Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center
Purpose: A 312-acre, Harris County Precinct 4 nature park dedicated to environmental and natural history, education, wildlife conservation, and passive recreation. It opened in 1982.
Programs: Wide variety of weekday tours and free weekend educational programs, ranging from the lifestyles and customs of local early settlers to the environmental benefits of nature. Teacher workshops and training programs are offered as well.
Major Events: Arbor Day Celebration – 3rd weekend in January; Homestead Heritage Day – 2nd Saturday in February; NatureFest – 1st Saturday in March; Pioneer Day – 2nd Saturday in November
Children’s Activities: Wide variety throughout the year, including Summer Nature Camp, Tadpoles Club, and scout programs. Playground with separate toddler section. Field trips are available to the park for your class or student group.
Volunteer Opportunities: Trail guides, invasive plant removal, trail maintenance, greenhouse help, office aide.
Publications: Bi-annually the Update – Harris County Precinct 4 Parks.
Darlene Conley Hostetler, Director
Mark Seegers, Media Contact
Al Barr, Outreach Coordinator
Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens
Purpose: To establish and maintain a versatile botanical facility for Houston and the greater Gulf Coast region, serving the general public, the horticulture industry, and the scientific community. These 325 acres of East Texas Piney Woods showcase the region’s largest collection of native and cultivated plants.
Programs: Offered throughout the year and focus on gardening and plant related topics Eagle Scout project site. Guided Scavenger Hunts for students.
Major Events: Lunch Bunch Wednesday Talks: Join fellow gardeners the 2nd Wednesday of each month to hear expert speakers give talks on a variety of topics. Lunch is provided for a fee; March Mart Plant Sale: 4th Friday and Saturday in March. Garden Party and Auction: 1st Saturday in May. Summer Symposium: Renowned speakers enlighten attendees on how to create their own backyard paradise. Register early!; Garden Faire: Two full days of fall festival events with vendors. Food vendors and ‘Kid’s Korner’ activities; Garden Tours: Check the web for info on Coach Tours to Gardens throughout Texas.
Volunteer Opportunities: Expand your horticulture knowledge and make new friends while volunteering in the Gardens and the greenhouse. Other volunteer opportunities include working with children and guiding tours.
Suzanne Chapman, Horticultural Manager