Hilltop Community Center is located at the highest natural point sits on 32-acres of land in Nueces County. The Hilltop Community Center was once the Hilltop Tuberculosis Sanitorium which was in operation from March 1953 until February 1968 and was operated and owned by the Nueces County Hospital District. From 1968 until 1975, the facility was home to the Texas State Board of Health and the American Heart & Lung Association. In 1977, the Nueces County Hospital District deeded the structures and land to Nueces County. In 1978, the Center was opened to non-profit groups and non-sports related activities for meetings at no charge. In 1981, the one room Old Nuecestown schoolhouse, constructed in the 1850's and operational until 1914, was moved onto the grounds of Hilltop were it was renovated. The Ault-Atkinson House was later moved onto the property, adjacent to the schoolhouse. Over the years, Hilltop received private donations and grants which help renovate many of the vacant rooms now utilized by the community for private events and local non-profits.
In 2006, through a grant provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife and funding from Nueces County, a nature area was created as well as the rehabilitation of a conference room in the southwest wing. The nature area provides outdoor enthusiasts two miles of walking trails, a skateboard park, playground equipment, three nature overlooks, foot bridges, workout stations, multipurpose sports field, horseshoe pits, a picnic pavilion with BBQ pits, as well as a covered bandstand rotunda. It was also through the private donations from Flint Hills Resources, HEB, Citgo, Charter Bank and the Regional Transportation Authority, as well as labor provided by local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for the flower gardens, this outdoor gathering area for families and friends came to be what it is today.
The Community Center provides satellite offices for the Nueces County Juvenile Probation Department. This allows probation officers to come into the community in order to serve the juveniles under their supervision throughout the rural areas of Nueces County. The Driscoll Children's Hospital Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program also utilizes the Hilltop Community Center as a satellite location. This program provides health and nutrition information and services to pregnant women, new mothers and children under the age of five. Services include health screening, medical referrals, immunizations, classes, nutritional assessments and assistance to mothers who breastfeed.
The Hilltop Community Center is operated daily by the Facility Coordinator, Elizabeth J. Montemayor and staff, who work under the supervision of Community Services and Inland Parks Director Edward Herrera. The County Commissioner for this park and the surrounding area is Mike Pusley.
The nature park and walking trail is open from 8:00am to 9:00pm, seven days a week. The trail within the park provides the public an opportunity to view the flora and fauna of the park without disturbing it. Visitors must adhere to the following guidelines in order to ensure the safety of not only other visitors, but the vegetation and natural habitants of the park:
- NO UNLEASHED PETS
- NO BIKES, SKATEBOARDS or SCOOTERS
- NO FEEDING WILDLIFE OR DISTURBING THEIR HABITAT
- VISITORS MUST STAY ON DESGINATED TRAIL, DO NOT ENTER INTO THE VEGETATION OF THE PARK
- PLACEMENT OF ALL TRASH INTO APPROPRIATE RECEPTICLES