City backs Eagle Scout archery project

ALAMOSA — Just as the City of Alamosa acquired a disc golf course as a result of an Eagle Scout project, the city will also welcome an archery range on the Alamosa ranch, thanks to another Eagle Scout project.

The city council on Wednesday unanimously approved the archery range Eagle Scout project, contingent on city staff working out the details and city costs with Joshua Kelly, the youth working towards his Eagle Scout rank.

Alamosa Parks & Recreation Director Andy Rice said the city rec advisory board considered Kelly’s request to place an archery range on a portion of the ranch, the Oxbow Recreation Area, and unanimously voted to support the proposal.

Kelly, a member of Troop 309, told the city council the closest archery range is in Antonito, 30 miles away. He said the Alamosa ranch would provide a safe place for folks to practice their archery skills. For further safety precautions, no crossbows would be allowed.

Rice added that there would be no potential safety conflict with the disc golf course, because they are not in close proximity. Also, North River Road is more than 2,000 feet away, which is much farther than even an experienced archer could shoot.

Kelly said to construct the archery range would require gravel, targets, edging and a small amount of concrete. There will be fixed lanes of 20, 40, and 60 yards. Most of the materials have already been donated, he said. Darius Allen and Alan Simpson, who lease a portion of the ranch for their cattle operation, have agreed to donate hay bales for the targets, Kelly said, and promised to change the bales out when they need to be. Otherwise, the cost of targets would probably be about $800, Kelly estimated.

Gravel, which Kelly estimated would cost about $400, has also been donated, he said.

The edging, which could run $1,800 for metal, as opposed to plastic, which would be cheaper (about $750), would be the most expensive part of the project, Kelly explained. He requested that the city pay for the edging and said he would leave it up to the city whether it went with plastic or metal. He said if it were up to him, he would prefer metal, as it would last longer.

As far as the construction labor, Kelly said he has the time to devote to the archery range as his Eagle Scout project.

Alamosa Mayor Josef Lucero commended Kelly for his thorough research and articulate presentation to the council.

Councilman Jan Vigil said the disc golf course, which began as an Eagle Scout project, has been a great addition to the city, even contributing to economic development. He said Colorado Sports now has a section for disc golf equipment, for example.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Vigil said. He added that there are many hunters in the area, and this would serve them well.

Councilor Liz Thomas Hensley said she was glad to see anything that would offer more activities for residents and visitors to do. She said when the disc golf course went in, she tried it out and although she wasn’t good at it, she enjoyed it. She saw the archery range as not only a practice area for those already involved in it but a place for those who have never tried it before to go and try it out.

“I think the idea is really good,” added Councilman Charles Griego.

Alamosa City Manager Heather Brooks said Wednesday night was the first time she was aware of the request for funding for the edging for the archery range, but the council could approve the project contingent upon staff working that piece out with Kelly.

Caption: During the July 19th city council meeting Joshua Kelly, left, presents his Eagle Scout project proposal for an archery range on the Alamosa Ranch (Oxbow Recreation Area.) Alamosa Parks & Recreation Director Andy Rice, right, told the council the rec advisory board unanimously supported the idea. Courier photo by Ruth Heide