April 2018

As I walk through our beautiful Precinct 4 parks, I’m often impressed by the towering canopies of live oak, pine, and bald Cypress trees. I can’t help but imagine the great histories these trees lived through and the many people they’ve served, from the Akokisa tribes to some of Texas’ earliest settlers. With this in mind, I began the Historic Trees Project in 2015 with just a few saplings donated from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Since then, my staff have collected cuttings and seeds from famous trees across Texas to grow in our greenhouses. I’m proud to announce that we recently planted the first five trees. I’m excited to watch these trees grow and share their important history with you and future generations.

I’m also happy to announce that Precinct 4 plans to purchase its first airboat, thanks to a $60,000 donation from Houston Northwest Church. This donation is truly amazing and will ensure that high water won’t limit our crews during flood events. While the airboat will help during a flood, flood prevention continues to be the top priority. Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) recently started work removing sediment from bayous, creeks, and tributaries. With the financial backing of the state, Harris County took the lead in first agreeing to undertake dredging the San Jacinto River and then negotiated to get the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to undertake the endeavor.

While a third reservoir and improvements to the current flood control system take priority, my colleagues and I also continue to explore new flood mitigation options, such as drainage reuse and underground stormwater conveyance tunnels.

On a lighter note, one of my favorite festivals of the year, the Precinct 4 Shakespeare Festival, is less than a week away! Beginning in 2013, with the guidance of Communications Director Mark Seegers, it has grown well beyond what we ever dreamed possible in our original philosophy. I hope everyone will attend this fun-filled festival, and enjoy good food, street performers, and a family-friendly rendition of Romeo and Juliet . See you there!

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.
Harris Co. Precinct 4 logo - R. Jack Cagle, Commissioner
Featured Articles
Shakespeare Festival at Burroughs Park

Harris County Precinct 4 invites the public to attend a free Shakespeare festival featuring crafts, entertainers, face painting, games, and food trucks Saturday, April 21 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Burroughs Park, located at 9738 Hufsmith Road in Tomball, 77375.
Performances of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet take place rain or shine Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m.

New Flood Control Projects Take Shape

The Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) recently began construction on a $13.3 million maintenance project that includes removing sediment and making priority repairs on a portion of Horsepen Creek, located in Precinct 4 in the Addicks Reservoir watershed. Construction is expected to take several months to complete.

Free Summer Activities and Family Movie Night

With summer around the corner, it’s time to start planning activities to fill those longer days.

Children and families can participate in free recreational activities during Precinct 4’s Trails As Parks Summer Passport Series Saturday, May 5 through Wednesday, Aug. 1 at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve.

Storytime in the Gardens at Mercer

Preschoolers aren’t just discovering new plants at Mercer. Now, they’re discovering new books, too.

Staff with Harris County Public Library (HCPL) and Mercer Botanic Gardens share some of their favorite nature books, f rom Jack and the Beanstalk to Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets, with children every Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. during Storytime in the Gardens at Mercer.

“This is a great opportunity to introduce your child to the story-book setting of Mercer Botanic Gardens,” said Mercer Interim Director Jim Nutter.

Shakespeare Garden Opening at Mercer Botanic Gardens

Did you know Shakespeare loved flowers and plants? In fact, elements of Shakespeare’s personal garden in Stratford-upon-Avon still exists as a popular tourist destination.

Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to Europe to view a Shakespeare Garden. Mercer Botanic Gardens opens the first Shakespeare Garden in the Houston area Monday, April 23 at 10 a.m. in the East Side Gardens.

Everyone is invited to meet the Bard in person during the event!

Historic Oak Trees in Precinct 4

They may be small now, but the five oaks planted along the Spring Creek Greenway come from legendary stock.

Treaty Oak, Borden Oak, Runaway Scrape Oak, Cabinet Oak, and Century Oak are known as some of the longest-lived trees in Texas, most extending back hundreds of years.

The Treaty Oak, a live oak tree in Austin, is one of the oldest at more than 500 years old. Mature even before European settlement, the tree is the last surviving member of the Council Oaks, a grove of 14 trees that served as a sacred meeting place for Tonkawa and Comanche tribes.

An Important Donation

We received a surprise donation of $60,000 from Houston Northwest Church! The money will be used to purchase a new airboat for rescue missions during floods.
The church released the following statement:

“The vision of Houston Northwest Church is to make Houston more like Heaven by helping Houstonians become more like Jesus. Over the last several months Harvey relief has allowed us to do just that through great partnerships in the city and county. We are more than happy to be able to help Precinct 4 by giving toward the purchase of an airboat that will be used in future relief and support to our community.”

Upcoming Events
Fishing Fest at Burroughs Park
Learn from the experts while participating in the 5th Annual Fishing Fest at Burroughs Park Friday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. Catfish on Wheels will serve a freshly prepared buffet of all-you-can-eat fried catfish, shrimp, French fries, hush puppies, coleslaw, and beans. Bait and tackle will be provided, but feel free to bring your own. Click here to register .
Bowling at Max Bowl in Humble
Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program invites senior adults 50 years of age and better to participate in free activities during Senior Health and Fitness Week Monday, April 30 to Friday, May 4. The week kicks off with bowling at Max Bowl in Humble Monday, April 30 at 11:30 a.m. Other Senior Health and Fitness Week activities are listed online . Click here to register.
Heritage Festival
The public is invited to attend the Spring Creek Park Heritage Festival Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine at Spring Creek Park in Tomball. Guests can view artifacts, witness Civil War battle re-enactments, and tour the historic cemetery along with recreated confederate and union camps. The event will also include archaeology digs, weapons demonstrations with cannon blasts every hour, storytellers, cultural demonstrations, activities, and food trucks. Entry is free.