May 2013
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In This Issue


Welcome to the May 2013 issue of Commissioner's E-Corner! It's hard to believe that so much of the year has already passed, but time flies when you're having fun! We've enjoyed an extended spring season with unusually cooler temperatures recently, but Precinct 4 has already begun preparing for the infamous summer months.


In this month's edition, you'll learn about a very important partnership we have with the Texas Forest Service. In preparing for the hot months to come, we're also considering that it will likely be very dry again and taking preventative measures to keep our communities safe. This is a great example of how Harris County works with many other agencies and groups to manage the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars.


Don't forget that you can access past issues of Commissioner's E-Corner on the Precinct 4 website. When you visit Precinct 4 online, you can also learn more about the road projects taking place, as well as the upcoming events at Precinct 4's community centers and parks, and Senior Adult Program activities through Fun4Seniors.


I hope you enjoy this month's edition, and we look forward to seeing you at some of our upcoming summer activities!


Commissioner R. Jack Cagle
Harris County Precinct 4
Hollister Grand Opening
Duncan Family Precinct 4 recently celebrated the completion of Hollister Street, which extends from FM 1960 all the way to Beltway 8.
This improvement project provides an essential alternate transportation route for commuters in the fast-growing area of northwest Harris County. Updates include expanding the roadway to four lanes and improved drainage as a result of curbs and gutters.
While growth and development are certainly worth commemorating, it's also significant to take a look back at the history of an area and remember the legacy of the families that originally settled there.
In changing the name of Duncan Road to Hollister Street, the county agreed to recognize the Duncan family with signs signifying "Historical Duncan Road" to memorialize the family's legacy in the formerly remote area. 
TFS Creates Fire Break at Jones Park
Texas Forestry Service
Harris County continues to feel the effects of the drought from 2011, and there are many trees still in need of removal. Our Precinct 4 Parks and Road & Bridge staff continue to identify trees that are in danger of falling or dropping limbs onto private property, park trails and county roads.
With the tragic wildfires that occurred in Bastrop and Montgomery counties, along with the severe drought and signs for another dry season, wildfire continues to be a threat across Texas.
Fortunately, the Texas Forest Service (TFS) Fuels Reduction Crew works to create fire breaks that help prevent the spread of wildfire in the event of a disaster. The crew recently visited Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center to create a 130- to 150-foot-wide fire break along the park's eastern boundary. The project included clearing all of the dead trees and snags, and mulching all of the smaller brush and deadfall. Many of the dead trees were against the fence line and trails, which posed several safety issues. 
We are thankful for our partnership with TFS and the crew who spent a week away from their Smithville, Texas homes to help make our parks and communities safer. We look forward to seeing them again soon as they have committed to another week of removing threatening trees in Precinct 4.  

Kingwood Library Expands Hours
Kingwood Library Beginning June 1, Kingwood Library's operating hours are expanding from five to six days a week. Now, residents will have more opportunities to access the library's continually-refreshed collection of books, journals, movies and music in addition to the wide range of library services.

To celebrate the new hours, Commissioner Cagle and the Harris County Public Library System are hosting a reception on Thursday, May 23 at 4 p.m. 

Please join us to recognize the valuable amenities and expert assistance provided by library staff and the extended hours.

To learn more about the Harris County Public Library system and the Kingwood branch, please visit

Precinct 4 Kicks Off Mowing Season
Mowing in Precinct 4
Precinct 4's Road & Bridge crews are preparing for the warm summer months ahead and recently kicked off mowing season in the area.
The Road & Bridge Department of Precinct 4 works to uphold the quality and safety of the public roadways by providing concrete and culvert repairs, mowing, resurfacing and repaving projects, sign repair/replacement, sinkhole repairs, trash pick-up, and more.

Precinct 4's Summer Programs for Children
JJP Summer Nature Camp
Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens


Children's Story Time in the Garden

Third Monday of the month, 10:30 -11:30 a.m.

