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The Witness Series

Bringing communities and nature together

A large live oak tree sprawls in a park in Hoston, Texas
Witness Tree The old southern live oak trees in E.R. and Ann Taylor Park in Houston, Texas have been dubbed "Witness Trees," having witnessed many societal and ecological changes. © Jaime González


Witness: Exploring African American Connections to the Land and Place

Since Houston’s founding, African Americans have had complex relationships to the land—some uplifting and celebratory, some rooted in oppression and injustice. Join The Nature Conservancy in Texas and partners for the Witness Series as we explore African American connections to nature through expert panels, hikes, art, and restoration events. This four-part series will take place at multiple locations and times in Houston from February to May 2022.


Witness Series, Part 1: The Long Arc

The first event in this series is entitled Witness: The Long Arc. Explore past, present, and future connections between Houston's dynamic African American community and the land of Southeast Texas with local experts in history, environmental justice, and agriculture. Activities for this event include a panel moderated by Houston Healthy Cities Program Director Jaime González and other partners, an interactive walk, and a hands-on ideas gallery.

Event Details

When: Saturday, February 12, 2022, from 10:00am to Noon

Where: Houston Botanic Garden - 1 Botanic Lane, Houston, TX 77017

How: To attend, please purchase tickets here


Witness Series, Part 2: Hiking Through History

Witness: Hiking Through History is the second event in this four-part series designed to bring communities together through dialogue. This event will focus on educating participants on the historical significance of public lands, unearthing long-omitted perspectives, and celebrating the Hill at Sims with The Nature Heritage Society.

Event Details

When: Saturday, March 12, 2022, from 9:00am to 11:00am

Where & How: Meet and register on-site starting at 8:30am at Cloverland Community Center Building - 11800 Scoot St, Houston, TX 77047

***The hike will be 1.5 to 2 miles - please dress appropriately for the weather. It is suggested that all participants wear hiking boots or good sneakers with ankle support.


Witness Series, Part 3: Seeds of Hope Planting

Witness: Seeds of Hope Planting is the third event in this four-part series. Join the Houston Parks and Recreation Department for an Earth Week prairie planting at Clinton Park. Additionally, we will explore some of the deep roots between our local prairies and legendary black cowboys and the rodeo.

Event Details

When: Saturday, April 23, 2022, from 9:00am to 11:00am

Where: Clinton Park - 200 Mississippi St, Houston, TX 77029

How: Space is limited; to register, email


Witness Series, Part 4: Artists by Nature

The final event in the series, Witness: Artists by Nature, will explore a historic Houston park and offer an artistic experience that examines space, nature, and time. 

All participants will join Houston Audubon on a bird walk for inspiration. Our lives are intimately connected with the lives of birds, and they have long inspired artists around the world through spiritual symbolism and scientific inquiry. From their birdsongs to their migration patterns, birds teach us the rhythms of life on earth and give us opportunities to foster a meaningful connection with the natural world.

While general participants will have the option to continue on a longer bird walk, a group of invitees will create Plein air paintings and learn how local African American artists have used nature imagery and symbolism in their creative process. 

Event Details

When: Saturday, May 7, 2022, from 9:00am to 11:30am

Where: E.R. and Ann Taylor Park - 1850 Reed Rd, Houston, TX 77051

How: Register here for the Houston Audubon bird walk (on-site registration will also be offered); Plein air painting session is by invitation only


The Witness Series was created by Jaime González, a Houston-based conservationist, environmental educator, network weaver, biologist, and storyteller, and Kristi Rangel, Houston-based multi-disciplinary artist and education advocate. These events are in collaboration with Houston Audubon, Houston Botanic Garden, Houston Coalition Against Hate, Houston Health Department, Houston Parks and Recreation Department, National Wildlife Refuge System, Nature Heritage Society, and The Nature Conversancy in Texas.

Questions about the Witness Series? Please contact Jaime González, Houston Healthy Cities Program Director, at jaime.gonzalez@TNC.ORG.