By Tori Mason

THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4)– Archery can help improve focus, hand-eye coordination and upper body strength. However, physical limitations can make this sport out of reach for some people with disabilities.

(credit: CBS)

Girl Scout Troop 62511 helped the City of Thornton create an ADA-accessible archery range, so more of the community can take part in one of their favorite activities.

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“We have a brand-new program called Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation that makes accommodations for all to access our programs,” said Seve Ghose, Director of Parks, Recreation & Community Programs for the City of Thornton.

Ghose says a councilmember passed along the Girl Scout Troop’s idea. After six months of hard work, the archery range is now open to the public.

“At first, we were thinking about creating a dog park. Then we decided to do something that we are really passionate about. We all like to do archery and there aren’t that many public archery ranges around here, so we thought why not build a free archery range?” said Aleah Schauppner, an 8th grader in Troop 62511.

The Girl Scouts wanted to complete a project that was not only affordable, but accessible as well. The archery range features 12 target stands and six bow hangers. The girls secured all of the materials needed through Alpine Lumber and got to work.

(credit: CBS)

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“They did a lot of the logistics to find out the rules and regulations that go with operating an archery range safely,” said Ghose. “This area will get paved soon, so wheelchairs can up come here and be easily accommodated. We are very familiar with adaptive and inclusive recreation.”

Ghose says the biggest users of this site, outside of regular park patrons, will be those in the adaptive and inclusive programs. Schauppner already tested out the range with her family over Christmas break.

“We got to shoot a couple of times and it was really fun! We’ve never built something this large. I think we’re all proud that we actually were able to do this,” said Schauppner.

For their work on this project, the girls earned the Silver Award, the highest honor for Girl Scouts in middle school. The City of Thornton also awarded the group “Volunteer of the Year.”

(credit: CBS)

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The archery range is located at 5990 E 100th Ave. Thornton, CO 80229

Tori Mason