League Lines: Aiming to Engage Youth and the Community

Maryland >> Since its founding in 1949, the League’s Mid-Shore Chapter (formerly the Talbot County Chapter) has aimed to conserve natural resources on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and provide outdoor education for area youth.

The chapter’s property on the headwaters of Bolingbroke Creek provides the perfect location for outdoor education. The chapter hosts hundreds of area students at its outdoor pavilion each year. The 56-acre nature area — home to both forest and marsh — contains a variety of trees, shrubs, birds, insects, and other wildlife. A one-and-a-half mile interpretive trail in the forest area is frequently visited by teachers and their students.

To extend its youth outreach efforts and enrich the nature park experience, the chapter added an archery range. Chapter members built the range based on blueprints provided by USA Archery (formerly the National Archery Association), which also provided safety guidelines and staff expertise. The chapter received a grant from the IWLA Endowment to help cover the costs of building the archery range.

The chapter organizes its archery classes to teach young children separately from high school students and adults to better focus on the learning styles of young children. Classes are taught by experienced archers who have multiple certifications and years of experience.

The range is creating quite a buzz in the local community, and chapter members hope it will draw schools, scouts, and outdoor enthusiasts to the property.