“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder, American writer (1867-1957)
Jones Park has plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and old-fashioned activities to sustain you through the COVID-19 closures. Patrons have expressed their appreciation that the park has mostly remained open, giving folks a place to walk, fish, take pictures, have picnics, or bicycle along the Spring Creek Greenway Trail. Kudos to our great visitors who continue to be mindful of social distancing and refrain from using contact points like park benches, picnic tables, and playgrounds.
Spring Break-Out attracted many visitors, and NatureFest 2020 in early March was a fantastic event, with 1,191 in attendance and 32 exhibitors, including a few first-timers. Thank you volunteers for your great assistance. A week later, the stay-home order went into effect. With the direction of Commissioner Cagle and the assistance of our Communications Department, we were excited to launch Jones Park’s first Facebook Live video of historical program coordinator Katrina Yordy presenting a natural dyes program. If you’ve not yet had a chance to view the video, it is still available on the Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center Facebook page. We will also add other educational videos to Facebook, so be sure to like and follow our page.
Because of school closures, we have missed hosting nature and pioneer tours for students – and especially working with the Quest Early College High School students. We want to thank Quest students for their time volunteering at Jones Park on Fridays during the 2019-20 school year, and we wish the graduating seniors the best of success.
Jones Park horse trails opened this spring after a few final adjustments to the trails and additional signage. We hope that the equestrian community takes advantage of the special interior views of Jones Park’s forest along Spring Creek. You can access the Jones Park equestrian trails at the far east entrance of the Spring Creek Greenway Trail near U.S. Highway 59 or from the Pundt Park horse trails heading east through Jones Park’s far west entrance. The Jones Park trail map now includes the horse trails and is available on our website.
Congratulations to Jesse Jones Park Volunteer member Nancy Ramirez, who was named Volunteer of the Year by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Southeast Texas. We are so proud that Nancy can represent Jones Park’s volunteers in such an outstanding way. Thank you, Nancy, for all that you do!
We are hopeful that summer programs will resume as normal, and we look forward to seeing all the volunteers again soon. Be sure to check out the summer volunteer opportunities. Don’t miss the next JJPV meeting Monday, June 29, at 7 p.m., and be sure to bring a friend!
Be safe and take care!
Darlene Conley Hostetler, Park Director