Big things in store for Amarillo recreation

Diana Crawford
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Big things are in store for Amarillo recreation despite some cutbacks in funding. Like many other departments, Parks and Recreation is scaling back on their spending because of a smaller budget, but the number of projects they are doing is not being cut back.

Expansions at the zoo, a new splash pad at Memorial Park, the complete renovation of the golf course, new playgrounds, and new irrigation systems are just some of the plans for this year, and it's all being paid for with a little creativity. Larry Offerdahl, Director of Parks and Recreation says, "We did take a three percent budget reduction in our operations budget last year. That helped us conserve our funding. Our capital improvements program was also reduced but at the same time, we were able to see some private funding and grants to help us."

Parks and recreation also implemented an admission fee at the Amarillo Zoo last year. Thanks to this fee, $190,000 is being utilized to update and expand. The tiger and leopard exhibits are being brought back and a new education center is being designed.

Offerdahl says they plan to update the park master plan and zoo master plan this fall, which will look towards the next five years for Amarillo's recreation projects.