Activities

Canoeing and Kayaking

Precinct 4 offers launches at Collins Park, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, and Pundt Park for those interested in canoeing/kayaking Spring or Cypress Creeks and associated waterways.

Precinct 4 Canoeing/Kayaking Rules and Regulations

Please review the following information and submit a completed Canoeing/Kayaking Reservation Form to Harris County Precinct 4 prior to launching.

Rules:

  • Online reservation forms must be submitted Monday through Friday before 3 p.m. This includes reservations for weekend trips.
  • Notice must be given to the Harris County Precinct 4 launch and/or retrieval location at least 24 hours in advance of launch for weekday trips. Weekend reservations must be submitted by 3 p.m. on Friday.
  • Completed reservation forms and advance notice of canoe/kayak trips are processed at Jones Park, Mercer Arboretum, Pundt Park, and the Parks Reservations Office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Canoes/kayaks may not be launched and retrieved from the same Precinct 4 location.
  • Visitors should be aware of the water conditions on their planned date and route.
  • Vehicles remaining at a Harris County Precinct 4 location after hours are subject to towing at the owner's expense.
  • Collins Park, Jones Park, Mercer Arboretum, and Pundt Park do not rent canoes/kayaks. (Tip: SouthWest PaddleSports in The Woodlands rents canoes.)
  • Trip start times should be scheduled early in the day to ensure completion before the parks are closed.

    Download Canoeing/Kayaking Reservation Form (PDF)

    Approximate trip durations:

    Collins Park* to Mercer Arboretum* (8 hours)

    Cypress Creek at the Cypresswood Drive bridge between Treaschwig and FM 1960 to Jones Park* (4 hours)

    Jones Park* to Edgewater Park at Highway 59 and Hamblen Road (2 hours)

    Mercer Arboretum* to Jones Park* (5 hours)
    (This primitive launch offers physically fit, agile canoeists/kayakers access to Cypress Creek.)

    Pundt Park* to Jones Park* (6 hours)

    Riley-Fuzzel Preserve (Montgomery County) to
    Jones Park* (8 hours)

*Identifies facilities maintained by Harris County Precinct 4. All others are operated by separate entities.

Note: Precinct 4 Parks are open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

Harris County Precinct 4
Launch and/or Retrieval Locations:

Collins Park
6727 Cypresswood Drive
Spring, Texas 77379
Phone (281) 353-4196 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center
20634 Kenswick Drive
Humble, Texas 77338
Phone: (281) 446-8588
Fax: (281) 446-8832
E-mail: jjp@hcp4.net

Hours of Operation
Entrance gate closes 30 minutes prior to park closing.
December through January: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
November and February: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
March through October: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Nature Center
Open daily from: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens
22306 Aldine Westfield Road
Humble, Texas 77338-1071
Phone: (281) 443-8731
Fax: (281) 209-9767
E-mail: mercerarboretum@hcp4.net

Summer Hours (Begins the first Monday in April)
Arboretum (west side of Aldine Westfield)
Botanic Gardens (east side of Aldine Westfield)
Monday-Saturday: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Visitor Center
Monday-Saturday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Winter Hours (CST)
Arboretum (west side of Aldine Westfield)
Botanic Gardens (east side of Aldine Westfield)
Daily: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Visitor Center
Daily: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Pundt Park
4129 Spring Creek Drive
Spring, Texas 77373
Phone (281) 353-4196 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or
(832) 527-7436 after hours and weekends.

Hours of Operation
December through January: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
November and February: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
March through October: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Other Launch and/or Retrieval Locations:

For more information regarding launch and/or retrieval sites in Montgomery County and The Woodlands:

Montgomery County Parks Department
301 North Thompson, Suite 104
Conroe, Texas 77301
Phone: (936) 788-8325
Fax: (936) 760-6958
www.co.montgomery.tx.us/parks

SouthWest PaddleSports
26322 I-45 North, Exit 76A
Phone: (281) 292-5600

Events and Programs


Mercer holds several popular events and programs annually.

For a current list of events and programs, click here.

Annual Events

March Mart "Members Only" Plant Sale
Thursday, March 24, 2011
VIP Membership: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
TMS Members: Noon to 2 p.m.

