New archery range opens at South Canyon | PostIndependent.com

New archery range opens at South Canyon

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Local bow hunters and recreational archers now have an official place where they can practice their skills.

A new archery range opened this week on city of Glenwood Springs-owned land in South Canyon, just south of the Colorado River from the I-70 South Canyon exit.

The range was built through a volunteer effort by local archery enthusiasts, using grant funding. In-kind support came from the city, but no city funds were used for the project.

“About five years ago I became aware of the lack of archery shooting facilities in the Roaring Fork Valley,” said Walt Krom, who helped spearhead the project.

Krom noted that interest in archery has increased with the recent movie “The Hunger Games.” A youth archery program at the Glenwood Springs Recreation Center this summer was also popular, he said.

“Now there is a free public facility for archers to use to improve their skill,” he said.

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Krom worked with Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation Director Tom Barnes to evaluate about a half dozen potential locations, all in the South Canyon area, before the 1.5-acre site was chosen.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Friends of the NRA came up with grants of $5,000 each to fund the project, Krom said.

In July, the necessary land-use approvals were granted by the Garfield County Planning Commission, and the archery range took just a few weeks to complete.

“With few exceptions, all work was accomplished by local archers who volunteered their time, eager to have a place to practice,” Krom said.

The range features five different targets, placed at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards. The targets are made of compressed hay, and are covered with a weather-proof plastic casing, he said.

“They are made expressly for the outdoors,” Krom said. “And each target has its own shelter to help protect it from the elements.”

Range rules are posted, and the range is free for the public to use.

With Colorado’s bow hunting season set to begin Aug. 25, it’s also perfect timing for hunters to practice before the season starts, he said.

“Of course, the range is equally useful for target archers, or anyone wishing to develop their archery skills,” Krom said.

Range rules are posted. Archers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

The targets will be disassembled and stored over the winter months, and next spring, free archery instruction will be offered at the range, Krom said.

Local archers and others who volunteered for the project included Rob Matthews, Dick Railsback, Larry and Tanner Russell, Scott Young, Cody Ferguson, Rick Davis and Doug Hazzard.

jstroud@postindependent.com