June 2022
Greetings!

Get ready for picnics, ice cream, and plenty of outdoor adventures! 
Precinct 4 brings three family-friendly movies and a variety of children’s activities to a park or community center near you. Enjoy an outdoor showing of Monster’s Inc. under the stars or cool off in one of our many community centers. We offer crafts, ice cream socials, and more for children of all ages this summer. Check out the article below to learn how to participate. 

Trees bring shade, beauty, and even history to our area. In Precinct 4, we understand that trees also have fascinating stories to tell. If you enjoy Texas history, I encourage you to visit the Which Way Tree in New Kentucky Park. Named a “Famous Tree of Texas” in 2018, the Which Way Tree once shaded the army of Gen. Sam Houston after the fall of the Alamo. Come sit under its mossy branches and enjoy a picnic or just relax in the shade on a lazy summer day. Want to learn more? Read all about this ancient tree in the article below. 

On a more serious note, hurricane season begins June 1. Don’t get caught without a plan. Start building your hurricane preparedness kit now. Learn what to do to prepare and the assistance available in the event of a flood event. 

Thank you.
 
To War or Safety: The Which Way Tree
Legend has it that when Gen. Sam Houston’s army stopped in the town of New Kentucky after the fall of the Alamo, the troops rested under a prominent tree with branches pointing in two directions. One branch pointed northeast to safety, and the other pointed south to Harrisburg and war.

Houston, of course, headed south. His army went on to win the war against Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto, earning Texas its independence. The tree later became known as the Which Way Tree. Because of its unique history, the Texas A&M Forest Service named it a “Famous Tree of Texas” in 2018, cementing its place as one of Texas’ most historical trees.

History lovers can now visit the tree in New Kentucky Park, one of Precinct 4’s most historic areas. The park is all that’s left of the 19th-century town of New Kentucky, which declined after the establishment of Houston in 1836. It features picnic areas, a pavilion, a well from the original town, and a stone historical marker commemorating New Kentucky.

Although the town and Houston’s army disappeared long ago, their stories live on through the Which Way Tree, which provides a tangible connection to the past. To ensure more people hear these stories, Precinct 4 grew seedlings from the tree’s acorns to one day plant in public places. Each sapling will bear the mother tree’s name and serve as a living monument to the past.

The Which Way Tree is one of many famous trees of Texas available to schools and nonprofits through Precinct 4’s Legacy Trees Program. For more information and a list of available historical trees, visit hcp4.net/legacytrees/.
Precinct 4’s Biological Control Initiative Fights Pest Mosquitoes
Local governments typically fight pest mosquitoes by spraying insecticides by truck or plane. But Anita Schiller, the director of Harris County Precinct 4’s Biological Control Initiative (BCI), believes there’s another way to take on these summer nuisances: by fighting nature with nature.

Schiller has identified several native organisms that feed on pest mosquitoes without harming non-target species or the environment. Before releasing any agent into nature, she tests them in a controlled environment, like the Houston Museum of Science’s Cockrell Butterfly Center. Once the agent passes muster, she sends them out into the environment in a field study.

Nematodes are one of Schiller’s most promising mosquito killers. She seeded a manmade rain garden at Precinct 4’s John Paul Landing Park in March with thousands of the parasitoids and their eggs. She’s also working on establishing a self-sustaining nematode population in a pond at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center.

These free-swimming, microscopic-sized worms infect pest mosquito larvae. After feeding on the mosquito larva’s innards, the insect emerges from its host, killing it in the process. The worms that miss their target simply become part of the food chain without any negative consequences.

This is just one type of the many mosquito killers Schiller is producing.
Learn more about BCI at hcp4.net/bci/.
Children’s Summer Events
As the weather heats up, parents everywhere endure a common tradition: the struggle to keep kids occupied during the summer.

Don’t let your child’s summer go to waste. From movies to crafts to ice cream socials, Precinct 4 community centers offer a variety of children’s activities all summer long. Check out the community centers below to participate.


Hurricane Season Begins June 1
Don’t get caught unprepared during the next disaster. Before the Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, make sure you have a plan in place.

  • Make a hurricane preparedness kit. Purchasing essential household items before a storm forms will help prevent panic shopping and ensure that grocery stores do not run out of supplies.
  • Make a plan. Residents in coastal areas may be asked to evacuate by zone. If you do not live in an evacuation zone, please stay off the roads until evacuations conclude. Check out a map of evacuation zones here.
  • Follow trusted sources such as the National Weather Service Houston-Galveston, Harris County Flood Control District, and ReadyHarris to receive accurate, up-to-date information. You can sign up for Ready Harris alerts here to receive information from the Harris County Office of Emergency Management. 

