Palo Duro Canyon Cash Crunch

More tough times are ahead for an already financially strained Palo Duro Canyon State Park...

It's about to enter the slow season when visitation numbers drop for winter.

But as NewsChannel 10's Blaire Arvin tells us... that isn't stopping some volunteers from helping the park out.

Robert and Mary have been giving their time here for years.

They know just how important their role is to the survival of this park.

"If it weren't for volunteers we'd be in trouble," says Robert Splawn

"If there's something I can do, I'm glad to do it," says Mary Splawn

Volunteers help this park run... visitors keep business alive.

But that all changes starting in November.

"The crowds will taper off and then revenue declines," says Hi Newby, the park superintendent.

The park already began shutting down its visitor area for winter. Pretty soon only two will be open to public.

"The whole system is in dire straits right now financially... we're really hurting on equipment, mowers and tractors. We're using tractors that are thirty-years-old," says Newby.

Despite the tough times, Robert and Mary plan to be here to greet the visitors like they are today in this gift shop.

Mary Splawn says "it's better than sitting in our rocking chair. Just contributing to the park and the community. We're just glad to do it."

Park officials are looking forward to the next legislative session.

They hope lawmakers will decide to funnel more funding into the park.