Back in 2006, Polaris did something unprecedented. They started a bi annual grant program to help the ATV industry flourish. Known as T.R.A.I.L.S., this generous system has made it possible for the powersport manufacturer to fuel various ATV clubs and organizations for over a decade. In this article, we cover what T.R.A.I.L.S. is and who the lucky winners are this year.
T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program
According to the Polaris website, T.R.A.I.L.S. is an acronym for Trail development, Responsible riding, Access, Initiatives, Lobbying, and Safety. Or to put it another way, the program was developed to promote safe, responsible riding and ensure trail accessibility. To ensure this occurs, winners are required to use the donation for the only following.
- Trail development
- Maintenance projects related to trails
- Education programs, such as safety classes
- Lobbying for government assistance related to trail expansion
- Plans involving a way to increase or maintain land in proximity to trails
ATV clubs, organizations, and other local groups in the United States that want to apply for the grant may do so twice a year. All submitted applications are split between two different award seasons that start on March 1st and September 1st. To elaborate, those that apply after the March cut off date are entered into the September drawing and vice versa.
That said, the maximum amount of cash a group may be awarded is $10,000. Other qualifications include being filed as either 501(c)(3), 501(c)(7) government or non-profit organization, and the following requirements.
- Submit a Results Report
- Trail file for the area being managed
- Polaris Ride Command data as well as a mapped out file of trail or development plans
After a month long review, potential applicants are typically announced.
Spring 2020 Winners
Since 2006, Polaris has donated over $2.5 million to ATV organizations across the United States. Thanks to them, 4 x 4 enthusiasts have been able to enjoy miles upon miles of four wheeler fun, and they appear to be dedicated to continuing the bi annual tradition despite the ongoing pandemic. That said, Polaris has donated $110,000 to the following twelve winners.
- Exeter Explorers ATV Club
- Garland Trail Hawks ATV Club
- Roxbury ATV Riders Club
- Upper Peninsula Recreational Off-Road ATV Riders
- Trail Prospectors Alliance
- Range Trail Committee
- Ephratah ATV Trail Monitors
- Pennsylvania ATV Trail Development Corporation
- Vermont ATV Sportsmans Association Inc
- Southwest Recreation Regional Authority DBA Spearhead Trails
- Baraboo Bluffs ATV/UTV Club Inc.
- Nokomis ATV Club
Although there is no data on how much each establishment is receiving, if the funds are split evenly they would all individually receive about $9,000.
In a statement issued by Steven menneto, Off Road President at Polaris, “These local organizations and clubs are made up of passionate volunteers and riders who love our sport – they are truly the life blood of the off-roading community with a genuine desire to help create a safe and enjoyable experience for all those looking to get out and ride”.
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