Summer 2018 | Volume 30, Issue 2
Nature Center Opening

By Darlene Conley Hostetler,
Jones Park Director

The Nature Center has a fresh, new look! After nine months of renovation, we opened the doors to the public in time for Summer Nature Camp. We’re excited to begin sharing our wildlife exhibits with visitors again! Our repeat visitors will be pleased to note that not much has changed during the renovation process. We preserved the stone fireplace to maintain the Nature Center’s cabin-like feel and added new carpet in the exhibit room. The renovated kitchen and offices continue the rustic look with stained concrete flooring. Work will continue over the summer with the installation of new display cabinets and furnishings.

Even without the full use of our facilities, we hosted an impressive festival season this year with 1,320 visitors at NatureFest and our Spring Break programs at capacity. Easter Games and school tours were also booked solid throughout spring. It won’t be long before our next festival kicks off in October with Tricks and Treats Among the Trees. In the meantime, I urge you all to check out our regular programming listed below in the events section. 

Again, we can’t thank our faithful volunteers enough who have stuck with us through a topsy-turvy Harvey recovery and a full calendar of events. Now that we are back to a more normal setting, it’s a great time to volunteer at the park! 

We hope to see you out and about the park!
Spring Creek Greenway
Park Improvements Coming This Summer

Festival-goers will be excited to know that we’re adding a mow-able parking lot adjacent to the Canoe Launch Trail this summer. Once the parking lot is complete, park visitors will be able to access festival activities more conveniently. Best of all, the new parking lot will be environmentally friendly with a water permeable design and reduced heat absorption. 

Eagle Scouts are also hard at work improving the park. Visitors can look forward to a natural play area next to the Outdoor Classroom and a renovated Bog Pond in the future. A conservation management study will also benefit park wildlife. Kudos to the hard-working scouts for donating their time and talent to Jones Park!
Featured Story: Bobcats at Jones Park

Ever spot a bobcat at Jones Park? With its tufted ears and stubby tail, the bobcat has an exotic appearance that makes it a welcome site in many parks and natural areas. 

Although common throughout Texas, these reclusive creatures tend to stay hidden during the day, preferring to venture out at night to hunt rodents and other small creatures. 

Despite the shyness of the bobcat, Jones Park staff have been lucky enough to note seven bobcat sightings in the park within the past two years. 

Staff Updates

We’re excited to announce new staff members have joined our team. In April, we welcomed two new caretakers: Jon Lynch and Salomon Ortega. Joining us in May was Volunteer Coordinator Kim Hammond. Welcome, welcome, welcome! Debbie Banfield will be moving to Tennessee this summer. We greatly appreciate all that she added to Jones Park’s programs as outreach coordinator and volunteer coordinator. We wish her the very best future! 
Volunteers in Action
Leaves and Pine Needles and Other Things...

By Steve Hostetler
JJPV President

I cannot believe it’s been 9 months since Hurricane Harvey. Losing access to the Nature Center and much of our educational materials has been hard on everyone, including volunteers, but we are survivors. We all breathed a sigh of relief after resuming our volunteer meetings in their usual location in the Nature Center. Even though work continues, it’s clear we are finally returning to normalcy. 

Speaking of additional work, the electrical work and framing of the volunteer office and mezzanine area in the boat barn is planned to begin soon. However, before the true work can begin, we need to clear the boat barn of storage items. I encourage anyone who would like to volunteer to contact us at jjp@hcp4.net.

As activity swirls around us, I want to remind everyone that nature always endures. While the park suffered extensive damage, the trees weathered the storm just fine. They are survivors much more than we are. They withstood many floods and two hurricanes. Today they stand taller with their leaves and pine needles as green as ever. 

I’m so grateful for the leaves and pine needles, for all that Jones Park is, and for all the hard work the staff has done. 
Volunteer Opportunities

Summer is a great time for volunteering! Whether you like nature, working with people, or history, we have a volunteer opportunity for you.

Check out a full listing of volunteer opportunities here. Training is provided as needed and no previous experience is necessary.

Did you know that many corporations such as Chevron and Exxon have matching grant funds available to employees or retired employees who volunteer?

If you believe your company may have a program like this, just let us know. We’d be happy to help you with the paperwork.
Volunteer Meeting

Want to take a more active role at the park? Attend a Jesse Jones Park Volunteers (JJPV) meeting and become a member. Meeting attendees learn about park updates and play an important role in continued improvement of the park. We’d love to hear your ideas for the park and ways to fund them. 

JJPV members are governed by a board of directors elected each August. These individuals must be dedicated, hardworking, and, most importantly, love Jones Park. We invite everyone to get involved and learn about the exciting work the board does for the park at the next JJPV meeting Monday, June 25 at 7 p.m. in the newly renovated Nature Center.
Tell Us What You Think
What would you like to read more about in the next issue?
Nature and wildlife
Park projects and updates
Volunteer opportunities
Upcoming events
All of the above!
Save the Date

Junior Canoe Training
Friday, July 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

JJPV Meetings
Mondays, June 25 and Aug. 27 at 7 p.m.

Period Clothing Workshop,
Saturday, July 14 at 9 a.m.

Snakes of Harris County
Saturday, June 23 at 10 a.m.

Bites, Stings, and Itches
Saturday, June 23 at 1 a.m.

Fish of Spring Creek
Saturday, June 30 at 10 a.m.

Message From Commissioner R. Jack Cagle

Thank you for reading this edition of Cypress Log. As a county commissioner, I work to provide you with outdoor recreational opportunities through our parks system and nature trails. When people work together to protect our parks, everyone benefits. By preserving wildlife habitats and protecting our native plant species, we improve our quality of life through cleaner air and a balanced ecosystem. I encourage everyone to get out and enjoy these beautiful and beneficial amenities!

Sincerely,

Commissioner R. Jack Cagle
Harris County Precinct 4
Harris Co. Precinct 4 logo - R. Jack Cagle, Commissioner

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center
20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble
Phone: 281-446-8588