Parks and Trek: Lubbock Offers Scenery, Leisure

By Kodichi Nwankwo

Paula Clark, a Lubbock native who is a second-grade teacher in Crosbyton, cherishes memories of visiting Higginbotham Park on 19th Street with her children.

Frequent trips to the green spot helped her get through her divorce in the early 2000s.

“I didn’t have a lot of money for a vacation so I would take my children [there],” Clark said

At the Prairie Dog Town in Mackenzie Park, prairie dogs enjoy protection on public land and attract a sizeable audience most weekends.  David Talley/ The Hub@TTU

At the Prairie Dog Town in Mackenzie Park, prairie dogs enjoy protection on public land and attract a sizeable audience most weekends. David Talley/ The Hub@TTU

Her children, now in their 20s, played on the playground and fed the ducks while she walked. People’s friendliness at the park balanced out her negative emotions about the divorce.

Now that her children are adults, Clark said she wishes they would find the time to visit the park together as a family, like they did before.

“I still go every once in a while,” she said. “I’m just really grateful to have such a beautiful place like this at my fingertips.”

Bridget Faulkenberry, director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Lubbock, regularly visits many of the local parks. However, Mackenzie Park is one of her favorites.

“One of my favorite things to do in Mackenzie Park is to climb up the side of the canyon,” Faulkenberry said.

She also likes Mae Simmons Park because she enjoys playing disc golf.

“When you go inside the disc-golf course in Mae Simmons, it’s like being totally transported out of Lubbock,” Faulkenberry said. “The beautiful green trees looks like a forest.”

Donna Burt, an academic adviser at Texas Tech, also visits local parks when she gets the chance. Her hobby is walking the trails.

“Buddy Holly is my favorite park to go for a walk,” Burt said. “It is always peaceful, and the waterfall is just beautiful.”

Faulkenberry encourages people to visit local parks because of the many activities to participate in when the weather is nice. But she added that it is also important to follow park rules and safety regulations. These include keeping dogs on leashes at all times and leaving any glass containers at home.

To learn more about Lubbock’s 81 parks, visit the city’s interactive map, which describes each park’s amenities and location.

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