Texas’ population is expected to grow 60% by 2050. Innovating and planning to best utilize and provide access to resources offers a sustainable advantage for our future. Watch the presentations below from the Futureproof panel at our 2019 Conservation Wrangler Summit.
Health and Nature
Jay Maddock, PhD, FAAHB, Chief Wellness Officer, Texas A&M University, presented on the “Futureproof” Panel where he focused on Health and Nature.
The Texas A&M Center for Health and Nature is a collaboration between Houston Methodist Hospital, Texas A&M University, and Texan by Nature. The Center studies the impact of nature on health. The average American spends 11:39 to 12:08 hours a day with major media. In contrast, most people spend less than 10 hours a week outside. The Center for Health and Nature studies how these factors are linked to health. Studies have found that time in nature can contribute to restoration and stress relief. As populations continue to urbanize, healthcare professionals must understand the impact of nature on health and ensure their patients benefit from time outside. The Center for Health and Nature believes more public awareness of nature as a vital public health resource may lead to an increased demand for conservation.
Learn more about Texas A&M University here.
Learn more about the Center for Health and Nature here.
2019 Conservation Wrangler – Trinity River Paddling Trail
Steve Smith, Board Chair of Trinity Coalition, presented on the “Futureproof” Panel where he focused on the Trinity River Paddling Trail.
The Trinity Coalition practices conservation through recreation with their Trinity River Paddling Trail. The paddling trail increases access to the river and promotes a cleaner river, since people care about resources they can see and interact with. The trail currently has 21 launch sites and there are plans to create even more. Future goals for the project include developing a clean Trinity program, securing an EPA trash-free rivers grant, and promoting personal connection to the Trinity. Trinity Coalition also wants to extend the paddling trail all the way to the end of the river at the Gulf of Mexico. By doing this, they hope to create the world’s largest urban nature park and receive the National Park Service’s National Trail Designation.
Learn more about Trinity Coalition and the Trinity River Paddling Trail here.
2019 Conservation Wrangler – Certified Water Partner Program
Lisa Rosendorf, Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer of El Paso Water, presented on the “Futureproof” Panel where she focused on the Certified Water Partner Program.
As the City of El Paso grows, so does the demand for water. In order to meet this demand, the city must improve water conservation. Over the last 30 years, El Paso Water has reduced per capita water consumption by 35% through residential programs. They created the Certified Water Partner Program to spread this success to non-residential sectors. The program’s pilot project focused on the restaurant sector. The project was successful in engaging restaurants and connecting customers. However, El Paso Water saw opportunities for better water savings in other sectors. The program expanded to the institutional and multifamily sectors. Certified facilities include 17 fire departments, 6 police departments, 4 libraries, and the El Paso Zoo. The program has saved an estimated 1.2-2.1 million gallons of water per year.
Learn more about El Paso Water and the Certified Water Partner Program here.
Planning for the Future
Wendy Shabay, Vice President and Group Manager of Urban Planning + Design at Freese and Nichols, presented on the “Futureproof” Panel where she focused on Planning for the Future.
Freese and Nichols is the oldest engineering firm in Texas. They are a regionally-based firm with national expertise. Freese and Nichols recognizes that plans often fail due to no clear implementation, no partnerships and help, and no ownership. By recognizing this, they are able to avoid these downfalls and optimize success by implementing best practices and comprehensive plans. Conservation projects that Freese and Nichols take a part in include building living shorelines, a pipeline to move water, and LEED certified buildings. Their projects are built for a long-term future and disaster resiliency. Their long-term goals are to build resilient and healthy communities and robust economies.
Learn more about Freese and Nichols here.
These speakers sat down to take questions from the audience. Watch the panel below.