No doubt archery is beneficial for all participants, but it’s also great for the community. Archery parks are popping up in neighborhoods across the country. The state of Alabama, for example, has 12 established archery parks and are in the process of building five more.
Think an archery park might be a good investment for your community? Here are four reasons to build one.
They increase recreational opportunities
A stand such as this at an archery park gives visitors a place to get outside and enjoy archery from a different angle. This can help archers prepare for 3D, field, and bowhunting ventures. Photo Credit: City of Coweta.
Most communities have public basketball, volleyball or tennis courts. They might also have football and soccer fields, but do community members have easy access to archery? Archery parks, like water parks or skate parks, provide additional recreational opportunities to members of the community and the surrounding area. They can stand alone or be added to existing parks.
Archery facilities and their features promote community involvement and diversification, as the sport engages people of all ages. Participants can explore all types of archery including 3-D, field, target, traditional and bowhunting. The park provides a home for both arrow-flinging fanatics and archery novices.
Also consider this: In 2015, 23.8 million American citizens age 18 and older participated in archery and bowhunting throughout the United States. With those numbers expected to rise in the coming years thanks to media-generated archery excitement, participants need a great place to shoot. Your new archery park can accommodate.
They boost archery participation and equipment sales
Archery parks will have various shooting stations for archers to shoot at. The distances can vary from 5 to 80 yards. Photo Credit: outdoorsalabama.com.
With an influx of new archers in your area, they’ll likely head to an archery shop to purchase bows, arrows and accessories. Most of the archery equipment they purchase is subject to a federal excise tax. The FET is a 10- to 11-percent tax manufacturers pay on the first sale of firearms, ammunition and some archery equipment under the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, more commonly called the Pittman-Robertson Act.
Revenues generated by the FET are collected by the IRS and sent to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. They redistribute the money to state wildlife agencies for habitat restoration, hunter education, wildlife research, public-access programs and other high-priority conservation projects. This, of course, can mean more interesting in hunting and archery. More archers mean more sales, and more sales mean greater resources to improve the state’s conservation work. It’s a win-win.
They create additional income for local businesses
As archers visit town for a day of arrow-slinging fun, they will likely work up an appetite or need gas for their trip home. These visitors will bring revenue to the area as they spend money at local restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations and nearby attractions. Photo Credit: ALCullman Park.
An archery park not only provides money via the Pittman-Robertson funds, it can also generate funds for the community. As archers visit town for a day of arrow-slinging fun, they will likely work up an appetite or need gas for their trip home. These visitors will bring revenue to the area as they spend money at local restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations and nearby attractions.
Also, if the archery park hosts tournaments – maybe a Scholastic 3-D Archery event or a fundraising event for a National Archery in the Schools program – the event will draw large numbers and boost the local economy.
They promote partnerships with outdoor-related organizations
Building an archery park will require time and money, but the result is well-worth the effort and expenses. Alabama has 12 established archery parks and are in the process of building five more, with the hopes they are complete within the next year. Photo Credit: Colorado Outdoors Online.
An archery facility encourages outdoor-related organizations to come together to support a common goal: recruit, reactivate and retain new participants, as part of the R3 movement.
Chapters and groups from outdoor organizations such as Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited or the National Wild Turkey Federation might use the facility for events or to teach programs. State wildlife agencies could also use the facility as a place to teach outdoor recreational programs, or partner with conservation groups to promote the outdoors.
Building an archery park will require time and money, but the result is well-worth the effort. Check to see if your community can support an archery park, then download the 41-page Archery Park Guide to get started. (This article explains how to use the guide.)
Retailers – share the Archery Trade Association’s Archery Park Guide and this article with state or county officials to encourage them to build an archery park in your area. Your partnership and support of the project, either with your local parks and recreation department or through your state agency, can help stir interest. Provide the ATA’s Archery Safety Brochure to help officials understand how safe archery can be for all participants.