Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Archery Article Missed The Mark

I sent the following letter to the editor of the Naperville Sun. It is in response to an article that 'got wrong' a vote I made at the Commission.

I am writing to correct an article (Commissioners Discuss Blackwell, April 11). The article stated that I "do not believe expanding the archery program at the Warrenville forest preserve is a good use of the 2006 bond referendum." To the contrary, I was a 'yes' in the 4-3 vote to approve proceeding with the first phase of development in this area of the Blackwell Forest Preserve. First of all, the referendum specifically stated the funds would be used to restore natural areas and for trails, recreation, and other facilities. This project will serve as a trail head to a regional trail, provide additional picnic areas, add access to another pond for fishing, provide educational opportunities, and archery. In addition, when the project is finished, it will actually restore more natural areas to Blackwell and provide for a more environment friendly facility.

Specifically regarding archery, it is one of the fastest growing recreations in the country. Several of our local schools are participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). This will provide a facility to further that education. It is relatively inexpensive to get started (have you priced a baseball glove, bat and ball lately?) and very cheap on an ongoing basis. It is one of the few sports where almost everyone can compete... and excel! It is interesting to note that while safety is one of the first things one learns in the NASP, archery is safer than all ball sports combined.

We are depending on a $250,000 grant for this phase of the project to proceed. The archery range is what makes the $250,000 OSLAD grant possible. I'm for leveraging our bonds with dollars from the State and for improving natural resources, education, and recreation in our preserves.

Carl Schultz