January 2019

As many of you know, my colleagues and I welcomed County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia to Commissioners Court this month. Although I look forward to working with my new colleagues, I want to recognize the contributions of Judge Ed Emmett and Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman.

For more than a decade, Judge Emmett presided over Commissioners Court with expertise honed from years as a public servant. He led one of the nation’s finest emergency operation centers through multiple natural disasters. He ended his tenure on a high note by leading the county through the most devastating rain event in the nation’s history, despite suffering a minor stroke only weeks before Harvey struck. 

Many of us will remember Judge Emmett as a leader with boundless energy who fought to end the cycle that brought so many with mental illnesses through our jail system. Today, the Judge Ed Emmett Mental Health Diversion Center keeps low-level, nonviolent offenders with a history of mental illness out of our jail system to reduce overcrowding and help those with mental illness receive proper treatment. 

Thank you, Judge Emmett, for everything you have done, are doing, and will do! Serving with you remains a true honor, and I wish you luck in your new position at Rice University. 

I also appreciate the energy and leadership Commissioner Morman brought to Commissioners Court. Although I will miss having him by my side as commissioner, I welcome him to the Precinct 4 team as a special projects coordinator for our Capital Improvement Projects Division. 

As a commissioner, Jack Morman worked with the Harris County Toll Road Authority to begin the single largest public works project in Harris County history - the Beltway 8 Ship Channel Toll Bridge. This $900 million project doubles capacity on one of the most heavily trafficked segments of the toll road system.

During his tenure, Morman formed partnerships with each of the 15 cities in Precinct 2 to not only provide additional mobility and flood control projects, but also to expand access to Precinct 2 parks and amenities. This great experience will now benefit the residents of Precinct 4!

As our new elected officials take office, I will work passionately with them for our precinct’s focus on flood mitigation, mobility, and quality-of-life improvements. I wish you all a happy new year, and I look forward to continuing to serve you, the wonderful people of Precinct 4!
Featured Articles
A Look Back at 2018

From hosting festivals to improving traffic, Precinct 4 had a busy year in 2018. Here are just a few of our biggest accomplishments:

  • Acquired the 90-acre Edgewater Park in Kingwood
  • Installed 16.16 miles of new roadways
  • Made 15 traffic signal and intersection improvements
  • Answered 8,256 emails, letters, and phone calls from constituents
  • Hosted 10 major festivals
  • Added three miles of new trails along the Spring Creek Greenway
  • Planted 926 new trees along the Spring Creek and Cypress Creek greenways

Wondering how else Precinct 4 stays active in your community? See for yourself! Check out some of last year's top photos .
Celebrating 45 Years at Mercer

We’re excited to announce that Mercer turned 45 on Jan. 8! Come visit the park and see how it's grown.

Beginning as a 14.5-acre homestead owned by Charles and Thelma Mercer, Mercer Botanic Gardens has matured into a nearly 400-acre educational and horticultural facility, featuring 20 acres of cultivated gardens, an arboretum, a herbarium, nature trails, picnic areas, and a playground. 

Each year, 250,000 visitors are drawn to Mercer’s plant collections, plant sales, themed gardens, educational events, and festivals.

You can help Mercer continue to provide quality public programming by contributing to Mercer’s Angel Tree
Valentine's Day: Casablanca at Burroughs Park

Looking for something fun and free to do this Valentine’s Day? 

Grab a picnic blanket and head to Burroughs Park for a showing of Casablanca Friday, Feb. 15, at 6:30 p.m. 

Set in World War II-era Morocco, this classic love story follows Rick Blaine, an American expatriate and nightclub owner, as he reconnects with an old flame.

When he learns the woman he loves is married to a resistance leader fleeing the Nazis, he must choose between his feelings and helping the couple escape the country. 

Stay updated on Precinct 4's next movie night by following us on Facebook.
Greenway Trail Beautification: Bluebonnets in Precinct 4

Bluebonnets aren’t just for Hill Country anymore. Last fall, Laura Carlton with Precinct 4’s Legacy Tree Program planted bluebonnet seeds along the Spring Creek Greenway Trail orchards near Pundt Park.

