EarthX kicks off Monday with free ‘North Texas Day’

North Texas Day is a day-long forum at EarthX with speakers discussing local issues. Above, speakers at the EarthX 2023. Courtesy of EarthX.

April 19, 2024

EarthX shifted its approach this year from a sprawling, public-oriented expo with hundreds of booths at Fair Park (which is currently undergoing renovations) to a week-long series of day-long forums.

The Earthx2024 Congress of Conferences, which runs from April 22 to 25 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, is a more intense and concentrated event than the Expo. It explores environmental issues in sustainability and conservation, with a particular focus on oceans (Sylvia Earle is a panelist on Monday in the Clean Energy Conference) and an overlay on how the finance industry has the potential to help, not harm, the planet.

While the EarthX expo is much missed by local eco groups that relied on it to promote their mission to the public, Oak Cliff Earth Day is moving in to fill that void this year. Talks and panels at the old expo format did not get the attention they deserved, all too often serving simply as an opportunity for attendees to sit and rest for a few minutes before moving on to more booths and attractions.

At EarthX 2024, speakers and panels are the respectful primary focus, arranged to facilitate dialogue between participants. Those connections are where deep change originates.

EarthX founder Trammell Crow is a self-described Green Republican and the conference schedule at times reflects that intersection in subject matter and speakers.

“This marketplace of ideas brings together leaders from across the country and the political spectrum,” said Crow about EarthX in a 2019 article published by the George W. Bush Institute. “We take special care to include both Democrats and Republicans, corporations and small businesses, and welcome all with a green story and goals to participate.”

The steep conference admission encourages attendees who are professionals or leaders in national and international ecological matters — a much more hands-on conference than an expo — which gets these messages to those who can stimulate change from the inside.

But there are two major free day-long free offerings:

• North Texas Day – Monday, April 22. Eco leaders, municipal officials and more offer a dozen presentations on various local issues. More on that below.

• NGO Public Forum – Thursday, April 25. Leaders of wildlife conservation associations discuss the history of wildlife conservation and how to aid wildlife in a rapidly urbanizing world. (Note that the speaker lineup includes strictly conservation organizations geared to hunters, including the Mule Deer FoundationDelta Waterfowl, Southlake-based Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation and Ducks Unlimited.)


The opening day of EarthX retains a local focus with a free North Texas Day on the event’s Topaz Stage. North Texas Day is the brainchild of EarthX’s Steve Evans and activist and Dallas-based author David Marquis. But you must preregister for the pass.

“North Texas Day is devoted to environmental issues in the Trinity watershed. Our goal is to involve more citizens actively in helping to plan and carry out environmental goals,” says Marquis.

David Schechter, CBS News’ environmental correspondent and host of “On the Dot with David Schechter,” emcees the series of a dozen presentations and panels. On the Dot covers how humans impact the Earth and how the Earth impacts us. Schechter opens the morning and afternoon sessions with short presentations at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

I will be part of a panel discussion at 3:20 p.m. about how volunteers support wild spaces.

For the full lineup of speakers and event descriptions, consult this flier (zoom in to read). Website is outdated.

9:40 a.m.: The Future of Infrastructure in North Texas. Representatives from Communities Foundation of TexasNorth Central Texas Council of Governments, and Trust for Public Land discuss conventional and alternative transportation methods.

10:20 a.m.: Embracing the Trinity Watershed. Speakers from Dallas Water CommonsDallas Water Utilities and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers discuss strategies for preserving the river’s integrity in the face of climate change and extreme urban growth.

10:50 a.m.: Every Acre Counts. City of Dallas officials, including Dallas greening czar Garrett Boone, explore the importance of green spaces in urban environments, with Constellation of Living Memorials addressing how historic cemeteries can factor in.

11:30 a.m.: An Indigenous Perspective on Environmental Issues in North Texas. How traditional knowledge and practices can inform management of natural resources in North Texas.

Lunch break.

1:40 p.m.: Brownfields and Battle Scars. Officials from the City of Dallas’ Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability (Carlos Evans), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (James McGuire) and North Central Texas Council of Governments (Susan Alvarez) reflect on the history and complexities of environmental restoration and justice in North Texas.

2:20 p.m.: Home Sweet Home. A look at the issues of affordable and sustainable housing in DFW by members of Atmos EnergyGHD DevelopmentsHabitat for Humanity, and Hoffman Homes.

3 p.m.: Urban Planning, Density, and the Future of North Texas. A treatise on creating more sustainable and livable urban environments through a change in design and policy by Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative.

3:20 p.m.: Volunteers Bringing the Land Back to Life. North Texas Master Naturalists Kristi Kerr Leonard, Rebecca Poston and Amy Martin, author of Wild DFWshowcase how volunteerism makes healthy wild spaces in area parks and preserves possible.

3:40 p.m.: Harold Simmons ParkA Trinity River Conservancy representative discusses Harold Simmons Park’s shift to a green space with attractions outside the Trinity levees.

4 p.m.: Winners Tower. An introduction to an urban development project that strives for sustainability and innovation while incorporating community needs.

4:25 p.m.: Furst Hall Studios. Exploring a project by Bootstrap Development that showcases adaptive reuse and creative design in urban development and the arts community.

4:30 p.m.: DFW International Airport’s Journey to Net Zero Emissions. A presentation of the airport’s new Terminal F that integrates sustainable design principles and environmental stewardship to enhance passenger experience and lower eco-impact.

David Marquis, the author of “The River Always Wins,”  cofounder of Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, and a member of the Dallas Environmental Commission, serves as a moderator during North Texas Day. Courtesy of the author.

Reflecting on the lineup, Marquis says, “These notable speakers provide a holistic way of dealing with our North Texas environmental issues. We encourage all the area’s eco groups membership to attend this important day. By sharing perspectives, we can take action and address the environmental issues we face throughout the watershed. North Texas Day can set in motion many positive plans.”

North Texas Day attendees are invited to a networking reception afterward with speakers and conferees in attendance.

“We encourage all the area’s eco groups membership to attend this important day. By sharing perspectives, we can take action and address the environmental issues we face throughout the watershed. North Texas Day can set in motion many positive plans.” – David Marquis

EarthX Essentials

WHEN: Each day at the conference has a focus —

  • Monday, April 22: Clean Energy Choices
    (North Texas Day happens simultaneously on the Topaz stage.)
  • Tuesday, April 23: Circular Economy
  • Wednesday, April 24: Money, Power, & Purpose
  • Wednesday, April 24: E-Capital Summit (for those accepted)
  • Thursday, April 25: Oceans & Islands
  • Friday, April 26: Conservation

WHERE: Hilton Anatole Hotel, Dallas. Parking at the Hilton Anatole starts at $20. Consider taking mass transit. Information on reaching the facility from your location is available from Moovit.


EarthX passes for April 22 to 26 include all presentations (except E-Capital Summit), breakfasts and lunches, and receptions.

  • Day rate: $350. Student rate is $225 with scholarships available. $99 without meals.
  • 3-day rate: $900.
  • Full week: $1,500. Student rate is $1000 with scholarships available.
  • North Texas Day is free.


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