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Back To School With Precinct 4
Precinct 4 parks have provided a source of learning for schools within the precinct for many years through targeted programs and resources. School districts, including Klein, Tomball, Aldine, Humble, and Cy-Fair, continue to benefit from taking part in everything local parks have to offer.
Though school may be different for students and families this year, Precinct 4 parks continue to do their part to provide educational resources. Learn more about Precinct 4’s virtual learning resources below.
Online Educator Resources
Education Program Coordinator Jason Naivar will lead programs developed in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department and The Nature Conservancy. The group implemented “Virtually Wild” for Texas schools in the spring and looks forward to continuing the effort for the upcoming school year. Learn more about the program here: https://www.esc4.net/services/videoconferencing/vc4u-content-partners/usfw/virtually-wild.
Precinct 4 will post virtual learning videos periodically on Jones Park’s social media platforms at https://www.facebook.com/JesseHJonesPark/. For more information on Jesse Jones Park’s educational resources, please visit https://www.hcp4.net/parks/jjp/resources/.
Field Trip Destinations
Jones Park offers guided nature tours and guided homestead tours highlighting 1830s Texas history. Both tours are available virtually. In-person visitors are subject to state guidelines for COVID-19 procedures, which limit group size and implement social distancing and mask requirements.
Additionally, Jones Park offers tours for specific age groups and programs that meet TEKS requirements. Learn more here: https://www.hcp4.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Jones-Park-Educator-Flyer.pdf.
Jones Park welcomes volunteers 16 or older, especially those affiliated with school groups like the National Honor Society or Key Club. Nonprofit groups and scout groups are also encouraged to volunteer for service projects. Learn more about Jesse Jones Park Volunteers at https://www.hcp4.net/parks/jjp/volunteer/.
- Jones Park hosts Career Day or Science Fair booths for schools within Precinct 4 for all students in first grade and up. Learn more here: https://www.hcp4.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Jones-Park-Educator-Flyer.pdf.
- Outreach Coordinator Richard Almeida will lead programs throughout the year that align with Texas school curriculums through Texas Wildlife Association. These programs emphasize ecoregions and types of soil. These programs will also be shared online for easy access for schools within Precinct 4.
- Cottontail Census – Ever wonder what a wildlife biologist does? Students can learn an essential part of the job by calculating the population of cottontail rabbits. Grades 3-6.
- Maria the Mockingbird – Want your children to be better stewards of the land and wildlife? Sign them up for this class exploring the basic needs of living things. Grades K-3.
- Blending Butterflies – Both predators and prey feature patterned fur and other traits that allow them to blend into their surroundings. Attend this fun-filled class to learn the science behind these traits and their importance.
- Observations with Leopold – Children will meet Aldo Leopold, a famous conservationist. Grades K-5.
- Texas Ecoregion Puzzle – Participants will identify the basic needs of the various animals in the ecoregions of Texas and learn good stewardship practices. As part of the class, students will make pocket prairies. Grades K-2.
- Tadpoles Club – This interactive program introduces preschool-aged children to nature with animals, puppets, crafts, and stories. Ages 3-4.
Jones Park encourages student participation in their many other educational programs throughout the year, including Bites, Stings, and Itches; Water Ecology Workshop; What’s Blooming in Jones Park; Women’s Day in the Homestead; and Native Dyes.
Mercer Botanic Gardens
Online Educator Resources
Mercer periodically posts virtual learning videos on its social media page at www.facebook.com/MercerBotanicGardens/.
For more information on educational resources at Mercer Botanic Gardens, please visit https://www.hcp4.net/parks/mercer/educators/.
Field Trip Destinations
Mercer makes a beautiful and educational field trip destination for students exploring the gardens in person or virtually.
We invite educators and parents to take advantage of the following resources:
- Teacher Resource Guide – Self-guided tours (Garden Safari)
- Scavenger Hunt
- Arboretum Hike & Hunt
- Geometry in the Garden (math)
- Numbers in Nature (math)
Guests are subject to state guidelines for COVID-19 procedures, which limit group size and implement social distancing and mask requirements.
Mercer welcomes volunteers 12 and older. Children 12-15 may volunteer, but must have parental supervision. Volunteers 16 and older may volunteer independently. By connecting with the park’s volunteer coordinator, students will have an opportunity to volunteer in areas of the gardens that best serve their interests.
Mercer offers Storytime in the Gardens and Music in the Gardens starting in September. Additional programs will be available throughout the year for children 2-5. Precinct 4’s outreach programs prioritize social distancing by limiting the number of attendees. Registration is required for all activities.