Back in the summer of 2014 the Rancho Park Archery range, located in Cheviot Hills park, closed for an upgrade. This left many in the local archery community, especially the devoted Rancho Park archers with mixed feelings. There was the excitement over the idea of the range being expanded from a single to a multi-range facility but there was also the anxiety of how long the project would take. Because as many know most construction projects have a way of extending themselves. So, we waited, and waited, …and waited.
But this weekend, after having our patience pushed to the max, a multitude of Rancho Park archers who had dispersed to other ranges in southern California to maintain their practice or who had put away their bows and let them collect dust descended upon the Rancho Park Archery range once again.
On September 23, 2017, the Easton-Rancho Park Archery range, after a $2 million dollar upgrade that took about three years, officially reopened to the Los Angeles archery community.
The place was buzzing with folks from LA Parks and Recs, local politicians, a surprise celebrity guest, and visitors curious about the sport. And of course, the crowd was filled with the smiling faces of returning Rancho Park archers happy to see long-missed friends and the upgraded range.
The unveiling of the range was celebrated with a grand opening ceremony attended by the likes of City Councilman Paul Koretz, Department of Recreation and Parks General Manager Michael Shull, LA 2028 Chief Executive Officer Gene Sykes, and Oscar-winning actress and champion archer Geena Davis. Others celebrating the grand opening included Easton Sports Development Foundation founders Jim and Phyllis Easton, Don Rabska, vice president of Easton Foundations, and Mayor Eric Garcetti.
During the ceremony Mayor Garcetti spoke of the renovated range as a place for the next generation of archers to prepare for the 2028 Olympics. This is fitting being the range in its first incarnation was originally built in 1983 as a practice facility for the 1984 Olympics.
Aside from the official opening ceremony, the grand opening included, a Kyudo archery demonstration, and an exhibition by the local SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) chapter. Visitors also got a chance to try their hands at shooting a few arrows on the 10-meter range. Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Paul Koretz also got a chance to display their own archery skills on the short range too.
The upgraded range is a far cry from the single rustic 30-meter tree shrouded range that was overrun with squirrels. The new facility which now has 4 ranges (10, 18, 30, & 50 meters), a club house, and more storage space, has more of an industrial style – think lots of metal and concrete.
The Easton-Rancho Park Archery Range is available for public use, free of charge for those with their own equipment during normal park hours (8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.), seven days a week. And a word of advice, bring a seat. Currently there are no benches at the range.
A new change with the re-opening of the range is that now a membership fee will be required for use of the range’s equipment (i.e., bows, arrows, etc.). The membership fees will go towards supporting instruction classes, equipment, and facility maintenance. This is similar to other archery ranges such as the Woodley Hills archery range.
As for the Beginners class schedule, the details of that have yet to be released. Stay tuned.
If you couldn’t attend the event, check out the following videos from the ceremony: