Volume 31, Issue II
Director's Report

By Darlene Conley Hostetler
Jones Park Director

Jones Park had a fantastic spring! Although the season started out rainy, the days gave way to spectacular spring weather with lots of visitors enjoying the outdoors. During the week, I noticed more patrons than ever walking, running, and riding bicycles along the park’s Spring Creek Greenway Trail. 

Our spring events included NatureFest 2019, with 1,225 attendees and more than 40 different exhibitors. Kudos to all the volunteers who helped make NatureFest 2019 a great success! We especially thank Cabella’s for sponsoring the KidFish Tank again and Genghis Grill for sponsoring a delicious lunch for exhibitors and volunteers. As a bonus, we were delighted to read the following message on our Facebook page from a first-time visitor during NatureFest: “We are looking forward to hiking and doing other activities in the future.” 

We also survived a busy week of Spring Break programs in March and Easter Games in April, with lots of school group tours in between. The extra volunteer participation allows us to create better activities that visitors are starting to notice!

With the school year winding down, I want to thank the Quest Early College High School students who volunteer on Fridays during the school year. The Homestead Team’s Tykes Tours and homestead projects benefited us greatly. I was also impressed by the Green Team’s wide variety of conservation projects. Way to go!

Recent park projects include updating the Nature Center exterior, replacing the homestead woodshop roof, rebuilding the outhouse, and renovating the greenhouse. We also look forward to the installation of a new park entrance monument sign. 

I hope each of you know how much we appreciate you at the park! Mark your calendar for the next JJPV meeting Monday, June 24, at 7 p.m. In the meantime, enjoy some refreshment under the trees while volunteering! You deserve it!

Hope to see you about the park!
“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon
verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”
~ Jane Austen
Jones Park Education Programmer Researches Deadly Fungus Affecting Bats

A visit to Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center often yields views of deer, birds, and turtles. But when the sun sets, Jones Park’s hidden residents take flight. 

Learn about how bats benefit the environment and how to protect them. Jones Park Naturalist John Carey discusses his research of white-nose syndrome, a disease caused by a deadly fungus infecting bats across the nation.

Game Camera Captures Busy Wildlife Habitat

In the animal world, shelters come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Some animals make their homes in trees, while others live in dens, burrows, and caves. Still, even Jones Park forester David Jamar was puzzled when he encountered an odd hole at the base of a sweetgum tree just off the Grapevine Trail.

“I knew it was too big for one armadillo,” said Jamar. “So I put a game camera there to see what was going on.” The resulting photos reveal the busiest multilevel condo in Humble, Texas!

Natural Play and Exploration Area for Kids Now Open

Childhood imagination meets the great outdoors in a new playground now open at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center.

The Natural Play and Exploration area is made of natural resources and is designed for children 10 and under.

Games, toys, and even seating are all made from the forest, giving the area a whimsical look and feel. Everything within the natural playground is handmade. 

Click here to read more about how the natural playground got started and where you can find it.
Partnership Brings Art to Jones Park

When words aren't enough, make art. That’s the lesson taught by artist Jodye Beard-Brown, who spent six Saturdays working with Humble ISD students affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“Our goal was to give kids the tools to bounce back from disaster through art, theater, and sports therapy,” said Beard-Brown. “Some of these kids lost everything. Others have disabilities, such as autism. But what struck me was how positive everyone was. They were all eager and excited to learn.”

Click here to learn more about how SPARK Academy is helping children recover from disaster and where you can find the new art installation.

Jules Braswell won the Grand Prize Award with her caterpillar photo.
2019 Nature Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center’s Annual Nature Photo Contest! Winning photos were selected from among dozens of stunning submissions and announced Saturday, May 4. 

  • Grand Prize: Jules Braswell
  • People’s Choice Award: Connor Carpenter
  • Scenic Landscapes: Garth Bragg (1st Place Adult) London Terry (1st Place Junior)
  • People in the Park: Andrew Shirey (1st Place Adult) Molly McTernan (1st Place Junior)
  • Plants/Wildflowers: Anita Bragg (1st Place Adult) London Terry (1st Place Junior)
  • Wildlife: Tiffany Terry (1st Place Adult) Jules Braswell (1st Place Junior)
  • Mobile Device: Shannon Bay (1st Place Adult) Lola Terry (1st Place Junior)
Volunteers in Action
President's Message: Bugs Buzz

By Steve Hostetler
JJPV President

It’s that time of year! The Jesse Jones Park Volunteers Board of Directors is looking for new volunteers, new board members, and new captains for festivals, programs, and events.

