The first of its kind in the ATV industry, the ‘T.R.A.I.L.S.’ grant program was launched in January 2006 for ATV clubs, associations and grassroots groups. ATV riders and the trails they use are the lifeblood of the sport and Polaris aimed to create a program to help.
The T.R.A.I.L.S. program makes funds available to not-for-profit national, state and local organizations in the United States to ensure the future of ATV riding.
T.R.A.I.L.S. stands for:
T = Trail Development
R = Responsible Riding
A = Access
I = Initiatives
L = Lobbying
S = Safety
The grant program encompasses two main objectives – promoting safe and responsible riding, and preserving access. Funds can be used by organizations for trail development and maintenance projects, safety and education initiatives, lobbying and other projects to increase and maintain land access.
“Trail access is undoubtedly our number one challenge in the industry,” said Mike Dougherty, general manager of the ATV division at Polaris. “Our continuing dedication to this program sets Polaris apart in the industry showcasing our commitment to living the ride experience and working tirelessly to make it better.”
The grants ranged from $3,000 to the maximum $10,000 and will be applied toward: land acquisition, trail mapping, marking and maintenance; trail development, stabilization and reforestation; bridge building; Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forest Service and State Forest ride area enhancements and trail mapping projects.
The third round of T.R.A.I.L.S. grant recipients are:
Island Trails Network (Alaska)
Little Sioux Explorers OHV Club (Iowa)
North Idaho ATV Association (Idaho)
Border Riders Sportsman Club (Maine)
Fourtown-Grygla Sportsmans Club (Minnesota)
Washington County Board of Supervisors (Mississippi)
Down East River Club (North Carolina)
Lewis County Trails Department (New York)
Motorcycle Riders Association (Oregon)
Arapeen Trail Council / Castle Country OHV (Utah)
Missouri Dirt Riders
Motorized Recreation Council of Wyoming
“We continue to be overwhelmed with the response we’ve had from ATV clubs and organizations,” said Dougherty. “We had twice as many applications as we did in July which confirms the enormous need for funding support to keep this sport alive and thriving. We are thrilled to be able to continue this program in to 2007 and have every intention to keep it going for years to come to ensure ample and pristine riding areas for ATV enthusiasts.”
For more information on the ‘T.R.A.I.L.S.’ grant program and an application form, visit the Polaris Web site at www.polarisindustries.com and click on “Riders,” then select “Right to Ride.”