CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Tina Casey, 908-527-4346
OPENING DAY SET FOR NEW UNION COUNTY ARCHERY RANGE Fully handicapped-accessible, only public archery range in Union County
Clark, NJ – Thousands of archery enthusiasts in Union County and the surrounding area have something new to cheer about this summer. Today the Union County Freeholder Board announced that the new Union County Archery Range at Oak Ridge Park in Clark will be open for use by Union County Archery ID card holders starting on Wednesday, July 1.
“Archery is a popular recreational activity that has been underserved in our area, and on behalf of the Freeholder Board I’d like to thank the many volunteers who stepped up to help us offer this unique public facility to everyone who loves the sport,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.
Applications to obtain a Union County Archery ID card will be available at Oak Ridge Park on Tuesday June 30 and Thursday July 2, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Applicants must bring proof of previous archery training (certificate, letter, etc.). For additional information, call the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, 908-527-4910.
The new range was constructed with manpower donated by volunteer archers. Union County provided materials and logistical support. The Cranford Rod & Gun Club played a key role, along with United Bow Hunters of New Jersey, Traditional Archers of New Jersey, the Union County 4-H Club and area Boy Scouts.
“This has come just in time for the Union County 4-H Archery Club,” said Ellen DiIorio, who teaches archery. “We’ve never had a permanent home and now we have a place to call our own.”
The Union County 4-H Archery Club is part of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, supported in part by the Freeholder Board. The club routinely fills to capacity with students in grades 4 through 12. Since its inception in 1998, the youth archers have practiced in borrowed garages and warehouses. Their most recent site, the Linden Pistol Range, is no longer available.
Work on the extensive fencing around the Union County Archery Range was piloted by Louis Sarmiento Sr. and Louis Sarmiento Jr. The two Elizabeth residents are professional fence installers and members of United Bow Hunters.
“Many archers travel and compete regionally, nationally and internationally,” said Mirabella. “We want archers from all over to visit Union County and see what a great community we have.”
The range can accommodate up to 20 archers at a time. It has bow rests, permanent distance markers, an observation area with benches, and a picnic area. Reserved parking for persons with disabilities is adjacent to the range. It is open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. Use is limited to persons holding a Union County Archery ID Card, or who are under the supervision of a certified archery instructor, for example in a Scout or 4-H group.
For all Union County residents and residents of Edison, the fee for an Archery ID Card is $45, good for unlimited use of the range for one year beginning July 1, 2009 and ending June 30, 2010. The fee for youths age 17 and under is $20. Members of Scout or 4-H groups using the range under appropriate supervision do not pay a fee.
Out-of-county residents are also welcome to apply for a Union County Archery ID card. The out-of-county fee is $90 for adults and $40 for youths 17 and under.