Photo 1: Mercer volunteers Willadene and Don Graves enjoy the appreciation luncheon.

Photo 2: Debbie Peterson, Cynthia Douglas and Cindy Young pose at Mercer’s luncheon.  
Photo 3: Mercer’s Education Director Jennifer Garrison and Tami Benton of The Mercer Society greet guests at the luncheon.

Harris County Precinct 4’s Mercer Botanic Gardens concluded a year-long celebration of its 40th anniversary with a volunteer luncheon, featuring Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, director of Missouri Botanical Garden, as guest speaker.

This momentous year was recognized with a quartet of world-renowned speakers who offered presentations at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, showcasing prime elements of their work in the botanical, environmental conservation and horticultural fields. Commissioner R. Jack Cagle kicked off festivities early this year with the rededication of a statue of Thelma Mercer, which was relocated to the entrance of the botanic gardens to greet visitors.

In 1974, Harris County Commissioners Court approved the addition of Thelma and Charles Mercer’s 14.5-acre naturalistic garden property along Cypress Creek. Over the years, their legacy has expanded to 325 acres of premier parkland for the greater-Houston area and Texas Gulf Coast region to enjoy. 

“We know that there are thousands of other plant species that need our help and protection, here in the United States and around the world,” said Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson. “It is then part of the mission, part of the challenge, for gardens like Mercer to play a role in sustaining plants for now, for the future and for future generations.”

With leadership from Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, Mercer Botanic Gardens is a Harris County Precinct 4 Parks facility located one mile north of FM 1960 at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road in Humble, 77338. For more information, contact Mercer at 281-443-8731 or visit


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