Alabama is leading the way with its concept of community archery parks

In the past five years, five community archery parks have opened in Alabama cities. Two more are scheduled to open soon, including one five miles from the Talladega Superspeedway, and another is under construction in Tuscaloosa.
BY ED GODFREY, Staff Writer, egodfrey@opubco.com Modified: September 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm •  Published: September 2, 2012
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“Underneath the tower, we actually put an artificial blind so someone can shoot through a window like they are shooting through a blind,” he said.

If there is enough land available in the park, a walk-through archery course with targets at varying distances is constructed in addition to the static range.

Very few cities have balked at the idea because of fears someone would be injured, Goldsby said.

“If they have a piece of property that will work, that we deem safe enough to use, then it seems to work out real well,” Goldsby said. “We have not approached many cities that have said ‘no, we don't do this because of safety.' It's typically because they don't have the property to put it on.”

Shooting at the archery park requires a state hunting license or Alabama's Wildlife Heritage License, which costs $10 annually. Because the archery parks provide an easy and free place to shoot, archery is becoming a family sport for many in Alabama, Goldsy said.

“It's just been phenomenal here in Alabama,” he said of the parks' popularity. “You got soccer moms who are bringing their kids who are shooting in school.

“The entire family can shoot together. It's not just the parents in the stadium with the kids on the playing field now. It's everybody on the playing field together.”