Nearly three years in the making, the Archery Park at Cove Spring will have an open house Saturday from noon-3 p.m.
The open house will feature food, games and prizes.
The park has three separate ranges – the practice range, NASP range and the 3D range. Archers may bring their bows, or those interested may borrow a bow at the park.
Archery’s popularity has grown enormously over the last few years, and the sport was recently added as a varsity-sport activity by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.
About three years ago Frankfort Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites co-directors Jim Parrish and Jim McCarty returned from a national parks conference, where they learned just how popular archery was nationwide.
That, combined with the large archery base formed by the local school teams, made it a natural fit to find a place for the sport in Frankfort.
Cove Spring Park was selected as the site. To get to the Archery Park, take US 127 N past Cove Spring Park. Turn right onto Peaks Mill Road/KY 1900. The park entrance is on the right.
This wasn’t the original site of the Archery Park. The first site, also located in Cove Spring, proved to be less than ideal and after several meetings with Andrew Cammack, former city arborist and manager of Cove Spring, the current site was chosen as a more appropriate location.
At that time the Parks and Recreation Department hired Warren Mitchell as archery coordinator to assist with finalizing the layout and design and to organize the archery program.
The Archery Park will be used as a public practice range, and the Parks and Recreation Department will also offer archery leagues for adults and youth, archery clinics for beginners ,and 3D clinics and archery camps.
Registration will begin Saturday for the 3D leagues and Introduction to Archery clinic.
The 3D league will begin June 7 and will be divided into four separate leagues – NASP (4-12th grades), youth ages 9-13 (4th-8th grades), young adult ages 14-18 (9th-12th grade), and adult 19 and up.
The league will run for five weeks, shooting one night a week and concluding on July 5.
The Introduction to Archery clinic is for beginner archers ages 6 and up. The two-hour clinic will be held June 9, and more details will be available at the time of registration.
The target range is divided into two sections – the practice range and NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) range.
The practice range consists of 10 targets with two targets at distances of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards.
The NASP range consists of up to 20 NASP-style, 80cm FITA target face targets, which will be set up at 10 and 15 meters.
The 3D range is located behind the target range along a loop trail through the woods. Realistic 3D animal targets are located on lanes cut through the woods.
Each lane is numbered, has a bow rack and is marked with different colored yardage pins indicating the distance to the target. The 3D range consists of 15 targets.
But there’s more to the park than the ranges. With funding from a recreational trails grant from the State Department of Local Government, the walking trail that adjoins the range – now called the Sky Trail – was paved by the City of Frankfort Public Works Department.-
The department also received grants from the Easton Foundation and Land Water Conservation with the help of Rebecca Hall, special projects and grant writer for the City of Frankfort.
The grant from the Easton Foundation provided funding to purchase the majority of the department’s archery supplies, targets, bows and arrows, and the Land Water Conservation grant will fund the timber-frame shelter to be constructed this summer.
The Kentucky Heritage Council is assisting with the design of the shelter, and the National Timber-Framers Guild will assist with construction.
A grand opening for the Archery Park will take place later this year.
The park will officially open on Saturday, June 2. Initially the Archery Park will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. and on Saturdays fro 8 a.m.-noon.
Days and hours of operation will change throughout the year depending on hours of daylight and shooters’ interest.