A New Master Plan for Amarillo Parks Is In The Works
Not too long ago the city went to the public and asked a loaded question... Just exactly how important are parks here in the Yellow City and what should be spent on them. There were plenty of folks who responded and the survey results show folks genuinely would like to see parks stick around, there is clearly a budget shortfall that is going to have Amarillo Parks and Rec staring down some pretty tough choices.
Some of the actions that are starting to take shape from this input were discussed with City Council and there are already some interesting ideas floating around
There's a push for the larger parks
Bigger regional and community parks like John Stiff, Medi, Thompson, Southeast would get higher priority for maintenance and upkeep while some of the smaller neighborhood parks might see a decrease. It makes sense these bigger parks can host more folks at a time and take more to maintain. There is also more room at these regional parks for fitness and exercise opportunities. Interestingly enough according to the survey folks would like to see the already strained Amarillo ISD pick up some of the maintenance for the smaller school parks and take the load off the city How this factors in to the new potential master plan has yet to be determined.
There's a push for infrastructure too
Of course they also want to ensure that what existing infastructure in parks also stays maintained. it doesn't help that they have to repair vandalism especially when the funding of only a little over 100,000 a year only goes so far. For a city it's size Amarillo should be spending several million a year on it's parks according to its own survey. Some of it's numbers point to almost $30 million in infrastructure work alone. Hmm.. that number isn't too far off from the cancelled certificates of obligation that would pay for a new city hall. I think parks is the better investment. Just sayin'
It's going to be interesting to see how council reacts and ultimately what goes into the new master plan and parks also admits its looking to Texas Parks and Wildlife for collaboration where its possible. I think we all want the same thing at the end of the day, parks we can be proud of and a nice place to just get away for a few minutes right around the corner.
By the way if you happen to be a Thompson Park, hit up the zoo, there's plenty of neat wildlife there that would also benefit from more park funding