By Tammy Murga
Signal Staff Writer
From golfing to swimming and biking areas, the Santa Clarita Valley offers a generous amount of outdoor space and amenities for all. But local opportunities just got a little more diverse thanks to a partnership between the city of Santa Clarita and private enterprises.
Residents and tourists alike can now add archery to the list.
Located within the Haskell Canyon Open Space just off Copper Hill Drive, 6 acres of land have been designated specifically for archery lovers and those itching to get their hands on a bow and arrow.
“It all started about two months ago with one question: Why don’t we have an archery range here locally?” said Ronnie Silos, president of the newly founded, nonprofit SCV Archery and coach of former Easton Van Nuys Archery Center. “I went to city hall, gave my three-minute speech and apparently the city had been thinking about projects and activities for open spaces.”
While finding the idea intriguing for all the right reasons, the city said there was no staff available to manage a range. But Silos had the perfect ingredients.
“With Van Nuys Archery closed, I had access to their coaches and equipment, plus a club that was without a home. All I had to do was put it all together,” he said. “The next step was to make the organization a nonprofit, create a logo and organize a group of people.”
That group, he said, was between the city, which would cover infrastructure, SCV Archery, looking over management, operations and programs and maintenance, and the Easton Foundation, which offers a variety of grants that will help the organization with programs like the Junior Olympic Archery Development.
“This archery range is an excellent example of a great partnership,” said Kieran Wong, chair of the city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission. “The city has more than 9,000 acres of open space and the commission, as well as the city, is always looking at how that space can be utilized, primarily to help get kids off screens and be more active.”
As a club sanctioned by USA Archery, SCV Archery can host tournaments and Junior Olympic Archery Development programs for children under 18 to compete in national and state competitions.
The organization already has three coaches from Van Nuys and at least three volunteer coaches, most of whom are nationally ranked.
With paperwork and even a logo in place, it was then time for housework.
“Designs and rules are in place,” said Silos. “A lot of the house rules and guidelines mirrors that of the Easton Foundation. We’ve also done the grading of the field, measurements of the lanes, accessibility for handicap and even have storage to store equipment.”
In the family recreational-type setting, the organization will offer introductory archery for beginners, certified safety courses, private and group lessons with coaches and a club that will open for regular training to compete on the local, state and national level.
Those behind SCV Archery have a vision much larger than having just a range in town.
“I’ve been working with Ronnie and the city because I think this is doable,” said Wong. “The bigger vision is the 2028 Olympics, offering the range as the place to hold tournaments. This would bring a huge opportunity to the SCV.”
Until then, however, the range is looking to offer classes as soon as next week, on Nov. 17. The city will eventually hold a ribbon cutting event once more groundwork and adjustments have been completed, said Silos.
For more information, visit SCV Archery’s Facebook group page.