Easton Foundations’ archery center breaks ground

Archers who will enjoy the new Olympic-style facility on Ten Mile Road dig in for the groundbreaking ceremony Monday, July 8. Funding is still being sought for the construction.

Archers who will enjoy the new Olympic-style facility on Ten Mile Road dig in for the groundbreaking ceremony Monday, July 8. Funding is still being sought for the construction.

The West Michigan Archery Center and Algoma Township are happy to announce the official groundbreaking of their Olympic-style archery center on July 8th at 6pm. This unique project is the culmination of over 4 years of public, non-profit, and private cooperation.

The project has a storied history, with beginnings at the Rockford Sportsman’s Club. The Junior Olympic Archery Development club has practiced there for years, in the dining hall in the winter and in the front yard during the summer. RSC has been a great partner and starting place for archery in Rockford – and it was originally to be the home of the facility. However, it would have been a tight fit there, and just when some RSC members became wary of space infringements, the 10-Mile project opened up as another possibility. Grant recipient Algoma Township met with Plainfield Township, Kent County (who owned the 10-Mile land at the time), the West Michigan Archery Center (WMAC), and the West Michigan Sports Commission to find a new location within the 10-Mile parcel. Another year’s worth of legal work, agreements, land transfers and cooperation produced a new site plan featuring archery along 10 Mile, with half a dozen other sporting venues alongside it.

During the groundbreaking ceremony for the West Michigan Archery Center officials from Plainfield and Algoma Township took a turn with shovels. Former Plainfield Superintendent Bob Homan, center, now retired, worked toward this project for 18 years, as did others.

During the groundbreaking ceremony for the West Michigan Archery Center officials from Plainfield and Algoma Township took a turn with shovels. Former Plainfield Superintendent Bob Homan, center, now retired, worked toward this project for 18 years, as did others.

What began as the hope of a growing group of archers and coaches has now become reality for thousands of potential beneficiaries. This 10,000 square foot building, and accompanying outdoor ranges, will do everything from host weekly leagues and instructional classes to local, State, and even National tournaments. People of all abilities, ages and skill levels will be introduced to the sport of archery here; those who are already capable archers will have every opportunity to become elite. Beginners, competitive target archers, and hunters alike will all find something for them. The facility features an indoor range, large outdoor practice and competitive fields, a future outdoor 3-D course, and heated shooting booths that will allow for long distance outdoor shooting during the winter.

The Easton Sports Development Foundation first committed to this project, pledging $250,000. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund approved a $500,000 grant to the project – at the time the maximum allowed for Development projects. Easton has helped build three other such facilities in the country – which is a testament to the quality of archery in West Michigan. Local businesses and individuals have also contributed substantially, as has the Frey Foundation of Grand Rapids. With broad support the facility is poised for a long, successful life as a unique recreational opportunity in West Michigan. However, more funds are required to complete the project – more than $250,000 are still needed to complete Phases II and III, which include the development of the outdoor fields, 3-D range, and road. Sponsorship and naming opportunities are still available for groups and/or individuals who are interested in supporting this great project.

 

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