        Children's Librarian Maggie Hope at Baldwin Boettcher, along with Mercer volunteer docents, share some of their favorite nature books with children and their parents in the Mercer gardens. A craft project is included. Check in at the Visitor Center for the specific location. Free. 


May 20: Bumblebee, Bumblebee, Do you know me? by Anne Rockwell

June 17: Inch by Inch by David Mallet

July 15: Crunching, Munching, Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain

August 19: Come On, Rain by Karen Hesse


Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center

Summer Nature Camp

        Summer Nature Camp, held during summer break each year, is a four-day (Tuesday through Friday) nature program for children between the ages of 5 and 12. Featuring a variety of themed nature subjects and held mostly outdoors, camp sessions include ranger talks, guided nature walks through the forest, and visits to the ponds, swamps, and Spring Creek. The games, activities, and crafts are suited for age brackets of 5 and 6, 7 through 9, and 10 through 12. Four-day sessions focus on each age bracket, and participants must be able to attend the full week of activities.

The 10- through 12-year-old activities include Junior Canoe Training and a field trip. Space is limited in each bracket, and registration for Harris County residents begins the first Saturday in May at 8 a.m. A valid parent's identification and proof of the child's birth date is required at the time of registration. Registration for residents outside of Harris County begins the first Sunday in May and is based on space availability. Please call 281-446-8588 for more information or to register.


"An Amazing Race" 

Registration began Saturday, May 4 at 8 a.m.

Ages 5-6, from 9 a.m. to noon
          June 11, 12, 13, and 14 
          June 18, 19, 20, and 21

Ages 7-9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
          June 25, 26, 27, and 28 
          July 16, 17, 18, and 19
          August 6, 7, 8, and 9

Ages 10-12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
          July 9, 10, 11, and 12 
          July 23, 24, 25, and 26
          July 30 and 31 and August 1 and 2


May Community Center

Children of all ages can gather to play at May Community Center this summer during a variety of fun-filled activities scheduled for Tuesdays, June 11 through July 30. A $3 per child, per program suggested donation is encouraged and helps defray the costs of entertainment and refreshments. Advance registration is required. For more information and to register, please stop by the Center or call 281-324-3373.

A Trip to the World of Fables

Tuesday, June 11 at 10 a.m.

Join storyteller Jean Donatto as she puts a creative spin on time-tested fables such as "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and "The Ant and the Grasshopper." These fables are a great way to learn that a good choice is always available.

YUCK! The Game Show

Tuesday, June 18 at 10 a.m.

Getting messy is part of the fun in this interactive stage show featuring a variety of fast-paced stunts and physical challenges. Children from the audience compete in a series of messy games (non-staining) and wacky physical stunts, and one lucky child will get "slimed" in the end!

Top Secret Detective School

Tuesday, June 25 at 10 a.m.

Learn about a few of the skills needed to be the next Sherlock Holmes: pass a lie detector test, detect a counterfeit bill, and decode a secret message. Don't miss out on the excitement of Top Secret Detective School!

U.S.A. Birthday Bash

Tuesday, July 2 at 10 a.m.

Celebrate America's birthday and join in the fun as we go all out for the red, white and blue! Participants are encouraged to dress in their patriotic best, and bring a friend to this party that is complete with Harmony the Clown, Abby the Monkey, cake and ice cream.

Professor Chrome Dome

Tuesday, July 9 at 10 a.m.

Professor Chrome Dome is in the house, delighting children of all ages with exciting magic and fast-moving fun including vanishes, illusions, escapes, sleight-of-hand, and storytelling with magical endings.

Mad Science

Tuesday, July 16 at 10 a.m.

POOF! Be amazed by indoor fireworks, bubbling potions, spectacular chemical reactions, vortex generators, special effects, and more! Don't miss out on the non-stop, eye-popping excitement as May Community Center is turned into a Mad Science laboratory.


Houston ZooMobile

Tuesday, July 23 at 10 a.m.

