Archery at a Sportsplex?
In Demopolis, Ala., situated in the city’s Sportsplex, there is now an archery park among soccer fields, baseball and softball fields, public fishing and a golf course. More importantly, the park isn’t only notable to those in Alabama. Instead, it’s a symbol of the Archery Trade Association’s Community Archery Strategy (CAS) and the overarching intent to push the arrow sports onto the same plane as the ball sports and then sustain their growth.
The ATA partnered with the City of Demopolis and the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division to make the park a possibility, providing approximately $23,000 to help fund a project that represents the fourth archery project Alabama has coordinated. The first such state-of-the-art archery park opened in 2008 in Athens, Ala.
The ATA’s CAS, launched by Alabama’s state wildlife agency, has been embraced by other state and local government leaders across the country. CAS promotes NASP as a key introduction to archery, works to make the sport available in local community recreation programs and funds the shooting facilities all archers need to participate in shooting year round.
As with all CAS efforts, a key focus is to establish introductory archery and bowhunting programs into schools and local recreation programs near archery parks. Situated in close proximity to the Demopolis park is five schools within 10 miles serving more than 2,500 youth, 11 schools within 25 miles serving more than 4,500 youth and two NASP schools currently operating within 25 miles of the park.
The Demopolis outdoor archery park, owned by the city, features a beginner, general and bowhunting range. The park also welcomes families and provides facilities to accommodate kids and their parents thanks to a shelter, benches and picnic tables on site.
Archery’s diverse partners continue to expand their Community Archery Strategy as part of the ATA’s work to make archery a mainstream sport. Alabama, Florida, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Nevada, Tennessee, Arizona, New Jersey, Michigan, Minnesota and Alaska are examples of states where the ATA is providing funding for new archery programs and archery parks, shooting facilities and archery ranges.
Did You Know?
The ATA created the Bowhunting Preservation Alliance bowhunting books, whose net proceeds from sales support school, after-school and community archery programs. These funds also help maintain archery ranges.