Harris County Precinct 4’s Community Assistance Department is available 24 hours a day during disasters. To report a road hazard, call 832-927-4444, email service@hcp4.net, or visit hcp4.net/assistance/ to fill out a work order request. 



Get Ready for Free Fishing Day
Want to fish but don’t have a license? Get ready for free fishing day on Saturday, June 4. On free fishing day, anyone in Texas can fish without a license. Grab your rod and reel and find a lake or pond near you, or visit one of these Precinct 4 parks:

  • George Bush Park
  • Bear Creek Park in Langham Creek
  • Mary Jo Peckham Park
  • Rushing Park
  • John Paul Landing Park
  • Arthur Storey Park
  • Hockley Recreational Complex
  • Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park North
  • Weekley Park
  • Mason Creek Park-North

Ready to get a license? Visit tpwd.texas.gov/business/licenses/online_sales/.
Summer Movie Nights Comes
To a Park Near You 
Families looking for fun, free entertainment have more reasons to visit their local parks this summer.

Harris County Precinct 4’s annual Summer Movie Nights brings three family-friendly movies to parks throughout west Harris County this June, July, and August. Pack your blankets, chairs, and snacks and join us for outdoor showings of the Lion King, Frozen, and Monsters Inc. on the big screen, starting at dusk.

Each movie includes a children’s craft beginning at 7 p.m. Popcorn is free, and snow cones are available for purchase.

Find a showing near you: 

June – Lion King
  • Monday, June 13 – George Bush Park, pavilion 3
  • Tuesday, June 14 – Nottingham Park
  • Wednesday, June 15 – Zube Park, pavilion 2
  • Thursday, June 16 – Bear Creek Park, pavilion 6
  • Friday, June 17 –Woodchase Park 

July – Frozen
  • Monday, July 11 – Ray Miller Park
  • Tuesday, July 12 – Freed Park
  • Wednesday, July 13 – Mary Jo Peckham Park
  • Thursday, July 14 – Reginald Moore Park
  • Friday, July 15 – Hockley Recreational Complex

August – Monsters Inc.
  • Monday, Aug. 1 – Weekley Community Center Park
  • Tuesday, Aug. 2 – Monsignor Bill Pickard Park
  • Wednesday, Aug. 3 – Zube Park, pavilion 2
  • Thursday, Aug. 4 – George Bush Park, pavilion 3

For more information, visit hcp4.net/events/p4movies/. Reservations are not required.
Community Center Spotlight: The Radack Center
Have you visited Radack Community Center yet? This Precinct 4 gem opened only a year ago in west Harris County. Come by to participate in yoga, karate, games, crafts, and more.

Visitors and employees celebrated the Radack Center’s anniversary earlier in May with music, lunch from James Coney Island, and an appearance by Commissioner R. Jack Cagle.

Seniors enjoyed special entertainment from the Eagles Trace Ukulele Strummers and a performance of “Elvira” by Cagle. Thank you to all who attended. We look forward to many more years in this beautiful facility.

For more events and activities at our community centers, please visit hcp4.net/community-centers/.
Precinct 4 Events
Dog Adoptions at Weekley Park
Looking for a new furry friend to join your family? Visit Weekley Park on Sunday, June 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to browse a variety of adoptable dogs. The event will include goodie bags for adopted dogs, crafts, temporary tattoos, music, snacks, and more. Harris County Precinct 4’s high-water rescue trucks will also be on site, along with representatives from Harris County Public Library, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and the constable’s office.
Senior Event Spotlight:
Independence Day Concert at Glazier Senior Education Center
Enjoy a performance by accomplished entertainer, vocalist, and front man Dickie on Thursday, June 30, from 1 to 3 p.m. He has entertained in Las Vegas for more than 20 years, performing renditions of famous songs by Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, and many more. For more information, please contact the Glazier Senior Education Center at 713-274-3250 or click here.
Bluegrass Rising Concert
Join us at Weekley Community Center for a bluegrass concert featuring three bands on Friday, June 10, at 4 p.m. Unlike mainstream country music, bluegrass is traditionally played on acoustic stringed instruments. It stems from African American blues and jazz and has roots in traditional English, Scottish, and Irish ballads and dance tunes. For additional information, call the Weekley Community Center at 713-274-3161 or click here.
Express Children’s Theatre Presents the Aztec Princess
Hear two classic Mexican fables told by an Aztec princess on Monday, June 13, from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. at Hockley Community Center. Express Children’s Theatre is Houston’s oldest and largest multicultural performing arts and education organization dedicated to children and families. Stop by to get a free ticket. For additional information, contact the Hockley Community Center at 713-274-3220 or click here.