News Categories: Trails As Parks (TAP)

21 Jun
By: Communications 0

Summer Events at Levy Park

Precinct 4 programs are now in even more locations! Guests will explore local fishing, nature, herb gardening, and urban wildlife. Check out these four action-packed events throughout June, July, and August at the City of Houston’s Levy Park.

  • Backyard Bass. Wednesday, June 26, from 10 a.m. to noon. Practice casting a fishing rod while on land and learn about common freshwater fish species in Harris County. Ashley DeLeon Torres, outdoor education coordinator at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve, leads this fun-filled activity.
  • Walk in Nature. Tuesday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to noon. Walk on the wild side with Precinct 4’s Trails As Parks. Explore animal skins, skulls, and tracks with Kristina Linberk, director of the Trails As Parks program.
  • Herbs: Your Own Scratch ‘n Sniff Garden. Wednesday, July 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. Explore the colors, textures, and fragrances of an assortment of herbs during this hands-on presentation from Jennifer Garrison, education director at Mercer Botanic Gardens, and Jamie Hartwell, Mercer’s volunteer coordinator. Learn about the cultural requirements, culinary inspiration, historical aspects, and folklore of different herbs.
  • Tall Tails: Urban Wildlife Myth Busters Tuesday, July 23, from 10 a.m. to noon. Anni Ranck, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center’s outreach coordinator, dispels common myths concerning local urban wildlife. Participants will discover how myths begin, solutions to common wildlife problems, and that truth really is stranger than fiction.
  • Nature Night. Saturday, Aug. 17, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Celebrate the end of the Summer Nature Series with an evening filled with outdoor fun! Enjoy a showing of Disney’s Monkey Kingdom on the big screen, along with a variety of outdoor activities. Nature enthusiasts will fall in love with this documentary following a family of monkeys navigating the complex social hierarchies of the jungle.

Parking is available along the park or on Wakeforest Avenue and Eastside Street. Additional public parking is available in the parking garage located at 2925 Richmond for a fee.

Levy Park is a vibrant six-acre City of Houston park located in the heart of the Upper Kirby District that leverages innovative environmental practices and hosts a multitude of family-friendly and community inclusive programming. The maintenance, operation, and programming of the Park is managed by the Levy Park Conservancy, an affiliate of the Upper Kirby District Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization.

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29 Mar
By: Communications 0

Precinct 4’s Unofficial Historian

By Alicia Alaniz

There’s something special about the way Monte Parks retells historical events that brings the past to life.

For more than 15 years, Parks has taught early Texas history, first as a programmer and tour guide at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center and now as assistant superintendent for the Harris County Precinct 4 Parks Department.

“I always try to teach what was going on in the world that led the earliest Texans to their decisions and what happened as a result. People respond much better to that type of history than just names and dates,” Parks says. “I also try to show how things going on in the world today relate to history.”

Although Parks has always loved history, he didn’t become an expert overnight. The process required years of dedicated independent study and an insatiable thirst for knowledge.

“I read about 200 history books over the past 15 years. If I was going to teach Texas history, I needed to know more than the park visitors or students,” Parks says.

He also started participating in historical re-enactments during festivals and field trips at Jones Park. As a re-enactor, Parks would outfit himself in authentic apparel and demonstrate the lifestyles of early Texans. Along the way, he picked up a few pioneer skills, such as woodworking and blacksmithing.

“I’m a better storyteller and have more appreciation for our early ancestors here in Texas thanks to re-enacting. When you’re working on a pioneer homestead or cooking over an open fire, you’re living the part of someone from history,” Parks explains. “The experience was eye opening. Life on the frontier was hard. Everyone in the family had to work to make it a success.”

A turning point in his career came when a group of senior adults touring the Redbud Hill Homestead at Jones Park asked him to speak at a meeting for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Soon, his reputation as a lively presenter led to regular requests from various groups and organizations, including a class at Lone Star College-Tomball.

Today, his undeniable passion and refreshing approach to Texas history is present in every lecture, pontoon boat tour, and senior adult bus trip he leads.

Parks currently oversees Precinct 4’s Trails As Parks Division, which is a mobile team that works to connect people with nature through outdoor recreation, ecotourism, and environmental education.

You can also find him sharing presentations at Precinct 4’s community centers or at one of five Lone Star College campuses in between tours with senior adults to historical landmarks.

“There is so much to discover. I try to learn something new every day,” Parks says.

“I believe in lifelong learning, and I enjoy giving others an opportunity to continue learning too.”

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19 Oct
By: HCP4 Admin 0

Precinct 4’s Senior Passport Series

A new partnership between Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program and Trails As Parks (TAP) aims to make outdoor recreational activities more accessible to senior adults.

Starting Tuesday, Oct. 23, anyone 50 years of age and better can sign up for senior-friendly TAP activities such as fishing, archery, hiking, stargazing, pontoon boat tours, and more through Precinct 4’s Senior Passport Series.

Sign up for one or many events! Participating seniors will receive complimentary transportation to activities and track their progress with a TAP passport card. Anyone who completes at least five activities can attend a finale event with lunch at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve Tuesday, May 14.

Register for senior-friendly TAP activities online at www.hcp4.net/sap.

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