Dick Cate named April's Bayou Board Member


Serving as both a trusted Advisory Council Member and Board Member in his tenure at Bayou Preservation Association, Richard (Dick) Cate is one of the driving forces behind Bayou Preservation's commitment to trash free bayous and April's Bayou Board Member.

Retiring in 2018 with a 50-year career in architecture, Dick brings an impressive wealth of knowledge and experience to our board of leaders. Thirty of those years focused on park and recreation architecture for both public and private sectors as well as public housing, leading Dick to fundamentally understand the impacts people have on the environment.

In the late 1980s, Dick served on the Mayor's task force that developed the City of Houston's first Tree and Shrub Ordinance which was adopted by City Council in 1991. In 1990, Dick formed a joint venture with former Bayou Preservation Association President, Bill Bradshaw, to address barriers to accessibility in buildings in response to the American with Disabilities Act of 1990.  For compliance with the new law, Dick conducted educational workshops for property owners and managers on ADA requirements and surveyed millions of square feet of commercial buildings.

From left: Dick Cate and Bayou Preservation President & CEO Dr. Sarah Bernhardt at 2019 Trash Bash® Cypress Creek site, Collins Park. 

In the early 1990s, he subsequently served on the Park People's Treescape Committee that included representatives from environmental organizations across the City to ensure Tree and Shrub Ordinance compliance and the preservation of Houston's urban forest.  

In 1993, Dick initiated the first Committee on the Environment for the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and chaired the committee for five years. In February 1994, he led the development of the Construction Materials Management Guidelines published by AIA Houston for the Governor's Energy Office. The intent of the publication was to serve as a tool for the construction industry to design better materials use for profitability, resource conservation and pollution prevention.  
Dick joined Bayou Preservation Association's Board of Directors in the early 90's and by the mid-90s began serving as treasurer for a period of five years. In December 2015 he agreed to chair a new committee to prevent litter in the bayous, streams and waterways of the Houston region. The idea for the committee was born from a suggestion by Claire Caudill as a worthy Bayou Preservation Association 50th Anniversary Celebration activity. Originally named the Non-Point Source Pollution Prevention Committee, it was later changed to its current name, Trash Free Bayous Committee, as part of the Trash Free Bayous Program. The committee first met in January 2016. Committee members represent environmental organizations from across the Houston region.

Dick and Bayou Preservation volunteers at 2019 Guatemala Day Parade.

A true testament to Dick's commitment and longevity, the Bering Ditch pilot project was initiated in May of 2016 with the objective of developing cleanup and litter prevention strategies that could be replicated in other waterway across the region. In addition to preparing and delivering presentations in the Houston area to address problems of the litter in our bayous, streams, and waterways, Dick and other project members convinced the Houston Parks Board to include a Bering Ditch linear park concept in their Beyond the Bayous masterplan of hike and bike trails. After many years of careful work, Bering Ditch was finally approved for de-sedimentation by Harris County Flood Control District, with work scheduled to begin in Fall 2020! 

Bering Ditch in west Houston - one of Mr. Cate's longterm projects for Bayou Preservation.

In 2018, Dick became Bayou Preservation Association's representative in the City of Houston - Health Department Bureau of Pollution Control and Prevention's Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) partnership to address water quality floatable litter in Houston waterways. In his most recent role, Dick is a driving force for the health of our bayous and the health of our community.

On behalf of the staff at Bayou Preservation Association and the community that benefits from all your hard work  thank you Dick for continuing to be a bayou advocate and making our work possible.