

5-Eco-movie night with Jack Golden

Grab the popcorn and settle in for movie night with a special online viewing of Garbage is My Bag: The Movie starring Jack Golden!

What do you do when a trash bag is so full you can’t fit it into the garbage can — or a town landfill is overflowing and polluting water supplies? ……..Call a “trashologist”!

In “Garbage is My Bag“ – an award winning performance program for school kids – Jack Golden is the comedic “expert”, Dr. T, who delves into a mountain of trash — and an even bigger bag of vaudeville and circus tricks — in search of answers to these questions. With a “Ph.D. in Garbology”, a zany and irresistible personality, and a marvelous trash-to-treasure-o-matic recycling machine, he juggles and jokes his way through a world of waste. Dr. T will teach you that rubbish is a resource that is just too good to throw away. Find your ticket to the movie here or watch the video below.


For more fun activities, check out The Woodlands Township’s Summer Action Guide here for programs by Environmental Services or Parks and Recreation.

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

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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. 

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.