After a five-month trial run, the archery range at Clearwater Park will close on Friday, Dec. 12, according to Willamalane Park and Recreation District. Although usage met expectations, the district based its decision on safety, the buffer zone to adjoining property and adherence to rules.
Specific issues included the use of crossbows, which is a violation of posted rules, and archers extending the firing line from the parking lot. There were also three arrows found outside park boundaries and on private property.
“We know the decision to close this range is not a popular one, but it’s the right one,” said Willamalane Superintendent Bob Keefer. “In the final evaluation, we determined that the location within the park and design of the range did not adequately address our concerns. However, we learned a lot from this trial run that we can apply towards future efforts. We know there is a demand for a site like this, and we will continue looking for ways to meet those needs.”
Keefer emphasized that the majority of users were respectful and appreciative of the archery range and the posted rules. He thanked those archers and also a local user’s group which had been meeting with the district to mitigate these issues.
The superintendent said the district will continue meeting with the task force to evaluate other options, potential sites or even partners.
Willamalane will also continue offering archery classes, with the site still to be determined.
Discussion about future uses of Clearwater Park, such as an off-leash park for dogs, is ongoing.