Currently, the range is open daily from sunrise to sunset. It may be closed during MetroParks special events, according to information provided by Linda Kostka, development and marketing director at Mill Creek MetroParks Farm. She said the concept for an archery range evolved after receiving a few requests from community members.
Available on a first-come, first-served basis, Kostka said because the grounds allowed space, they considered it “just one more thing that we could do inexpensively.” Tom Bresko, retiring recreation and programs director, spearheaded the plan, researching and organizing the set up.
According to its website, the 402-acre working farm offers educational programming, tours, and display areas as well as the popular multi-purpose room, McMahon Hall, and access to the MetroParks Bikeway.
As word slowly spreads of the range, at which targets are placed at 10, 20, and 30 yards, Boardman resident and archery and gun enthusiast Ian DeCapita stopped out only to find a space he said he’s been searching for over the years.
Although he said he has bow-hunted deer, “My goal was to start doing competitions,” said DeCapita, who acquired his bow at age 16. He said he has been disappointed over the years however, that until now, there just wasn’t much opportunity to use it locally.
Simply looking for a place to shoot aside from hunting, DeCapita said he sees himself returning to the range. If he could offer suggestions, he said they would include having a table nearby on which to set your equipment, and the requirement of range permits to encourage more serious, and perhaps cautious users.
Although the range is unattended, posted safety rules must be followed. Archers must bring their own target faces, and no broad head arrows are permitted.
For more information, call the Mill Creek MetroPark’s administrative office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 330-702-3000.
Photos by Kathleen Palumbo, Town Crier correspondent
Boardman resident and gun and archery enthusiast, Ian DeCapita was one of the first to visit the range, open from sunrise to sunset on a first-come, first-served basis.