CORDELE, GA (WALB) - A new addition to a Georgia state park will bring in more money for the state's recreation industry, according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials.
On Thursday, state leaders gathered at the Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park in Cordele to cut the ribbon on the park's archery and air rifle ranges.
"A lot of hard work went into it, and you can tell by looking around," said Walter Lane with the Wildlife Resources Division.
The new feature includes a static archery range, an air rifle range and a 3D archery trail.
"It's an economic boom to our community," said Rep. Buddy Harden of District 148.
On Thursday, DNR officials said that the economic boom from the state park and the new addition will contribute to the $478 million a year generated by the Georgia sporting arms and ammunition industry.
That industry supports 1,700 jobs in the state.
Park visitors can use these ranges to better their skill, and that is mainly due to an excise tax on guns and ammunition called the Wildlife Restoration Program in Georgia.
"Seventy-five percent of the funding for this came from that tax," Lane explained. "When people come and use this, they've got to own equipment, or buy what they need to participate."
The funding for the other 25 percent of the $500,000 project came from the North Georgia Mountains Authority.
More than the money though, these state officials want to encourage young people to pick up a bow and arrow or an air rifle.
"We want to bring the love of a sport that most of us grew up doing that's not as popular as it once was," said Walter Rabon with the DNR.
It costs $5 per person to shoot at Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park.
Kids 12 and under are free.
You can also buy a yearly pass for $50 and a family pass for $75.
Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.