Latino Legacy & The Houston Greenbelt Movement 
Friends of the National Forests and Grasslands of Texas and The Green Institute at Furr High School 

Brief Background:

Woodsy Owl Conservation Corps Green Ambassadors are dedicated to inspiring students to take personal action and responsibility for improving our schools, environment, homes, and communities. For the past five years, Green Amigos Latino Legacy have successfully piloted the Woodsy Owl Conservation Corps Green Ambassador program in partnership and funded by the USDA U.S. Forest Service. Together, they have advocated and led urban agroforestry greenification projects in the city of Houston, Texas. With partners such as the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF), an award-winning international nonprofit charity, and with support from a number of partners and community members, Green Ambassadors have committed to yearly planting of fruit trees and food-related understory plants to alleviate the city’s hunger issues, adaptation to climate change, strengthen and build resilient communities, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water.

The poverty stricken, food desert infested, at-risk schools and communities in Houston, Texas struggle with high rates of diet and food related obesity associated illnesses. Green Ambassadors, community members and students have unified and are linked through the creation of the “Houston Greenbelt” corridors of edible fruit trees, with the goal to design and build sustainable resilient permaculture landscapes in which residents and wildlife may coexist and thrive. Focusing heavily on adaptation to climate change strategies and designs, promoting sustainable solutions for future generations. With over two hundred fruit trees planted, the pilot has been a success and servers as a national model for schools and communities for project based learning and community engagement. Working together, students have reached diverse audiences through local, state, federal, national, and international platforms. This past year, Green Ambassadors and educators traveled to Washington, D.C. and received the highest national award of recognition from the United States Department of Agriculture, the 2015 Abraham Lincoln Honor Award for Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach. In addition, Green Ambassadors were selected to give an hour presentation of their work at the 2015 National Environmental Justice Conference, bringing awareness of the needs and goals of the community. Green Amigos have also been able to implement solutions globally as well. This summer, College Green Ambassadors and Founders worked alongside The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation in El Salvador building and fostering resilient communities through forest restoration and fruit tree planting. Green Amigos are committed to work alongside The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation for the next six years in El Salvador, part of the mission to plant 100,000 trees in the country.   

Green Ambassadors empower stewardship of community and the environment through service learning projects which provide place-based connections to public lands and spaces. Through their efforts they are creating connections and building relationships between underserved communities and promoting access to higher education, citizen science, career experiences and direct green action. We highly encourage to seriously consider taking part of the Houston Greenbelt, building meaningful relationships for students and allowing students to foster strong well-balanced experiences which promote sustainability and resiliency in our community. They are truly an inspiration and move our community forward.

Key Focuses:

1) urban sustainable food production through forestry 2) converting food deserts into urban food forests 3) greenification practices which both wildlife and residents thrive through sustainable permaculture design 4) stewardship of public lands and green spaces 5) Environmental Justice implementation through food sovereignty, restoration and conservation efforts 6) Health and Wellness programming including Zumba Fitness and 7) providing at-risk youth with exploration in career opportunities in natural resources and community leadership.

Donations or Sponsorships  

Friends of the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas

is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to aid and encourage the U. S. Forest Service in making the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas more accessible and user-friendly for the public.
Latino Legacy is a grant-funded Outreach Program of the Friends of the NFGT; sponsored by the US Forest Service Conservation Education Washington Office, the US Forest Service National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, and the Texas Forest Service. 

The Friends of the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas was formed August, 2008, to aid and encourage the U. S. Forest Service in making the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas more accessible and user-friendly for the public. Approximately 600,000 acres of National Forests and Grasslands exist in Texas. These public lands, containing unnumbered places of historical and cultural treasures, unique beauty, and an abundance of species of birds and wildlife, often times hold their treasures in secret and are unused by the public. 

Friends of the NFGT represent all the national forests and grasslands in Texas with the goal of inspiring all the counties and communities within the regions of these assets to join in the effort of protecting these wonderful natural resources.

 Click here to visit the donation page 

                     or contact

David Clipson, D.Min. Executive Director

Friends of the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas - Latino Legacy

[email protected]

[email protected]