(WICHITA, Kan.) — The Wichita Parks and Recreation Department says that restructuring of the department appears to be paying off.
As the City of Wichita deals with money trouble, this year the Parks Department made cuts including eliminating 14 positions and closing the Osage Recreation Center.
Thursday Parks Director Doug Kupper said the department has kept up with maintaining what they have been doing, and also been busy creating new activities and new revenue streams.
Kupper says in the last 10 weeks, the department has had 800 new clients sign up for programs offered by the department. He says that will generate $52,000 in new income.
"As we move out of this downturn economy, if we can show an upturn in our revenues then we'll start to be able to build back our budget to offer even more quality program or opportunities to the citizens," said Kupper.
He says the biggest push under the restructuring is marketing. In meetings about the restructuring last year, Kupper says one thing he kept hearing from people is that they did not know about the programs the department offered. This year, in addition to publishing newspaper fliers about the programs, the flier will also be put on-line on the city's website and the department has established a Facebook page.
"I think a lot has to do with getting the word out and doing a better job of marketing our product, because we've had quality programs, it's just that people didn't know about them," said Kupper.
Kupper says the department is still working for the budget process, but another big difference he has seen is in looking for more corporate partnerships, bringing in area businesses to provide programs through the department.
You can learn more about what the park's department offers by visiting the City of Wichita's website.