• Thu. Sep 29th, 2022

Klondike Archery Park in Pensacola offers free archery lessons

ByMary M. Ward

Jun 5, 2022

Nestled just over 10 miles east of the Florida-Alabama border is a 119-acre site better known as Klondike Archery Park.

Developed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Escambia County, the park has a wide range of amenities, including a lighted terrain platform, covered picnic areas, restrooms, 3D targets and terrain for archers of all experience levels.

But there is just one small problem.

“Nobody knows we’re here,” said Pensacola Bowhunters and Archery Association vice president Tyler Newton.

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Despite opening in December 2014, according to Newton, residents of nearby and surrounding neighborhoods were unaware of the Klondike Archery Park.

“There’s a lady who lives a block away and she told me she never knew this park existed,” Newton said. “We are actively working to change that.”

The Klondike Archery Park, located at 7200 Sparshott Drive in Pensacola, just successfully hosted the 2022 Panhandle BHA Regional Tournament in April, and is gearing up to host more tournaments and run instructor courses. through its partnership with the national school archery program. .

A target at Klondike Archery Park at 7200 Sparshott Drive in Pensacola.

The Klondike Archery Park is open to archers of all ages and skill levels, and kids as young as 4 can get outside and try their hand at shooting a flat target or three-dimensional target in the form of a wolf, deer or moss panther.

“If you’re nervous about trying, we have professional instructors on hand to teach you the basics of archery,” Newton said. “Safety always comes first, and we also try to maintain a clean, family-friendly environment here. We do not tolerate any foul language or obscene behavior.”

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But when it comes to day-to-day operations and management, members of the Pensacola Bowhunters and Archery Association volunteer their time and money to keep the site running smoothly.

“We’re a nonprofit, so nobody gets paid to do this,” Newton said. “It’s because of our love for the sport that this place operates. Because we are a non-profit organization, all donations go towards repairing targets, replacing equipment and maintaining the property.”

A target at Klondike Archery Park at 7200 Sparshott Drive in Pensacola.

These donations also allow the Pensacola Bowhunters and Archery Association to offer free classes to the public on the first and third Thursdays of each month. Equipment is provided and the park is also open to the public from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

“We also offer after-hours access to the park through annual memberships,” Newton said. “Memberships are $75 per year, and those who are members can come to the park anytime from sunrise to sunset after hours.”

For more information, visit myfwc.com or call 850-712-4457.

Kalyn Wolfe is a freelance columnist for the News Journal. Send new business tips to [email protected]