June 2019
Greetings!

The season of picnics, summer vacations, and outdoor adventure has finally arrived! Unfortunately, even the most stalwart outdoor enthusiast may head back inside when met with one of the season’s most annoying pests: mosquitoes. To fight back against these pests, Harris County Precinct 4 has partnered with the Cockrell Butterfly Center to study and breed the Texas "mosquito assassin," an insect that feeds on pest mosquito larvae. You can read more about this important study and how it could reduce the county’s mosquito population in the article below.

I also want to announce that our popular Senior Adult Program will change its name to Precinct 4’s Encore! program on June 1. For 27 years, our Senior Adult Program has provided events, activities, and day trips to adults over 50. Despite the name change, we will still offer the same programs our participants have come to known and love, just with a modern, new image. You can read more about Encore! below.

I also want to take a moment to recognize the Harris County Animal Shelter. In less than a decade, the shelter has managed to increase its live release rate from 15.5% to 90%. That’s something of which we can be very proud. Our veterinary health employees can’t do it without you, though. Read more below to find out how you can help.

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
Precinct 4 Joins HMNS Cockrell Butterfly Center
To Unleash 'Mosquito Assassins'

One of nature’s deadliest creatures may have just met its match. Harris County’s native “mosquito assassin" has helped control the mosquito population in small pockets of the southeastern United States for ages. But now, researchers with Harris County Precinct 4 are studying ways to use the insect on a larger scale.
  
Anita Schiller, director of Precinct 4’s Biological Control Initiative, has launched the latest study at the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Cockrell Butterfly Center because of the center’s contained environment, healthy ecosystem, and unique ability to educate the public about innovative biocontrol methods.

Harris County Animal Shelter Reaches Milestone

Here’s something to celebrate: the Harris County Animal Shelter has achieved a 90% live-release rate in 2019, up from 15.5 percent in 2012.  

The shelter’s steady push to increase awareness of adoptable pets, expand foster programs, and partner with out-of-state rescue organizations has led to one of the biggest turnarounds for an open-admission shelter in the state. The shelter originally set a goal of achieving a live-release rate of 90% by 2020.

Precinct 4's Senior Adult Program Receives New Name

Goodbye, Senior Adult Program. Hello, Precinct 4 Encore! Harris County Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program has a fresh, new name to reflect modern attitudes in aging.

The Encore! program will continue to provide activities, volunteer opportunities, and day trips to adults over 50, just as Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program has done for the past 27 years. But Jan Sexton, director of the Precinct 4 Encore! program, said the new name will help eliminate the negative stereotypes of aging.  

Check Out Mercer's Tool Library

Books aren’t the only items you can check out from Baldwin Boettcher Library at Mercer Botanic Gardens. Visitors can now also borrow tools! 

Baldwin Boettcher’s tool library opened in March for visitors interested in do-it-yourself gardening and landscaping.

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. 

Partnership Restores Access To Burroughs Park Boardwalk

A major collaboration is underway at Burroughs Park to restore access to 200 acres of parkland that has been inaccessible since Hurricane Harvey. Precinct 4 staff members and volunteers plan to build a network of boardwalks through low-lying areas, connecting about two miles of trails. 

The project includes removing toppled trees and debris left by floodwaters, improving the area’s drainage, and installing three bridges. The completion of the boardwalk project is dependent on support.

Stay tuned for updates! For more information, contact Burroughs Park at 281-353-8100.
Grant Provides Funding For New Public Flood Warning System

The Harris County Flood Control District’s 10-year old Flood Warning System website is getting updates that could prove invaluable during the next storm.

"Our current Flood Warning System website is 10 years old, and this grant will allow us the ability to provide the residents of Harris and surrounding counties a more modern and user-friendly experience," said Jeff Lindner, director of hydraulic operations and meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District.

Assistance Still Available for Hurricane Harvey Repairs

Federal funding is now available for Harris County residents affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Unincorporated Harris County residents who suffered damage during Hurricane Harvey are invited to click here to fill out a pre-application for assistance. 

Commissioner R. Jack Cagle Hosts Top Officials to Honor Fallen Law Enforcement Heroes

County Commissioner R. Jack Cagle and former U.S. Rep. Ted Poe sponsored a public ceremony honoring fallen Texas law-enforcement officers at the Humble Civic Center, 8233 Will Clayton Parkway in Humble.

Check out photos from the event, here
Upcoming Events
June Plant Sale at Mercer

Want to bring the beauty of Mercer Botanic Gardens to your landscape? Visit Mercer on Saturday, June 15, for a specialty plant sale in the courtyard. Find begonias, gingers, and heat-tolerant plants that love the shade. Coffee, water, soft drinks, breakfast items, and lunch items will be available for purchase. For more information about the spring sale, contact TMS at 713-274-4166 or email msociety@hcp4.net.
Geocaching 101

Join Precinct 4’s Trails As Parks (TAP) staff for a high-tech treasure hunt Tuesday, May 28, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Learn to geocache using your smart phone or using one of TAP’s GPS units. Learn what a geocache is, what it can look like, and how to get involved in Precinct 4's GeoChallenge! Wear outdoor appropriate clothing and closed-toed shoes. Click here to register. Registrants will be emailed a map of where to meet TAP staff at Meyer Park. 
Learn About Civil War-era Texas

Join Monte Parks with Precinct 4’s Trails As Parks program to discuss the military and political contributions made by Texas during the American Civil War Wednesday, June 5, at 1 p.m. To register for this free seminar and for additional information, call Big Stone Lodge at 281-350-1029.