March Mart Plant Sale
Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26, 2011 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

March Mart, Mercer's largest plant sale, is held the fourth Friday and Saturday in March and highlights unusual and choice plant varieties unavailable in local markets. For more information on March Mart, click here.

Garden Party and Auction
Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

At this event, party-goers dine under the stars while bidding on unique and extraordinary treasures. Cocktails and a silent auction kick off the evening at 5 p.m. followed by dinner and a live auction. Proceeds benefit special garden projects and programs at Mercer.

Tropical Symposium
Saturday, July 23, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This symposium and sale, held the fourth Saturday in July, features tropicals, gingers, and other local favorite plants that thrive with heat and humidity.

Children's Summer Programs

Each summer, Mercer staff and volunteers host hands-on activities and outdoor observations for children ages 9 to 12 years old. This three-day program covers bird species and identification, reptiles and amphibians, and butterflies and dragonflies. For program and registration information, click here.

Bamboo Festival
Next festival to be hosted in 2012

Local bamboo experts are on hand to discuss all things bamboo during this two-day festival. Each day features a talk, a workshop, and plant sale.

Garden Faire & Fall Festival
Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and
Sunday, September 25, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Garden Faire is held the fourth Saturday and Sunday in September and features regional plant societies, local artists who specialize in garden art, and garden-related authors. Garden-related art, books, and plants are available for purchase. For more information, click here.

Ongoing Programs

Lunch Bunch meets on the second Wednesday of the month from noon to 2 p.m. Bring a lunch to enjoy while listening to a lecture on a variety of garden topics. For a program schedule, click here.

Gardeners CEU Classes meet the third Tuesday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon. Need to earn credit for CEU hours, or just want to learn more about gardening? Plan now to attend these garden-related classes.

Mercer Bamboo Meetings are held the fourth Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon, except in November and December. Monthly meetings feature hands-on training in the bamboo gardens.

Educational Programs
Mercer places a high priority on education. Adult programs include horticultural workshops, seminars, demonstrations, continuing education, and the Texas Gulf Coast Gardening educational series . Children can participate in a variety of programs and classes, and receive support for science projects. Internships are available for high school and college students.

Houston Activities

From the everyday to the esoteric, Houston attractions are sure to satisfy almost any curiosity. The Houston Space Center, Downtown Aquarium, Houston Zoo and surrounding parks offer family-friendly activities, and the Houston Museum District is sure to please even the most discerning art patron. Sports fans will marvel at the modernity of Minute Maid Park and Reliant Park, as well as the recently constructed Toyota Center. For those seeking attractions off the beaten path, Houston sights such as the Orange Show Monument and the National Museum of Funeral History will undoubtedly appease a desire for the unusual. Any way you slice it, Houston has something for everyone.

Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

www.hcp4.net/mercer

Mercer is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Note: Mercer's hours of operation are subject to change; please check the website regularly for current hours.

An oasis of serenity and natural beauty along Cypress Creek, Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens is a horticultural masterpiece. These 300 acres of East Texas Piney Woods showcase the region's largest collection of native and cultivated plants. A living museum, it is also home to a wealth of animal life.

Mercer invites you to join the dedicated group of volunteers who share their time, talent, knowledge, and enthusiasm to help make Mercer a premier botanic facility.

Mercer, rooted in volunteer commitment

Since opening to the public in 1974, Mercer has flourished from a strong volunteer base.

Volunteers help with all aspects of the gardens. They work alongside staff in the gardens and greenhouses, lead education tours, improve the Mercer library, and catalogue plant specimens for the herbarium.

From building benches and propagating plants to organizing March Mart , the largest plant sale fund-raiser in Southeast Texas, there is a variety of fun and interesting volunteer opportunities.

Mercer's volunteers include plant and nature enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels including community groups, corporations, Master Gardeners, Texas Gulf Coast Gardeners, and many more.

Mercer, offering volunteer benefits

The volunteer coordinator matches the applicant's interests and talents to exciting volunteer opportunities. New volunteers receive excellent job training, including tours of Mercer's facilities and gardens. Refresher training sessions are also available for experienced volunteers.

Mercer offers job diversity. From digging in the dirt, to educating people, to working on the computer, there is something for everyone at Mercer. Become a garden assistant, trail guide, administrative assistant, financial specialist, collection curator, special event planner, or any of the over 25 different positions. Volunteers also enjoy flexible work hours and a range of commitment levels.

 

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