Grow archery

Can Your Community Support An Archery Park?

Photo Credit: Paul Sherar

Author: ATA Staff

Archery participation keeps growing nationwide, with many states adding archery to their parks to sustain and encourage the sport’s homegrown popularity. The ATA’s Archery Park Guide helps you determine your community’s potential for an archery park.

Start by checking Archery 360’s store locator for a list of the Archery Trade Association’s nearby retail members. These retailers likely know your archery market. Also contact your state archery association to find nearby clubs, and check with your state’s National Archery in the Schools Program coordinator to learn which schools include archery in their physical-education curriculum.

This market analysis is important in planning archery in your community. Verifying the interest in youth archery or 3-D archery, for example, can help determine which features to offer.

Some communities can support a variety of archery facilities. Larger communities, for instance, can support small neighborhood archery parks for programs and minor events, and midsized and larger facilities for tournaments and regional competitions. Smaller parks should be similar in size and scope to neighborhood ball fields, and provide opportunities for introductory programs and routine practice.



In this example, we used a ratio of 15 archery parks per 250,000 people (about the same ratio used when adding golf to a community’s recreational menu). Most archery parks (say 60 to 75 percent) are small neighborhood venues. Fewer (say 20 to 30 percent) could be midsized parks large enough to support programs and small competitions.) Photo Credit: ATA 

Where should the archery park be located?

To ensure frequent use, archery facilities should be inside or near other common park facilities. These sites provide the most access and recreational opportunities for residents. These parks should be as visible as other recreational facilities, and accessible through common trails, roads and hiking paths. Placing a few targets in remote sections of a park that lack amenities probably won’t attract youths or families.

The best locations use topography and other natural barriers to improve safety. Therefore, look for existing parks that don’t fully use their space. If nothing is available there, try siting your archery facilities near other recreation hubs, like baseball and soccer complexes.

Who insures the archery park?

Archery is generally covered under a community’s general liability insurance policy. Some companies offer insurance for club ranges and individuals not covered under such policies.

How do communities fund archery parks?

Money for archery facilities can be found in the same places that fund other recreational facilities. Start by contacting your state’s hunter education coordinator for more information.

Once your park is up and running, user fees for archery should be consistent with other recreational facilities. Daily fees can also be considered. Annual passes for individuals and families are often easier to administer, especially for unstaffed facilities.

Fee boxes are ideal for unstaffed facilities. Photo Credit: ATA

Some facilities place a pay box at the entrance, and rely on the honor system. Group rates should also be considered, especially for schools, churches, 4-H programs, Boy and Girl scouts, and other youth groups that use the facility.

For a sample budget and more information about planning an archery park, click here.

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