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Archery trail construction targeted

Wayne National Forest’s Ironton Ranger District officials are seeking funding to make archery trails accessible to more people and also to make targets more realistic.

Wayne National Forest employees are applying for a $10,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that would allow the forest to offer users more than an extensive trail.

“It will be completely wheelchair accessible,” Steve Marchi, Wayne National Forest engineer, said. “And, eventually we are hoping, through other groups, to provide learning opportunities.”

Marchi said the grant is the National Archery in the Schools Program, which offered through ODNR division of wildlife and would provide funding for materials and equipment to be used on the trail and construction of the 800-foot trail across from the Lake Vesuvius boat dock and a new small parking area.

“At this point we are still going through the environmental process,” Marchi said. “We are making sure there are no endangered species or anything else of concern such as safety.”

He said the environmental process is done internally by specialists.

The changes will still be made if the forest does not receive the grant, Marchi said.

“We will try to use other funding opportunities and also look at doing it with allocated funds from the Forest Service and other partner funds,” he said. “Wild Turkey has offered great support and we have been very successful working with them.”

Marchi said the Wild Turkey Federation is collecting targets, other archery items and monetary donations from hunting, hiking and archery businesses and others who want to support the forest.

The construction would not start before September and the environmental evaluation is complete, he said.

As with the old trail, the new trail will be free of charge to the public, Marchi said.

He said the lower section of the existing trail has reopened, and he encourages everyone to take advantage of it.