Finding the money

How To Get Grant Funding For OHV Trail Projects

Building and maintaining OHV trails can be expensive.

While there’s no easy way to get around the manual labor required to clear brush, cut down trees and post signs, organizations throughout the nation have several sources of grant funding they can pursue to help cover the cost of equipment and some other expenses for their projects.

One AMA-chartered club that has had success obtaining grant funding is the Stewards of the Sierra National Forest in California.

Club Director Mike Wubbels said his club has received about 20 grants from federal, state and manufacturer programs since 2008. The club uses the money for trail maintenance work.

Wubbles advice to other clubs is to get to know the officials who will be reviewing the grant applications and learn the acronym-filled lingo public servants use.

Another club that has experience with winning grant funding is the Berkshire Trail Riders. It received an RTP grant in 2011, which was used to purchase a utility vehicle and trail work tools. Club President Mark Placek said the club received a $22,545 grant which was matched with more than $4,500 of club funds and about 220 hours of club member labor on the trails.

Here is some information about five funding sources.

Recreational Trails Program: The RTP is a federally-funded, state-administered grant program. The money comes from a portion of the federal motor fuel excise tax. The program provides funding for motorized and non-motorized recreational trail projects and is a matching-fund program. RTP funding may be used for constructing new trails, maintaining existing trails, purchasing equipment for trail maintenance, acquiring land/easements for new trails and off-highway vehicle safety training programs.

Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative: The Yamaha Motor Corporation offers funding to support organizations that promote safe, responsible and sustainable use of OHVs for recreation. Funds may be used for land conservation, trail development and maintenance, signage, staging area facilities, safety/educational programs and more.

Polaris TRAILS: Polaris Industries’ OHV grant program is aimed at assisting clubs and other organizations to ensure the future of ATV riding. Program funds can be used for safety and advocacy initiatives, as well as trail development projects. Awards can consist of products or funding up to $10,000.

Right Rider Access Fund: This charitable nonprofit is a collaboration among the power sports industry, businesses and individuals to help ensure the future of OHV recreation. Funding can be used for safety/training programs, promoting OHV riding and trail maintenance and construction.

State programs: In addition to the state-administered RTP described above, some states have their own grant programs for OHV projects. Check with your state’s administrative division that oversees outdoor recreation to learn what may be available to you or your club.