AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Keeping playground equipment safe, lights on, and bathrooms clean, and more. During the past two years, the Amarillo Parks and Recreation Department has been working on a Master Plan to help solve issues facing parks in the city.
Cindy Mendoza, director of parks and recreation at MIG Consulting said this Master Plan is a 10-year plan with eight guiding principles to help the city stay on its goal of maintaining and sustaining parks in the area.
Amarillo Parks and Recreation Park Board Chair John Ingerson said the Master Plan is a good starting place for the Amarillo City Council.
“How do we communicate to our council and our city, what our needs are? Knowing that was the solution for moving forward was to identify our needs and formulate a strategy on how to get there. That’s what we really believe the Master Plan is, a strategy on how to provide Amarillo with great parks and recreation goals, visions the whole, it’s all in there,” said Ingerson.
Mendoza said they revisited the park classification system and started separating parks into different categories such as large community parks and regional parks that should have increased investment opportunities, while the neighborhood parks could be scaled back.
“So we made it clear in this investment spectrum, we know where investment is needed and what areas can be scaled back. It really looks at how do we spread out our existing investment to more equitably ensure everyone has access to park opportunities,” said Mendoza.
The plan also includes concepts for parks to focus more on health and fitness, community heritage, or green spaces.
Amarillo City Manager Jared Miller added the document will help guide the city when it comes to the Parks and Recreation Department and where to allocate funds.
“It’s very much an overarching guideline for what are priorities when it comes to facilities, in regard to infrastructure and maintenance incentives,” said Miller.
Michael Kashuba, director of Amarillo Parks and Recreation said this Master Plan has been driven by the community.
“We are basing it off on all the feedback that we have received. I know it the in the beginning we heard, why does it matter, my voice doesn’t count. Actually, it does. That is what is actually driving this document,” said Kashuba.
Kashuba added they plan on bringing the Master Plan back to the Amarillo City Council by the end of the month for a vote.
Kashuba said they are hoping to apply for some grants from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for the Master Plan.