Archers anxious to return to Kapiolani Park - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Archers anxious to return to Kapiolani Park

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The Kapiolani Regional Park Archery Range The Kapiolani Regional Park Archery Range
Toni Robinson Toni Robinson
Mark Kato Mark Kato
The tennis courts adjacent to the archery range The tennis courts adjacent to the archery range
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The last arrow fired at the Kapiolani Regional Park Archery Range was in April, 2012. That's when the city closed it over safety concerns. Because an archer accidentally shot an arrow onto the nearby tennis court, the city's being extra cautious.

"It's a matter of can we do something there? What are all the options that we have open to us to be able to make sure that area is safer to use?" Parks and Recreation Department director Toni Robinson said.

"It was like a home field to a lot of the archers there," Mark Kato said.

Kato is the director of the Hawaii chapter of the National Field Archery Association. He said after the range shut down, archers offered suggestions to the city's former parks director Gary Cabato.

"Rearrange the range and push the common shooting line from where arrows will be launched to the targets. Move it about 124 yards back, so it's doubling the buffer zone," he said.

Robinson wants to meet with archers within 30 days to hear their ideas firsthand and to offer her own thoughts.

"Do we need to limit what can be used at that particular shooting area? We also want to look at realignment of the targets and the firing line," she said.

The Hunger Games and Avengers movies and other shows that feature the bow and arrow helped fuel interest in archery. Kato said it's partially responsible for doubling participation in Hawaii in the last few years. With more people on the firing line, Kapiolani becomes more desirable, even with the city's three other archery ranges in Koko Head, Waipio and Kapolei.

"Koko Head is very windy, a lot of salt air. It's not ideal for archery. Wind is archery's worst enemy," Kato said.

Robinson said because the Kapiolani range drew rookies, she wonders if experienced archers would oversee the site

"If they were there they could also be the ones to help anybody who isn't familiar with using bows and arrows," she said.

"I think they're just trying to reassure that everything is set and safe," Kato said.

Robinson is optimistic target practice could return to Kapiolani Park by the end of the year.

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