BORGER, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — When you think of Borger, you might think about the restored Morley Theatre or the Phillips 66 refinery. However, you might not know about Borger’s sordid history or the bright future which lies ahead, and all the town has to offer.
Borger seems like a typical small town on the High Plains. Having grown up in Borger, James Marrs II is proud of his home. He even serves on the city council.
“Everybody’s got your back. I mean even people that I’ve really never met, you know, they may have heard about me, or somebody that I know, and if somebody’s got an issue or a problem, we always get behind them and help them out,” said Marrs II. “I mean it’s like what they say about Texas, it’s just as strong or stronger here in Borger.”
Marrs II said Borger has come a long way, especially from its days under martial law back in the ’20s. Borger was once a place for outlaws and then an oil boomtown. Now, it’s a bit more welcoming to families.
“It’s somewhere that I think that people enjoy being and there’s a lot of different things to do that a lot of people don’t know about that incorporate a lot of that unique history that we have,” said Marisa Montoya, City of Borger Communications Manager.
Those include the Johnson Park Youth Center, various public parks, and the city’s nature trail.
The nature trail even features one of the top 10 hardest frisbee golf courses in Texas, according to Marrs II.
“That whole area out there, the dome, the nature trail, the youth center…It’s gonna be like our entertainment district area, on Bulldog Boulevard out there,” he added.
The growth does not stop there. Marrs II said the city is working to make the Aluminum Dome the city’s civic center.
Annadon Keyes, Supervisor of the Johnson Park Youth Center, said there is no place she would rather be besides Borger.
“If you love what you do, you never work another day in your life. I have that job because I’m able to work with children,” Keyes said. “I just want it to continue to grow and continue to evolve into the future. The future is a wonderful thing and we’re ready to step into it.”
During the summertime, the pool at the youth center opens up, featuring four water slides and an area for small children to swim.
There is also a recreation room complete with pool tables and other fun games for kids. The best part? It’s affordable. It only costs $2 to enjoy the entire facility.
“We do have middle school dances where the kids come out and we play edited music and the kids really love it,” Keyes added. “They can also utilize the gym as well and the bouncy houses and climbing wall. We keep it very accessible to the children.”
According to Keyes, the employees at the youth center are very safety conscious and all of the lifeguards are professionally trained each year.
That is not all Borger boasts. Since 1993, the City of Borger has also offered a bird sanctuary to the public.
The Frank J. Smith, Jr. Bird Sanctuary is inside of Huber Park. There you can see peacocks. ducks, and yes, even the rare rooster.
There are approximately 20 different species, including two black swans and several types of pheasants.
All of the birds are native to the area and can survive outside year-round, according to a Parks and Recreation worker.