Below are a few specific needs:
  • Nominating Committee members by Wednesday, May 29, for the upcoming JJPV Board of Directors elections in August. 
  • New captains for the concession stand and the photo wagon.
  • Committee members for a new event called Christmas in July, tentatively slated for July 2020.
  • New captain for the park’s bee program starting in December 2019.

If you have the bug to buzz, please contact the following folks:
  • Kim Hammond, volunteer coordinator, at khammond@hcp4.net 
  • Steve Hostetler, president of the JJPV Board of Directors, at shostetler@sadlconstruction.com 
  • Gary Chapman, first vice president of the JJPV Board of Directors, at gary.chapman5206@gmail.com 

I hope and pray you will join me and the board as we develop innovative ideas to attract new JJPV members. Then we can have a bigger and better celebration in August.

As president of the JJPV for the past two years, I have much to be thankful for persevering through Hurricane Harvey and the Redbud Hill Storage Facility project, to name a few. In the next three to four months, we are gearing up for the build-out of our new office and storage mezzanine. Please pray for the success of these projects! 

Finally, a huge thank you to our board members and volunteers for always volunteering with a smile. I look forward to our new board and volunteers in August! Check out our Facebook page, like us, and let us know how we can make JJPV better!
Volunteer Spotlight: Howard Rose

For Howard Rose, there’s nothing better than being outside. When most Harris County residents are blasting air conditioners during the hottest part of the summer, Rose is outdoors working with children as a Summer Nature Camp counselor.

“Being outside is just so much fun!” said Rose. “I love the outdoors and want the kids to be interested in that too.”

But what the children don’t know about Rose is that, before becoming a Summer Nature Camp volunteer, he enjoyed a distinguished career as a soldier, prosecutor, and ultimately a federal judge. 

Save the Date: Volunteer Appreciation Party

Jones Park staff would like to thank our Jesse Jones Park Volunteers for their time and talent with a celebration at the 2019 JJPV Appreciation Party on Monday, August 26, at 7 p.m.

In the past year, 183 individuals and groups volunteered more than 10,000 hours at Jones Park!

Your efforts to support the park and its programs not only benefit wildlife and the environment but also children and the community.

Please join us for food, fun, fellowship, and prizes!
Long-time Volunteer Donates Artwork to Support Jones Park

Congratulations to Nancy Zey, raffle winner of “A Flood Plain Forest,” an original watercolor by Jim Ramay.

Ramay, an artist and longtime volunteer at Jones Park, paints scenes of Jones Park and donates them to raise funds for Jesse Jones Park Volunteers, an organization supporting park operations and programs through volunteer work, fundraising, and education. When he is not painting, Ramay participates in homestead events as a historical demonstrator and regularly participates in Tai Chi at the park on Wednesday mornings.

Click here to find out how you can enter to win the next original work of art.
Record-Breaking Attendance at Jones Park Earth Day Event

Nature lovers may notice less litter along local waterways, thanks to a massive Earth Day cleanup event at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center.

A team of 145 volunteers participated in Earth Day 2019 activities to clean up the Kenswick drainage channel at the park.

Teams worked together to trim back low-lying limbs, skim the water surface for trash, pick up litter, remove invasive and non-native plant species, and plant native trees. Amazingly, volunteers collected more than 40 garbage bags of litter!

Volunteer Opportunities

Invasives Beware!
Saturdays, June 15, July 20, and August 17, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Office Assistants
Saturdays and Sundays, June 2 and August 4, from noon to 4 p.m.

Second Saturday Settlers
Woodworking: Saturday, June 8, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Pioneer Tools: Saturday, July 13, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Homestead Fun: Saturday, August 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

National Trails Day: Creek Bash
Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Summer Nature Camp 
Monday, June 3, through Friday, August 2.
Volunteer counselors needed for one-week commitments.

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

Texas Bound
Wednesday, July 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.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 throughout our parks system and along our nature trails. When people work together to protect our parks, everyone benefits through additional recreational opportunities, flood protection, and the preservation of wildlife and greenspace. I encourage everyone to get out and enjoy these beautiful and beneficial amenities!

Sincerely,

Commissioner R. Jack Cagle
Harris County Precinct 4
Donor Appreciation

Thank you, donors and volunteers, for the many ways you support Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center! Because of you, Jones Park remains one of Harris County’s top recreational facilities. This 312-acre park along Spring Creek continues to be a place where individuals and families can picnic, hike and bike along paved trails, paddle along the creek, fish, and participate in free programs and festivals. With your continued support and generosity, Jones Park will remain a favorite destination for discovering nature and wildlife.

Click here to see a list of donors.

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