Alabama Opens 3rd Public Archery Range
Alabama's third community archery park officially opened on Friday, December 4 in Dothan. The Dothan facility joins archery parks in Athens, and Cullman, Ala., that opened in February 2008 and April 2009, respectively. A fourth park will open in Demopolis in 2010.
The range was developed through a partnership between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF), the City ofDothan, the Archery Trade Association (ATA), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Students from Rehobeth High School's agriscience program contributed to the project by building the target frames and were present for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
WFF Director Corky Pugh said the opening of the range is a monumental occasion for both the State of Alabama and the City of Dothan. "What we are creating is an opportunity for young people to learn life skills that will stay with them throughout their life," Pugh said. "Archery is one of those great sports that you don't have to be an athlete to excel in."
Mike Piccirilli, Division of Federal Assistance Chief for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in the Southeast, praised the progress Alabama has made with the opening of its third archery range. "Alabama is a special place because it is so dedicated to archery," Piccirilli said. "We hope this park will stimulate interest and participation in archery for years to come."
In a continued partnership with Dothan Leisure Services, WFF will assist in the creation of school and recreational archery programs for Dothan and surrounding communities in Houston County. "We are looking forward to enhancing our programming by providing archery related activities for students and citizens of Dothan and Houston County," said Elston Jones, Dothan Leisure Services Director.
Alabama's archery parks are user funded at no cost to taxpayers. The parks are also made possible through the Community Archery Program (CAP), which was developed in 2005 by the ATA to grow archery and bowhunting participation nationwide.
The Dothan archery park features: eight youth targets from 5-20 yards; 11 adult range targets from 15-80 yards; and an elevated platform that simulates bowhunting situations with targets from 10-40 yards.
The Dothan archery range is open to the public during daylight hours except for Wednesday, when it is closed to the public. All participants, ages 16 to 64 must have a Hunting or Wildlife Heritage license in order to shoot.All shooters must sign in and out at the Eastgate Lodge. No broadhead points are allowed and users of the elevated platform must wear a full body harness. The park is located in Eastgate Park, 2049 Sanitary Dairy Road, Dothan, Ala., 36305.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama's natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.