By Darlene Conley Hostetler,
Jones Park director
August 2017 was a month many Texans will never forget. Hurricane Harvey brought approximately 38 inches of rainfall over a five-day period to the Humble and Kingwood area and up to 50 inches of rain over the entire region. The San Jacinto River at Highway 59 crested at more than 69 feet, the highest in recent history. Flood waters overwhelmed the park up to the front entrance gate, measuring 6 feet 4 inches in the Nature Center – two feet higher than the 1994 flood event when the Nature Center flooded for the first time.
Despite damage to the Nature Center and our educational materials, we opened the park three weeks after Harvey and successfully hosted all three fall events, including Tricks & Treats Among the Trees, Pioneer Day, and Old-Fashioned Christmas. We owe a huge thank you to the many faithful volunteers who pitched in before, during, and after the flood with tasks like sorting, moving, cleaning, and washing. Also, just seeing their smiling faces right after the storm lifted our spirits! They worked in uncomfortable and unpleasant conditions, and we couldn’t have done it without them.
Renovation of the Nature Center is underway and major portions are expected to be complete in May. We still have months of recovery ahead, but with such dedicated staff and volunteers, we’ll pull through and come out stronger than before!