Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, local union volunteers building new archery range in Troy

TEACHING A NEW GENERATION – Cement Masons Local 527 apprentices (in yellow vests) show students in Troy High School’s Home Tech Program (in orange vests) how to smooth concrete at a new archery range under construction at Cuivre River State Park. The Union Sportmen’s Alliance and members form local building trades unions are working together on the project – Labor Tribune photo

Missouri Correspondent

Troy, MO – Nearly 700,000 people visit Cuivre River State Park here in Lincoln County to enjoy miles of hiking trails, biking trails, horseback riding trails, a swim beach and fishing access. Beginning in July, outdoor enthusiasts will have another reason to visit the park – a new archery range.

The project is being spearheaded by the Union Sportmen’s Alliance, a non-profit, union-dedicated conservation organization dedicated to connecting the trades to the outdoors and giving back to the community, in partnership with Missouri State Parks and the Department of National Resources.

“While the park offers a variety of outdoor activities, it lacks an archery range,” said Sam Phipps, Conservation Programs Manager for the alliance and a member of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562. “The closest public archery ranges for residents of Lincoln and surrounding counties are at Busch Wildlife and Frank Russell Recreation Area, and those are 45-minute to one hour drives.”

On May 4, Cement Masons Local 527 apprentices along with two busloads of students from the Troy High School finished the concrete work on the first phase of the project. The OPCMIA Cement Masons International Union paid for the concrete, and International General President Kevin Sexton and Vice President Alise Martiny were on hand to thank the volunteers.

“We are out here today to give back to the local community,” Sexton said. “Our local apprentices with Cement Masons 527 are volunteering, and Troy High School wanted to get involved. We just came through to show our support to the Union’s Sportmen’s Alliance and our apprentices.”

Phipps visited with Local 527 Apprenticeship Coordinator Scott Downs in January about the project. Downs often encourages his apprentices to volunteer on projects in the community to hone their skills.

“Sam and I sat down and mapped everything out,” Downs said. “We got seven different trades involved and we were able to get over 70 percent of the project donated. Then I reached out to a couple high schools about volunteering for the project and Troy High School had a Home Tech Program, so they were on board.”

Cole Jones, 17, has been in the school’s Home Tech Program for three years. After watching and learning from the apprentices, he and other students were able to help with the concrete.

“Volunteering here today gives me the option of experiencing a career path right out of high school, and I’ve learned a lot,” Jones said.

Phase 1 of the project, which will be complete in July, will include a static range with five shooting lanes and 13 targets. Target lanes will range from 10 to 50 yards with ADA-compliant concrete sidewalk access to all targets.

Phase 2 of the project, scheduled for completion in 2024, will include a wooded walk-through archery range trail with a one mile loop with 14 target stations. Targets will range in distance from 10 to 60 yards and be placed at various elevations.

In addition to Cement Masons Local 527, other unions and partners on the project include: the St. Louis Building & Construction trades Council, St. Louis Labor Council, Operating Engineers Local 513, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562, Painters District Council 58, Insulators Local 1, Iron Workers Local 396, Roofers Local 2, Sisters in the Brotherhood of Mid America Carpenters Regional Council, Humana, Magruder Limestone Company, Millstone Weber and Western Ready Mix.

This is the second new archery park in the St. Louis area being built by the Union Sportmen’s Alliance and local building trades members. In March the Alliance and local building trades broke ground on a new archery range in Florissant’s Sunset Park. That project is expected to be completed in a few weeks.

One Comment

  • They had one Yeats ago no one really ever used it was st Kessler’s C.A. it was as nice but never was used much there plenty of places to shootbyour bow I think an indoor one in hawk point now. But nice to see something for the kids and adults to use . what’s the fee?? Busch’s is way to much .


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