Texas is a big place that has many different habitats. From the Pineywoods to the Panhandle, the Red River to the Rio Grande, join the Houston Zoo as they provide a tour of the state and reveal the amazing diversity of animals that call Texas home.

Splish Splash!

Tuesday, July 30 at 10 a.m.

This water slide isn't called the Big Kahuna for nothing! Cool off from the hot Texas heat and experience the thrill of riding down 37 feet of wet mountain fun! Please note: A bathing suit (worn under clothes), sunscreen, towel, and water shoes are recommended.


Mangum-Howell Center

Children of all ages are welcome to join the fun-filled activities planned at Mangum-Howell Center Thursdays, June 13 through July 25. Registration is required for all programs and begins Monday, May 13. A $2 per person suggested donationhelps defray the cost of special entertainment, supplies and refreshments provided at each program. Activities begin promptly; please arrive 20 minutes prior to each program's start time. A parent or adultmust accompany children under the age of 18. For more information and to register, please stop by the Center or call 281-591-7830.

Banana Split and Zumba Party

Thursday, June 13 at 1 p.m.

Juana Hernandez, Mangum-Howell Center's Zumba instructor, cranks up the music for kids to shake, wiggle and have a blast with friends. At this interactive party with music and dancing, build a "fun"tastic banana split complete with toppings of chocolate or caramel syrup, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry.

The Turtle Lady

Thursday, June 20 at 10:30 a.m.

Learn all about turtles from the smallest to the largest species, and pet a 50-pound turtle during this program. Then make a tasty "turtle" treat to eat.

Kids in Action

Thursday, June 27 at 10:30 a.m.

Kids will not want to miss this fun and action-packed day of games and exercises. Popcorn and lemonade are served at this event.


Children's Bingo

Thursday, July 11 at 10:30 a.m.

B5...I17...N31...G53...O71...BINGO! Join in the fun with great prizes, and the chance to yell "BINGO!" Cheesy nachos and lemonade are served at this event.

Texas Snakes and More

Thursday, July 18 at 10:30 a.m.

Snakes! Snakes! Snakes! Learn about the local varieties of Texas snakes and see a few that are a little more exotic. And really adventurous participants can even touch one! Stick around for a "squirmy" snack.

Ronald McDonald Magic Show

Thursday, July 25 at 10:30 a.m.

Clown around with Ronald at this fun-filled magic show, followed by a snack of cookies and punch!

Donated Trees Planted at Collins Park
Collins Park Trees for Houston recently donated 250 trees, a variety of oaks ranging from 3 gallons to 45 gallons, to be planted at Collins Park. Parks staff worked to get the new trees in the ground and mulched.
Trees for Houston is a nonprofit organization dedicated to planting, protecting and promoting trees across the greater-Houston area. For more information regarding Trees for Houston, visit

Upcoming May Activities
Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center:
Composting. Sat., May 18, 10 a.m. Join a park naturalist to learn about composting and how to turn kitchen waste into garden gold. All ages.


Scavenger Hunt. Sat., May 25, 10 a.m. Young nature lovers, parents and scout groups are invited to join this nature discovery outing. Ages 5-15. Reservations begin Wed., May 15 by calling 281-446-8588.

Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens:

Watercolor Technique Workshop. Sat., May 18, 9 a.m.-noon. Attend this class to explore the techniques and wonder of watercolor through live demonstrations. The class fee is $40, and a supply list will be provided following registration. Please call 281-443-8731 for details and to register.

Community Centers/Senior Adult Program:
Senior Adult Program: Spring Birding Trip. Thurs., May 23, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Join birding guide and naturalist Glenn Olsen to visit various birding sites in the Houston area for a glimpse of the beautiful species in the area. For more information or to register, please call 281-893-3726 or visit

Commissioner R. Jack Cagle

Harris County Precinct 4
1001 Preston, Suite 950

Houston, Texas 77002

By phone:  713-755-6444

By fax:   713-755-8801


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