December 2020

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Let's all take a moment to appreciate winter evenings filled with delicious treats, festive decorations, and family time around the Christmas tree. Although the community-wide festivities may look a bit different this year, the spirit remains the same. I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities around you. Your Precinct 4 friends offer plenty of virtual and limited in-person activities to spark holiday cheer, from Christmas parades to nature hikes to a folk music performance at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center. 

Although we faced a challenging year, our community also celebrated many achievements. Precinct 4 partnered with Champions Municipal Utility District to complete a beautiful new roadway with an innovative drainage system. This exciting project serves as a model for the region and demonstrates what we can accomplish with strong community partners like Champions MUD.

We also restored a fishing pond near the 100 Acre Wood Preserve, repaired miles of trails, and appointed a new director of the Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center. This beautiful park features a nature center, stunning natural areas, and a connection to the 16-mile Spring Creek Greenway.

Additionally, Harris County Public Health replaced its decades-old animal shelter with a 50,000-square-foot facility. This much-needed upgrade provides additional space for Harris County's population of homeless pets. I appreciate all the hard work and planning that went into this facility, and I look forward to watching it care for our future pets.

If you want to learn more about these projects, I encourage you to check out this edition of Commissioner's E-Corner.  

Featured Articles
Precinct 4 Completes Champions Drive in Time for 2020 U.S. Women's Open Golf Tournament 

A smoother new roadway and updated landscaping will greet motorists traveling along Champions Drive, thanks to efforts by Harris County Precinct 4 and Champions Municipal Utility District. 

The pair teamed up to resurface Champions Drive from FM 1960 to Cypress Creek in time for the 2020 U.S. Women's Open Golf Tournament at the Champions Golf Club from Dec. 10 to Dec. 13.

The joint project included upgrading the roadway from two asphalt lanes to two concrete pavement lanes. Because concrete is stronger, the road should require less maintenance and last longer than asphalt.

"Strong community partners like Champions MUD allow us to provide more with less," said Commissioner R. Jack Cagle. "Residents can take great pride in knowing they have a roadway worthy of their community."

Champions Drive also features a unique drainage system that could reduce flooding in the area. The system includes 13,335 underground crates wrapped in permeable fabric that will allow water to penetrate the ground quickly. Layers of gravel surrounding the boxes serve as a cost-effective water filtration system and stabilizer. During high-water situations, the underground channel can convey about 2.5 million gallons of water.

Precinct 4 and Champions MUD began upgrades on the road two years ago in anticipation of increased traffic from the 2020 U.S. Women's Open Golf Tournament.

Jason Naivar Named Jones Park's New Director  
Meet Jones Park's new director! Jason Naivar started as an education program coordinator at Jones Park in 2016 after a 13-year career working with marine animals.

With Naivar leading the park, Jones Park visitors can look forward to new and innovative programs and services in the next few years.

Celebrating Indigenous People's Day

Local Native American groups celebrated a victory last month after Harris County Commissioners Court members unanimously voted to designate the second Monday in October as Indigenous People's Day.

Commissioner R. Jack Cagle also introduced a resolution in November honoring Dave and Maria "Lil" Frakes and their family, an indigenous family dedicated to ensuring that the legacy of Native Americans continues.

New Harris County Animal Shelter Opens

Pets at the Harris County Animal Shelter received a welcome gift this holiday season.

Harris County Public Health opened a 50,000-square-foot pet resource center on Oct. 28, featuring interactive visitation areas, dog runs, and cat condos. 

The new facility, known as Harris County Pets, boasts twice the capacity of the previous shelter, housing up to 525 animals at a time – 300 dogs and 225 cats -- and more than 24,000 pets a year.

The additional space and amenities should provide a more enjoyable adoption and foster process and allow for more life-saving programs and services. Additionally, a new system preventing the recirculation of air will help prevent the spread of diseases.

The facility was made possible by a $24 million bond proposition passed by Harris County voters in 2015. The pet resource center replaces the animal shelter formerly known as the Harris County Animal Shelter, which opened in 1986. 

The new facility is at 612 Canino Road. The previous facility on the same property was recently demolished to make way for a four-section dog park and pavilion. 

Those interested in adopting are encouraged to visit the shelter. Pets come microchipped, spayed or neutered, and dewormed. For more information, visit

Harris County and CenterPoint Energy Agreement Provides New Options for Trail Development

Harris County residents could see hundreds of miles of new trails over the next decade after Commissioners Court approved an agreement with CenterPoint Energy last month.

The agreement will make it easier for Harris County to build trails along utility corridors and link parks and trail systems across the county.

So far, most trail development in Precinct 4 has been along waterways and bayous. The agreement opens new possibilities for trail connections.

Blazing Trails and Building Parks Across Precinct 4

Precinct 4 has a secret weapon when it comes to building parks and trails. 

The Trailblazers are an in-house crew of specialists who repair, build, and maintain trails faster and cheaper than a contractor ever could.

With Precinct 4's Trailblazers on the job, park visitors can expect smoother, safer trails. 

The group started 14 years ago as a two-person crew that mainly cleared paths for contractors.

Fishing Pond and Trail Now Open in Northwest Harris County

Good news for hikers, bikers, and nature lovers! Precinct 4 has completed the lake and trail restoration project near the D. Bradley McWilliams YMCA at Cypress Creek.

The repairs will pave the way for a trail connecting Precinct 4's 100 Acre Wood Preserve and Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve-South, a nearly 7-acre property still under development on the east side of state Highway 249. 

Crews began cleaning, deepening, and repairing the lake last year to correct damage from Hurricane Harvey. They also added a paved trail with a bridge around the lake and connected a small island to the mainland, providing a convenient fishing and wildlife viewing spot. The pond was also stocked with baitfish in November to ensure it would be ready for fishing by spring.

Precinct 4 purchased the 20-acre lake and the 6.88 acres of KMP-South from the D. Bradley McWilliams YMCA early last year, with plans to build a more extensive trail system spanning Highway 249.

The trail system will eventually connect KMP, the YMCA trails, the 100 Acre Wood Preserve, and nearly 9 miles of mountain bike trails. 

Access to the pond is available through Precinct 4's 100 Acre Wood Preserve.

Stay tuned for additional updates.

Upcoming Events
Fill Santa's Sleigh Christmas Parade

Precinct 4 Encore! invites everyone 50 and older to drive by, honk, and wave at the Fun4Seniors Christmas Parade on Friday, Dec. 4, at 1 p.m. Decorate your vehicle and drive by for a festive good time to ring in the holiday season. Those making a donation will receive a cookie decorating kit. Limit one kit per person in attendance. There is no cost for these events, but reservations are required. For more information, click here.
Second Sunday Pickers

Join this musical group with more than 30 years of experience on Sunday, Dec. 13, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Second Sunday Pickers entertain with acoustic music, including country-and-western, bluegrass, folk, gospel, Cajun, and blues. Visitors are welcome to listen to free folk music or bring an instrument to play along. Performances take place at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center at 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble.
Women's Restorative Hike

Be a part of the newest volunteer-supported hike at Mercer Botanic Gardens on Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., and Tuesday, Dec. 22, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. This beginner-friendly, one-hour walk through Mercer's gardens and forest is open to women 18 and older. Meet in front of the Visitor Center at Mercer's East Side Main Gardens on the second and fourth Tuesdays. Registration is required, as space is limited. To register or for more information, call 713-274-4160.