At its July 9 meeting, the Le Center City Council motioned to let Le Sueur County proceed with plans to build an archery range in Bradshaw Woods.
Le Sueur County Parks Director Tyler Luethje presented the project details to the council. The archery range will be open to the public and will feature four targets with one each at 10 yards, 20 yards, 30 yards and 40 yards. Eight archers would be able to shoot at once, and only conventional bows and arrows will be allowed. Crossbows, broadhead arrows and firearms will not be permissible.
The archery range is expected to be completed sometime in 2020.
“[Bradshaw Woods] is an underutilized piece of property,” said Parks Director Luethje. “There’s a lot of open space and there’s not many archery ranges in the area, so we saw a need for it.”
The project is still in early phases and funding is still being sorted out, but Luethje expects the project to come at a low cost. Luethje wants the archery range to be a community project built with the assistance of local volunteers such as the Eagle Scouts and 4-H.
“I think it’s a good amenity the city and county can collaborate on,” said Luethje. “Archery is a growing sport and the range is a pretty inexpensive amenity to utilize.”
The exact spot for the range has not been decided, but Luethje says that the department is “looking at a location on the southern portion of Bradshaw Woods that provides a safety barrier with natural topography and wooded areas.”
The Le Center City Council was enthusiastic about the project after hearing the County Parks Department’s plans.
“My biggest concern is safety,” said Le Center Mayor Josh Frederickson. “The plan presented (July 9) addressed most of those concerns.”
Measures to increase the archery range’s safety include its location in a heavily forested area and the placement of targets on an incline to ensure missed shots do not travel far. The range will also not be open at night.
“Unless someone is being negligent or intentionally irresponsible, I think the measures they have there are very safe,” said Frederickson.
Another part of the plan that appealed to the council was the low operating cost.
“It’s a recreational activity that’s pretty self-sufficient,” said Frederickson. “It doesn’t require staffing beyond general upkeep.”
The one major concern Frederickson did have about the archery range was it being near to the Le Sueur County Fairgrounds. While the proximity makes it easily accessible to the community, Frederickson worried about how large events would impact the safety of the range.
“When we have large events, it’s tough to control the crowds,” he said.
Frederickson stated that this issue is something City Council would work to solve as project development continues.