WF Parks & Rec Crews Still Busy Despite Stage 5 Restrictions

The City of Wichita Falls has been in Stage 5 water restrictions for nearly two weeks.
That means water use is being curbed even more.
So, what impact is that having on city parks and recreation officials that have already been struggling to do their jobs?
Mechell Dixon spoke with them to find out.

Water is necessary to maintain the city's parks and sports complex fields.
However, since it's so scarce, city crews have had to make due without it.
And supervisors say the lack of H2O is not creating a lack of work for employees.

Maintaining fields at the Wichita Falls Softball Complex is still necessary despite Stage 5 water restrictions in affect.

"We're still running all our leagues in softball, kickball and flag football is coming up and we host tournament almost every weekend," says Scott McGee, recreation services administrator for the City of Wichita Falls.

That means workers spend their days chalking fields so later on, kids can play ball but this is not the only job for the recreation's crew of three full time and four part time workers.

"The crew also maintains the Lucy Park pool, the city stage for concerts and events that it goes to.  They maintain equipment at the 50 Plus Zone," McGee adds.

And this type of equipment is being used more and more by city parks crews.
When Stage 4 restrictions started last November the city stopped irrigating about 20,000 trees to save water.
That hurt mature trees like this 60 year old cottonwood in Lucy Park and caused them to be a danger.
So, supervisors say crews are now busy knocking down the danger.

"With the amount of dead trees that we're probably gonna see over the next year or two, I don't see any reduction in work force whatsoever," Terry Points, parks supervisor with the city of Wichita Falls.  

A workforce supervisors say they've now shifted from jobs that require water use to removing causalities of the drought.
Parks and rec supervisors say neither department has any plans to lay off workers.
However, Terry Points say his crews are now so busy cutting down, removing and mulching dead trees that he's currently hiring more workers.

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