Bridging our Community
Amarillo Parks & Recreation is committed to bridging our community through parks and programs while providing a multitude of physical, mental, and emotional health and wellness opportunities to its many diverse citizens. Studies support that parks create positive economic and ecological benefits within a community, but 2020 proved that parks are essential to our citizens!
It is no secret that COVID-19 presented a number of challenges to our Parks & Recreation team. However, at a time when much of the world seemed to close down, people were reminded of the intrinsic value of our park system. Citizens of all ages flocked to our public spaces. Whether it was taking the family dog for a walk or going for an evening bike ride, our parks became a safe haven – a recreational escape when people needed a place to safely enjoy the outdoors. To save money in our budget, the City did not open public swimming pools or run many summer Parks and Rec programs. We look forward to bringing those back next summer.
Despite the challenges, the department saw many successes. Our park system completed its Asset Management plan and began the initial public engagement phases of its Parks Master Plan. Council approved the replacement of a beloved community heirloom, and as a result, Thompson Park Pool broke ground last week! With the help of community partners, ANB, and Old Pal Corporation, three Tennis Courts were converted to nine world-class pickleball courts. The new courts will be celebrated with a ribbon-cutting on Saturday (Oct 10th).
While many of our local entertainment, special events, and recreation amenities were canceled, our Parks Department managed to safely provide 42 programs, activities, and events for our community. Some of those included Starlight Theater, Virtual Trivia Nights, Adult Summer Camp, the Walk Across Texas, Youth LEGO robotics camp, Esports Leagues, Sports Camps, Adult Athletics, and the Zoo even celebrated its 65th Year Anniversary.
A new season
As we journey into a new season, Parks and Recreation seek to reengage the community through new opportunities, partnerships, events, and programs. We will dive back into the Master Plan process and explore what the future of our parks system will look like. We will find unique grant opportunities and find ways to partner with other organizations and businesses, knowing we are better together! Most importantly, we will discover diverse ways to bring the quality of life to our City.