ON TARGET: New archery park opens at Pike County Lake

Published 11:11 pm Friday, September 6, 2019

Troy Mayor Jason Reeves, Rep. Wes Allen, R-Troy, and Chris Blankenship, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, fired the first arrows Friday into targets at the new community archery park at Pike County Lake.

“The partnerships we have really make these things possible; that’s very important to us,” Blankenship said. “We have 23 state lakes like this and 17 archery parks. All of those around the state are designed to get people out to enjoy the great outdoors that God has blessed us with in Alabama.”

Reeves said the archery park is just the next step in the continued revitalization of the lake for the community.

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“I remember the first time we came down here and met with Ken Weathers and started talking about what could we do,” Reeves said. “The folks that really deserve the credit are the councilmembers that allowed us to step up and do something like this … I think this is an ideal example of the state and city working together. It’s really a jewel and a crown of this community – you just can’t look at it without really being taken back by the beauty that God has blessed us with.”

Chuck Sykes, director of the ADCNR, said Alabama leads the nation in archery parks.

“We’re the gold standard when it comes to this kind of outdoor recreation,” Syskes said. “They are using our model to build these all over the country. I think the next closest state has four …

“Archery is one of those sports anybody can participate in – young, old, whether you have any athletic ability, male, female – it doesn’t matter; this is something anybody can do. It’s an extremely safe and rewarding outdoor activity and we want to encourage everyone to come out and try this.”

Dan Smith, director of Troy Parks and Recreation, said he and his staff are proud to add the park to the lake’s activities.

“We’re so proud to be a part of this and very thankful that this day has arrived and to everyone who has made this possible,” Smith said. “This is the result of a wonderful partnership between the City of Troy, Mayor Jason Reeves, our Troy City Council and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “

The Archery range features a total of 11 targets split between an adult and youth range. The four youth targets range from 5 yards to 20 yards and youth must use bows weighing less than 30 pounds. For adults using bows over 30 pounds, the seven targets range from 15 yard to 50 yards.

All persons using the range must have an Alabama hunting or fishing license, as the proceeds from those licenses are what make the archery park possible.

“That’s not something we’re trying to do just to make money; we’re trying to educate the general public is that the money our department uses to fund projects like this is by hunters and fishermen buying hunting and fishing licenses,” Sykes said. “We don’t receive money from the general fund.”