Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, a Harris County Precinct 4 nature park, is dedicated to environmental and natural history, education, wildlife conservation and passive recreation.
In 1978, Harris County Commissioners Court authorized the Cypress Creek Park Project to provide a greenbelt along Cypress and Spring Creeks as a recreational resource for the citizens of Harris County. This beginning effort laid the foundation for the current Spring Creek Greenway project that encompasses 4,000 acres of land purchased with public and private funds.
An initial survey of a section of land along Spring Creek revealed an exceptionally beautiful setting with a rich floodplain forest, cypress ponds, and white sand beaches.
Named for the late Jesse H. Jones (1875-1956) whose achievements in oil, real estate, and the Houston Chronicle amassed a large fortune, and whose family philanthropic foundation, The Houston Endowment, Inc., donated much of the funds needed to develop the park property, Jones Park is one of 20 developed parks within the Harris County Precinct 4 Parks Department.
The development of nature trails, a boardwalk, playground, and picnic area began in 1982, and 1984 marked the dedication of the nature center. Development of the Redbud Hill Homestead and Akokisa Indian Village, beginning in 1986, has added a unique historical and educational dimension to the park.
Today, thousands of visitors come to the park each year. Many of the visitors to Jones Park are with school field trips, scout groups, senior adult groups, families, and individuals.
Jones Park is located in northeast Harris County within the boundaries drawn on many old Big Thicket maps, and contains bottomland hardwood-pine forest plants and wildlife. The park has over 300 fenced acres and more than one-half mile of frontage on Spring Creek. Cypress ponds, which are scattered in a west to east drainage pattern that roughly parallels the creek, contain some of the largest bald cypress trees anywhere near Houston. Huge, ancient magnolias give more character to the forest. Loblolly pines, water oaks, and sweet gum trees dominate among the tall trees, and yaupons and ironwoods in the understory.