Archery Range Site Exploration
Four sites were explored by Boise Parks and Recreation staff for potential relocation of the archery range. The ideal range layout was superimposed on an aerial of each potential location and reviewed with members of the archery community and Boise Parks and Recreation’s design and planning teams. Throughout the analysis, the archers consulted for this project preferred a site in Military Reserve.
The ideal range studied:
- 45° of north
- 1 to 1.25 parking spaces available per target
- Layouts shown include maximum safety areas
- Safety areas should include berms
Location 1: Military Reserve Police Shooting Range
The police shooting range is located at the end of Mountain Cove Road in Military Reserve. The 8.5-acre site is owned and maintained by the City of Boise and remains an active range on a limited basis after the construction of a new firing range training facility was completed south of town. The site is fenced and contains a building. Natural topography and an earthen berm constructed as part of the firing range provides a good backdrop.
The archery community members consulted for this project believe this location is a good compromise. It’s close to the current location of the archery range and already has a good backstop for overshot arrows. Plus, this location is quite secluded and offers ample opportunity for parking. Parks and Recreation staff who studied the site note it has existing fencing and there is maintenance provided already in the potential location’s vicinity.
However, lead cleanup at the site would be required to place the archery range in this location. In addition, a structure that currently sits on the site would need to be removed to make room for the range.
If clean-up of the site and removal of the structure is feasible, this is the preferred location for both the archers consulted and the Parks and Recreation Department planning and design teams.
Location 2: Military Reserve (adjacent to the cemetery)
Military Reserve, near the Fort Boise Military Reserve Cemetery, is located one half mile up Mountain Cove Road from the current archery range location. The land is owned and maintained by the City of Boise. Several parking areas exist along the road including seven at the range location and an additional seven on the north side of the cemetery. A trail from the parking lot heads up the draw and veers away from the range.
The archery community members consulted appreciate this site for its close proximity to downtown Boise and other outdoor recreation opportunities. Plus, the existing geography/topography is suitable for an archery range.
Cons to this site are the lack of parking and potential for traffic build up due to cars parked along the road. Safety concerns were also expressed for users of existing trails in the area. It is also a very visible area.
Parks and Recreation staff agreed that parking was a concern at this location. For this reason, it is not a preferred relocation site.
Location 3: Undeveloped Murgoitio Site
The undeveloped Murgoitio Park site is located between South Cole and South Maple Grove Roads in southwest Boise. The 160-acre property is located outside Boise City limits and a majority of the land is being actively farmed. The proposed location for an archery range is located on approximately 20 acres that is not farmed and has access off Maple Grove. This portion of the property is bordered on the south by the New York Canal, which is used as a walking path. Development of an access road and parking lot would be required and Parks and Recreation does not currently provide maintenance at this location.
This site was determined to be a poor relocation option for several reasons. For example, it has been the mayor and council’s position in the past not to provide resources to develop land outside the city limits. In addition, the property is far from the current archery range location and from other outdoor recreation opportunities, which was not ideal for the archers consulted.
Location 4: Veterans Memorial Park
Veterans Memorial Park is located at the south east corner of State Street and Veterans Memorial Parkway. The park is owned by the State of Idaho and Boise Parks and Recreation maintains the nearly 46 acres. Parking is available on the roadway inside the park and in an adjoining lot located west of the entrance from Veterans Memorial Parkway. The proposed location is approximately 830 feet from the parking lot and is accessible by walking internal asphalt walkways. The archery range would be placed in a currently undeveloped area of the park.
Parks and Recreation staff explored this location due to the ample parking and central location of the park. There are also restrooms and maintenance facilities nearby.
However, the archery community members consulted found many cons at this potential location. They noted concerns about the proximity to the Greenbelt and a popular park site. Also, the topography is not naturally suitable for an archery range – a berm would have to be graded behind the range, for example. Concerns were also expressed about safety with the range being so close to other amenities and the potential for the site to be “grown in on” as use increases in the area. For these reasons, the site is not preferred for relocation of the archery range.