Quivers at the ready – Southside Archery Park is now open
December 19, 2017
The City’s first free public archery facility is now open in Southside Park, 16159 Chaney Thompson Road.
Parks and Recreation hosted a ribbon cutting Tuesday to recognize the many community and state partners who provided the resources and planning to make this new park happen for Huntsville residents to enjoy.
The archery park is a joint effort between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resource’s Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, the Archery Trade Association, Madison County Commission and Huntsville Sports Commission.
“It’s amazing what can happen when a community works together,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “Our residents want more and more recreation options, and we are excited to present them with another opportunity for outdoor fun.”
Parks and Recreation Director Steve Ivey said ADCNR’s Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries paid for 80 percent of the facility’s $115,000 cost with the Madison County Commission providing the 20 percent balance.
“Huntsville continues to look for new ways to support the recreation needs of its citizens, and we are proud our partners have helped us provide this new amenity,” said Steve Ivey, Department of Parks & Recreation. “We are most grateful to Madison County Commissioner Phil Riddick for his support of this project.”
For Riddick, the park represents another opportunity to meet the broad base of recreational interests to the people of Huntsville/Madison County and District 5.
“It enhances our quality of life and will allow us to introduce a growing sport to a large number of residents in the area,” said Riddick. “This is another example of how much more we can do with these partnerships than we can with each entity trying to go it alone. This could have never come about with these partners trying do this by themselves.”
The Southside Community Archery Park is Alabama’s fourteenth community archery park. “We are excited to partner with Huntsville and Madison County to provide this recreational opportunity to the community, as archery is an activity that anyone can do from age eight to 98,” said and Marisa Lee Futral with Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The archery park will be open year-round during normal park hours for recreational shooting, competitive tournaments and outdoor educational programming. The facility features a 10-target adult range from 15 to 70 yards, a four-target youth range of 5 to 15 yards, and an elevated platform with four targets from 10-40 yards that provides bowhunters an opportunity to simulate hunting conditions.
Use of the archery park is free for those under 16 years of age or over 65. Alabamians ages 16 to 64 must have a hunting license, Wildlife Management Area (WMA) license, or Wildlife Heritage license to use the range. For non-residents, an annual WMA license or non-resident hunting license is required. Licenses are available from various local retailers or online at outdooralabama.com.
Archery Network and Tournaments
Huntsville’s archery facility is part of a growing network across the state including Athens, Cullman, Dothan, Demopolis, Decatur, Elba, Foley, Heflin, Lincoln, Tuscaloosa, Ozark, and in Oak Mountain and Wind Creek state parks. These facilities are one component of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) effort to increase awareness and participation in the life skill of archery.
Along with general community usage, the Huntsville Sports Commission (HSC) is excited about the possibilities for this new archery park. “We expect to host several competitions that will bring out of town visitors as well as giving our local archers a place to practice their skills,” said Ralph Stone, director of HSC.
The new archery park was made possible by the following agencies and organizations: ADCNR’s Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries through license sales and federally matched Pittman-Robertson Act funding, the Archery Trade Association, Madison County Commission, Huntsville Sports Commission and Huntsville Parks and Recreation. Huntsville Parks and Recreation will maintain the facility.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit outdooralabama.com.