Rotarians recently took a virtual trip through the more than 3,800 acres of parks in north Houston.
The tour guide was Kennedy Purser of Harris County Precinct 4. The occasion was the weekly Zoom meeting of the Rotary Club of the Lake Houston Area Oct. 21.
“There are 42 parks and 41 walking-and-biking trails in Precinct 4, which includes the Lake Houston area, and they’re all open,” said Purser. “COVID-19 created quite a need for getting outside and having something to do. Our Precinct 4 parks provided that.”
All those parks, trails, sports fields, camping, canoeing, kayaking and fishing areas are crucial to a population that rivals many states. Purser noted that Harris County has as many residents as the entire state of Louisiana, 4.7 million. There are 1.3 million of those residents living in Precinct 4.
“In spite of COVID-19, we’re still hosting events, although many of them are virtual,” she said. “Check our website, hcp4.net, and our Facebook page, facebook.com/HCPrecinct4, for our current listings.”
Events on the page include Fall Movie Nights presented at the various parks and Holiday in the Gardens at Mercer Botanic Gardens, which includes music, food, crafts, a holiday market, winter plant sale and a Children’s Corner.
Purser focused on Precinct 4’s newest park, the 90-acre Edgewater Park at Loop 494 and Hamblen Road next to Forest Cove.
“There have been a lot of delays but, when the park is complete, it will include a boat launch for canoeing, kayaking and boating, pedestrian and bicycle greenway, picnic tables, restrooms, lighting, even a fish-cleaning station,” she said.
Edgewater Park is an important anchor park for the Spring Creek Greenway, a walking-and-biking trail that, when completed, will stretch through 7,000 acres of forest from Highway 249 in Tomball east to U.S. Highway 59 in Kingwood. The trails at Edgewater Park will connect with the Bevil Jarrel Memorial Bridge, recently renovated by TxDOT.
Spring Creek Greenway stretches more than 16 miles from the San Jacinto River bridge at Highway 59 to Interstate 45.
The City of Houston is acquiring land that will extend the Spring Creek Greenway Trail from Edgewater Park east along the San Jacinto to River Grove Park off of Woodland Hills Drive in Kingwood.
Besides serving as a fun place to take the family, Edgewater Park also will function as a flood mitigation area, Purser said, “…we would rather have our parks flood than our homes.”
Precinct 4, under Commissioner Jack Cagle, teamed with Whitmeyer’s Distilling Co. and has distributed more than 25,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to first responders, not-for-profit agencies and area school districts, Purser said.
In his weekly report, Club President Mike Kevlin said, with the approval of Rotary International, the club has officially changed its name to The Rotary Club of the Lake Houston Area.
Kevlin also complimented Dr. Roger Brown and Humble ISD for their support for the club’s Junior Rotarian program which currently includes 12 young people, two from each Humble ISD high school. The club is hosting Zoom meetings for students interested in participating in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. Interested students and families can learn more at ryehouston.com.