"Spring Creek is alive with wildlife |
above and below the water."
- Dennis Johnston, Harris County Pct. 4
Migratory songbirds also visit the creek to rest and refuel after crossing the Gulf of Mexico on their annual spring migration from Central and South America. Other birds, such as white pelicans, visit in the winter while others stay year-round.
Other notable birds include the Swainson’s warbler, which attracts birdwatchers from all over the world, and the easternmost nesting pair of green kingfishers ever documented. That is a testament to the creek's water quality, because this species requires a habitat with a clean water supply. (Photo copyright (c) 2006 Michael Gray)
Long-time naturalist at Jesse Jones Park, Carmine Stahl, gives his take on
Spring Creek may not have river status, but in some places, it’s as wide as the San Jacinto River. The banks of Spring Creek feature Southern magnolias, red bay trees, river birches, black willows, and horsetail reeds, creating a rainforest-like atmosphere.
Along the creek, visitors often can see deer crossing in shallow places and river otters slide along the bank, while raccoons, opossums, and many other creatures come out at night. The stream features a rich variety of fish, and is the most pristine water stream in the Houston area. Pileated woodpeckers, kingfishers, and many other birds can be seen flying from side to side across the creek. And the amazing thing is that it is just a short distance from Houston, the fourth largest metropolitan area in the nation!
White bass migrate through during springtime, and you can catch other bass species, catfish, crappie, and freshwater drum year-round.
Bayou Land Conservancy and
Butterfly Enthusiasts of Southeast Texas (BEST) host a
Butterfly Count at the Montgomery County Preserve every June.
Across from Jesse Jones Park, just upstream from where Spring Creek runs into the San Jacinto River, lies a freshwater spring on a high bluff that naturalists and anthropologists believe to be the 'Springs of Santa Rosa,' the home site for the Akokisa Indians that were written about in historical accounts of Spanish explorers. Although the site is unconfirmed, the springs are a registered historic site with the Texas Historical Commission. However, the land is currently owned by a developer.
Read more about Spring Creek's fascinating
This section provides links to other regional nature parks, government and
nonprofit organizations that may be helpful.
Want to learn more about local edible plants used by ancient Native Americans? Carmine “Papa” Stahl, author of Trees of Texas and long-time naturalist at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, wants to teach you. Stahl has graciously allowed the Precinct 4 Parks Department to reprint sections of his booklet,
Papa Stahl's Wild Stuff Cookbook.
Research shows that protecting the environment—including the air, water, forest, and wildlife—benefits our health, finances, and quality of life.
Improving the quality of our forests and trees results in the following:
- Increases real estate values and community pride.
- Improves air quality and reduces pollution.
- Lowers air temperatures.
- Provides a buffer against flooding.
- Lowers your AC bill.
- Improves health, and aids illness recovery.
Learn more about the many
Benefits of Trees, and how
they help in ways you've never realized.
Without trees and plants, people and animals wouldn’t exist. There would be no vegetables, bread, or wood to build homes. It would be a very empty world indeed. Want to learn more about trees?
Check out the
Spring Creek Tree Guide, which provides interesting facts about many of the trees and shrubs found in the region.
Students of all ages have visited or taken field trips
to Spring Creek, learning about nature, ecology, and ways to protect our environment, among other things. Visit our