Park visitors can expect to see the bluebonnets in bloom from March through late spring.

Not only will the plants attract beneficial pollinators to the fruit orchards, but they will also beautify the trails and require less mowing. 

This Texas native is also an important source of nitrogen for the soil. Because of these properties, bluebonnets can be used as cover crops to enrich agricultural soils!

In fact, bluebonnets can produce as much nitrogen as soybeans, which can yield as much as 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre.
A New Year for Trees: Tu BiShvat at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve

Happy Tu BiShvat! Did you know there’s a New Year for trees? For more than 1,800 years, the Jewish people have celebrated the beginning of a tree’s fruit-bearing cycle on Tu BiShvat, the Hebrew calendar’s 15th of Shevat.

Although Tu BiShvat began as a way to calculate fruit tithes, the tradition has grown into a popular tree-planting holiday in Israel, similar to Arbor Day. Today, because of the holiday's popularity, Israel is the only country in the world with a net gain in trees. 

In the United States, local congregations have continued the tradition, planting trees in local parks and along roadways.
Thanks to a group from Shalom Cypress, Precinct 4's Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve now boasts new tree growth. Thank you, Shalom Cypress! Because of volunteers like you, Precinct 4 is a greener, healthier place to work and live.
Want to Make a Difference? Become a Volunteer!

Start your year off right by becoming a Precinct 4 volunteer! Opportunities are available through Precinct 4’s Legacy Tree Program, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center , and Mercer Botanic Gardens .

Join Precinct 4’s Legacy Tree Program to help plant trees along the Spring Creek and Cypress Creek greenways. For more information, email lcarlton@hcp4.net. 

Jones Park is seeking volunteers for Homestead Heritage Day Saturday, Feb. 9 . Anyone interested in depicting the past or helping with other festival activities is invited to apply.  

Mercer Botanic Gardens is seeking volunteers in preparation for the March Mart plant sale Thursday, March 14, through Saturday, March 16. Different shifts are available. 

Winter Fishing Opportunities

Get ready for winter fishing at a Precinct 4 park near you! The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) recently delivered up to 1,400 rainbow trout to each of the following Precinct 4 parks:

  • Burroughs Park, 9738 Hufsmith Road in Tomball 
  • Bane Park, 9600 W. Little York Road in Houston 
  • Dennis Johnston Park, 709 Riley Fuzzel Road in Spring 
  • Meyer Park, 7700 Cypresswood Drive in Spring 
  • Pundt Park, 4129 Spring Creek Drive in Spring 
  • Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve, 20215 Chasewood Park Drive in Houston

Arrive early for best fishing opportunities. Rainbow trout are only available in winter.

Upcoming Events
Animal Cirque Du Soleil's Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico
Precinct 4's Senior Adult Program invites senior adults 50 and better on a bus trip Saturday, Jan. 26, at 5 p.m. to see Cirque Du Soleil's Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico. Enjoy breathtaking acrobatic performances highlighting the traditions and culture of Mexico. Dinner is available for purchase before the show. Fee: $40. Transportation is provided. For more information, click here .
Animal Tracks and Signs at Jones Park
There’s no cloak and dagger necessary to become one of Jones Park’s nature detectives! Join staff naturalist Jason Naivar Saturday, Jan. 26, at 10 a.m. as he teaches participants how to look for signs of animals in the park. Using ancient and modern techniques, students will learn the observant art of animal tracking. For more information, click here .
Children's Spring Break Camp at Mercer
Make spring break fun and healthy for your child! Mercer's Spring Break Camp offers a crash course in healthy cooking and eating Monday, March 11, through Thursday, March 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities include preparing healthy meals using Mercer's mobile outdoor kitchen, planting vegetables, and tasting fresh produce. Ages 8 to 11. Fee: $40 per child. Space is limited. For more information, call 713-274-4160 or email Mercer .