December 2018
Greetings!

Merry Christmas and happy New Year! During this special time of year, I want to commend the dedication and exemplary work your Precinct 4 staff demonstrate every day in the community.

In this issue of Commissioner's E-Corner , I invite you to read about some of the innovative projects planned to meet the demands of growth, improve safety, and enhance your quality of life. Learn about new offerings at Mercer Botanic Gardens, updates from your Capital Improvement Projects division, and information regarding the county’s new animal shelter under construction.

With great excitement, I also announce that the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) nears completion on one of HCFCD’s largest regional flood control projects to date. Last month, I took a tour of this historic project that began years before as a neighborhood buyout. I saw firsthand the power of these buyouts and encourage everyone affected by flooding to learn more in the article below about how buyouts benefit the community.

As a reminder, you can access past issues of Commissioner's E-Corner  on the  Precinct 4 website. Visit Precinct 4 online to learn more about our road projects and upcoming events available through our community centers, parks department, and Senior Adult Program.
 
Featured Articles
Voluntary Home Buyout Program Leads to HCFCD's Largest Flood Control Project Yet

For more than 30 years, Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) has relied on home buyout programs to remove homes from floodways and floodplains. Today, the projects started years before are finally paying off.

In November, Texas General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush, Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle, and Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis toured past and present buyout locations with HCFCD Executive Director Russ Poppe and Harris County Community Services Director Daphne Lemelle.

Make Safety a Priority This Season

Planning some last-minute shopping this year?

While the holidays may be the season of giving, it’s also the most common time of year for property crimes.

To improve safety, the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office are teaming up to encourage safety awareness and provide more patrol deputies in retail shopping areas.

Click here to read more about how to stay safe during the holidays.
Mobile Kitchen Aims to Teach Children Healthy Eating Habits

Fresh food from Mercer may soon be on your child’s menu! 

In June 2018, The Mercer Society was awarded a $9,000 United Way Community Building Grant to purchase a Charlie Cart, which is a mobile kitchen specializing in hands-on learning experiences. 

Mercer will debut the Charlie Cart during the Winter Children's Camp Wednesday, Jan. 2 through Friday, Jan. 4. Activities include vegetable gardening, fruit and vegetable harvesting, and healthy cooking.

Mercer's New Interim Director

Mercer’s under new leadership! As Mercer’s new interim director, Chris Ludwig will focus on improving flood resiliency and carrying out a new master plan at Mercer Botanic Gardens .

“Our master plan will help us grow by identifying the best use of Mercer’s resources,” said Ludwig. “We may not be able to move the gardens, but we can make the inevitable floods less damaging.”

Roadway Project May Benefit Precinct 4's Edgewater Park

New mobility improvements and recreational opportunities may be on the way for Kingwood and Humble residents.
Harris County Precinct 4 is seeking funding to reroute a section of Hamblen Road in Kingwood around the outer edge of a new Precinct 4 park, which is slated to begin mid-2019.

Harris County Breaks Ground on New Animal Shelter

Construction is under way on a new $24 million animal shelter that will hold twice as many animals as the previous facility.

Located on the same property as the existing shelter at 612 Canino Road, the shelter will include a walking trail, four dog parks, a clinic, and an isolation care unit. 

While the existing facility is built to hold 150 dogs and 100 cats, the new shelter will hold about 315 dogs and 210 cats. The current shelter, built in 1986, usually handles about 18,000 animals a year in a facility built to accommodate 12,000 animals. 

Voters approved funding for the project in 2015 with a $24 million bond referendum.
The new shelter could open as early as the end of 2015.

In the meantime, animal lovers can help the shelter save more animals by adopting or volunteering to foster a pet.
Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts Reopens

The Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts is now officially open with a fresh lineup of exhibits! After closing nearly a year due to damage from Hurricane Harvey, the museum opened in November with new wood floors, glass gallery doors, and restored exhibition spaces, along with spaces for art classes and other events.

The opening marked the museum’s 10th anniversary. Located near Collins Park in the Cypress Creek Cultural District, the museum features a rotating collection of important works of art, including painting and photography, along with art education, movie nights, tea nights, performance art, and other events. Learn more about the artwork from museum docents and participate in exhibition-inspired painting projects!

Interested in learning more? Visit the Pearl in person. Admission is free. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, click here.
Upcoming Events
Lakeside Library at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve
Enjoy a nature-themed story and activity in the outdoor classroom overlooking Marshall Lake Dec. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve's Lakeside Library . Barbara Bush Library staff will bring their pop-up library, so participants can also check out books. Kids of all ages are welcome to join in this educational and free program! Activities are subject to change based on the weather.
Christmas Village at Bayou Bend in Houston
Senior adults ages 50 and better can discover an immersive Christmas experience at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens Thursday, Jan. 3 at 4 p.m. Enjoy carolers, a faux-snowball play area, a handcrafted model train, thousands of lights, and more — all on 14 acres of gardens nestled in River Oaks. Dinner is available for purchase at The Spaghetti Western Italian Café before the tour. Fee: $15.   Click here to register.
Arbor Day at Jones Park
Take home a free sapling, and learn about tree planting and care tips Saturday, Jan. 19 and Sunday, Jan. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during this family-friendly Arbor Day celebration. Webelos can fulfill the self-guided Into the Woods adventure activity. Enjoy a Texas A&M Forest Service Forester Talk Saturday at 10 a.m. and a Winter Tree Hike with a staff naturalist at 2 p.m. For more information, call 281-446-8588 or visit Jones Park online .