The Mercer Botanic Gardens is a large park and botanical garden located in Humble. The Gardens are open at varying times throughout the year. The general hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., which occurs between March 19th and September 30th. The fall and winter months offer different, limited hours. Additionally, the gardens are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and January 1st.
The Mercer Botanical Garden started with Thelma and Charles Mercer. In the late 1940s, they purchased 14.5 acres of land near Cypress Creek. Thelma and Charles selectively cleared the land and filled it with Thelma’s favorite plant life, including many native species. Upon their retirement, the Mercers convinced the county to purchase the land and create a horticultural facility that could be enjoyed by the public and help educate the youth.
The Mercer Botanical Gardens are now owned by Harris County, Precinct 4, and operated with the assistance of a local non-profit organization called The Mercer Society. The original 14.5 acres has grown since its inception into over 300 acres. Along with this growth, the botanical gardens have expanded their plant life significantly. The Mercer Society boasts that the Mercer Botanical Garden “holds the region’s largest collection of native and cultivated plants.”
In keeping with this diverse collection of plants, Mercer Botanical Gardens helps maintain the National Collection of Endangered Plants for the Center for Plant Conservation. The garden houses over 24 of these plants and has an allocated area, the Endangered Species Garden, to showcase the endangered plants. Additionally, Mercer partners with the Millennium Seed Bank to offer volunteer training in Texas.
Beyond the impressive horticultural collection, the Mercer Botanical Gardens hosts a wide variety of events and programs. These activities include annual events, such as a summer garden club, as well as regular programs like the Children’s Storytime in the Garden. Furthermore, Mercer Botanical Gardens holds Summer Camps for kids to help kids “explore nature through hands-on activities and games.”