CommunityChallenge.tiff

The Bowman Parks and Recreation Department have won the latest community challenge. (Top Row, l-r) Laura Weber (Bowman County Development Corporation), Claira Kees (ProPoint Livestock and 2021 Judge), Bob Wokal (Bowman Parks and Rec Board Member), Chanell Walby (Bowman Parks and Rec), Jane Nelson (Bowman Parks and Rec). (The bottom row) Teran Doerr (Bowman County Development Corporation), Ed Kvaale (Bowman Parks and Rec Board Member), Matthew Buchholz (Bowman Parks and Rec Board Member), Chris Johnson (Bowman Parks and Rec Board Member), Brooklyn Engelhart (Bowman County Development Corporation and 2021 Judge), Darwin Wilke (Bowman Parks and Rec Board Member), Shelby Kinkade (Bowman County Development Corporation). Submitted photo

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After the Bowman Parks and Recreation Department won $10,000 grant from the 2021 Community Challenge for a proposed shooting range, they started organizing with a meeting in the Rouzie Recreation Center March 10.

The meeting drew approximately 60 people into the gym where members of the recreation department explained the proposed shooting range, its location and usage.

In addition to getting the people interested in the range to sign in, they also asked people to note if they were interested in being on the board of directors for the facility.

According to the recreation department, the shooting range will provide a facility where hunters can practice shooting, locals can sight in their guns, and a safe place where elders can teach young hunters. Plus, it offers the availability to service 4-H clubs, gun safety, school clubs, and many more possibilities. Membership fees will support the shooting range.

The meeting drew a big response, according to Chris Johnson, the president of the Bowman Parks and Rec Board.

“We have been getting this (shooting range) put together,” he said after the meeting. The process has taken just two months so far, he added. “I have heard they have been trying to do this for 30 years … different clubs trying to put this together. We are just carrying the torch and trying to get her hopefully finished.”

The check from the community challenge will help a lot, Johnson said.

The group will be taking its next step forward March 24 when they will hold an election meeting, using the sign-up sheet. “We need to get a board formed and then some bylaws passed, so we can get the club off the ground,” Johnson said. “Then, we can apply for a 501C3 (as a non-profit). That is the important part now... to get this set up as a non-profit club.”

Once the club is created, they will set up their membership dues and if there will be lifetime memberships, he said. They will also set up the non-member fees so others can use it (the facility).

The goal for the people behind the project is to have the facility located several miles west of the city open and operating by April 2022. “Maybe sooner, but it will be by then,” he said.

It will also provide a location for an archery range and a clay pigeon area, according to the proposal.

The Community Challenge was created by Bowman County Development Corporation and funded by the Bowman Tax and Tourism Committee. Both organizations are hopeful to host another challenge in 2022. Brosz Engineering, Inc. was the first winner in 2020.

Bowman Parks and Recreation will be writing additional grants and fundraising to secure required funding.

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