Author: Cassie Scott
Are you planning to build an archery park in your community, but don’t know where to start? The Archery Trade Association’s Archery Park Guide helps cities, counties, universities, ATA members and state parks and recreation agencies build safe, accessible archery parks.
Created in 2012 and currently being updated, the Archery Park Guide is packed with tips, recommendations and case studies for building archery parks or ranges.
The guide was created with the help of The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The state has 15 archery parks and is currently building two more.
According to Marisa Futral, Alabama’s hunter education coordinator, the guide is thorough and has everything you need to know if you’re interested in creating a community park or range.
“The guide gives you very detailed information on how much property you need, what kind of resources you need and things to look for when you’re building an archery park,” Futral said. “I would highly recommend it.”
Wetumpka Archery Park in Alabama is ready to host archers of all skill levels. Photo Credit: ATA
The state of Alabama built archery parks through partnerships with its parks and recreation agency to provide a safe place for people to shoot archery. Participants must have a valid hunting license to use the facilities, because federal excise tax dollars generated by the Pittman-Robertson Act were used to fund construction efforts. These unstaffed ranges are fully efficient. Futral said they’re regularly replacing the targets, which indicates the park’s popularity.
Archery facilities are becoming more common in other states as well. Georgia Southern University in Statesboro built a shooting sports facility that opened in 2015. The Shooting Sports Education Center is currently 30,000 square feet and serves archers, bowhunters and the shooting sports community. It had 14,006 “participations,” which is the number of times archers shot at the facility between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.
Matt Horst, the SSEC’s director, said the university plans to develop approximately 15 acres into an archery park, complete with a 20-station 3-D course and a lighted archery field as phase two of the project. Horst plans to use the ATA’s Archery Park Guide as a resource during the expansion.
Visit our Archery Park Guide for tips on how to open your own Archery Park. Photo Credit: ATA
“The Archery Park Guide provides great information about archery park layouts, budget, safety parameters, possible challenges, hazards to be aware of and much more,” Horst said. “It’s well done and is an excellent resource for anyone considering building an outdoor archery range or park.”
Horst said the case studies were very insightful and helpful, because he learned how other entities maximized available space to accommodate various recreational opportunities.
Interested in helping your state get its first archery park? You’ll find many reasons to build an archery park in your community. These facilities help increase recreational opportunities, create additional income for local businesses, promote partnerships with outdoor-related organizations, and boost archery participation and equipment sales.
Although building an archery park will require time and money, the result is worth the effort. Check here to see if your community can support an archery park, then download the 41-page Archery Park Guide to get started. Use this article to help you navigate the guide to its fullest potential.
Not ready to open your own park? Visit our brochure in the meantime. Photo Credit: Charlie Baglan
An updated Archery Park Guide is coming in January 2019. Nicole Nash, ATA’s range and retail program manager, said the revisions will make the guide more comprehensive. Updates will include two additional guides that encompass all types of archery ranges, such as temporary ranges, and ranges suitable for retail settings.
“We’re updating the details to include how to plan, build and promote any archery range, making the document an invaluable resource,” Nash said. “We’re also including more case studies to help spark creative ideas in the planning stage. It is all about creating guides and tools for those looking for a place to start.”
You can also share the ATA’s Archery Park Guide with state or county officials to encourage them to build an archery park in your area. Sharing the ATA’s Archery Safety Brochure also helps officials understand how safe archery can be for all participants.
Can’t find what you are looking for in the guide? Contact Nicole for more information at (502) 640-0944 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
After completing the project, browse ATA’s website for articles on how to enhance your archery range for bowhunting scenarios, or tips to make indoor archery ranges safe and fun!