“This is a wonderful opportunity that has been given to the community of Lincoln and the Parks and Recreation Department,” said Roben Duncan, Parks and Recreation Department director.
Duncan said the venture began more than three years ago, at an Alabama Recreation and Parks Association Conference.
“After listening to Ray Metzler, Stuart Goldsby and Marisa Futral speaking in a class for the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) on Archery Parks and many other classes and opportunities this department offers, I realized this was something we needed in Lincoln,” she said. “When I brought this idea back to Mayor Lew Watson, he was fully on board for the programs and helping make it happen.”
Duncan said two years ago, the Parks and Recreation Department began the process of gaining permission to build an archery range.
“The city gave us approval to use the property at Lincoln Park for an archery range,” she said. “Then we went to Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, who required certain things such as accessibility, restroom facilities, parking, handicapped accessibility and the ability to host tournaments.”
Duncan said Lincoln Park met all the criteria, and went through the approval process.
“Then we had to prepare the site, which began in January,” she said. “That included building all the archery structures, which were paid for by a $15,000 grant provided by the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. They paid for all the materials and assisted with placement of targets and other physical labor.”
Duncan said the Parks and Recreation Department staff also assisted with the construction.
“The construction of all the target frames was done by the Lincoln High School AG Department,” she said. “The archer benches between the targets were constructed by Alabama Teen Challenge, and the material for the archer benches was donated by Lincoln Hardware.”
Duncan said as well as the After School Archery Program the organization that sponsors this program is the USA Archery Program and the Archery Trade Association sponsors part of it.
“We received more than $10,000 in equipment through a partial grant from them for the purchase of bows, arrows, targets and archery nets for indoor archery,” she said.
Duncan said the Parks and Recreation Department will offer the After School Archery Program at the Lincoln City Center and at Lincoln Park, which is open to all ages.
“We can provide the bows and arrows, or you can bring your own,” she said.
Duncan said classes are offered by instructor Sue Jones at the Lincoln City Center at 5 p.m. Tuesdays. The cost is $15 for three months.
“Shooting at the Lincoln Community Archery Park is open from daylight to 30 minutes before dark, except for one day a week for maintenance,” she said. “This is a community archery strategy where Park and Rec is the hub of all archery programming and it brings outreach to schools, churches, brings in retail, clubs, all for a common cause in promoting enhanced quality of life for your community by using the benefits from archery.”
Goldsby, regional hunter education coordinator for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, said the Lincoln archery park is the seventh archery park that has opened in Alabama since 2008.
“It’s a partnership between the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department, the city of Lincoln, the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and the Archery Trade Association, and by using federal funding from wildlife restoration funds, we are able to build these parks,” he said. “It’s your hunting and fishing dollars coming back to the state and the community.”
Goldsby said they are in the process of constructing archery parks in Ozark and Tuscaloosa. The other parks currently open are located in Athens, Cullman, Dothan, Demopolis, Heflin and Decatur.
“Ours is one of many partnerships who made this happen,” said Gary Moody, chief of Wildlife for the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. “What we do in Alabama is being recognized across the nation. You are part of being a leader in getting this type of archery in the communities.”
Contact Elsie Hodnett at email@example.com.