SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod. R. Blagojevich today awarded more than $1.4 million in grants from the state’s Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreational Trails Program to fund improvements at OHV facilities in Illinois. The grants will help fund improvements to some existing facilities and develop new trails that will help attract riders and encourage safe recreation.
“These trails are used by thousands of riders throughout the year and these grants will help make sure these facilities are maintained and safe for all riders,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
The OHV Recreational Trails Program is funded through the title fees on all-terrain vehicles and off-highway motorcycles, and through the sale of public access stickers that must be displayed on all off-highway vehicles using grant-assisted facilities. The program provides up to 100 percent reimbursement for approved project costs, which may include land acquisition from willing sellers, construction and maintenance of OHV trails and related facilities, restoration of areas damaged by OHV use, and for education and safety programs.
Local governments, not-for-profit OHV clubs and organizations, businesses and private individuals may apply for grants through the program. Projects are reviewed and recommended for funding by the Off-Highway Vehicle Trails Advisory Board composed of representatives of motorized recreation groups and organizations.
“This is great program that will help many more people enjoy our wonderful natural resources,” said Senator Todd Sieben (R-Geneseo). “I am pleased that Tom Enyeart has a local project that qualifies for these funds.”
“This is an outstanding opportunity to enhance off-highway recreational activities in this region,” commented Representative Roger Eddy (R-Huntsonville).
The OHV grant program is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). For more information on applying for OHV Recreational Trails Program grants, contact the IDNR Division of Grant Administration, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271, phone 217/782-7481. Applications will be accepted for the next round of grants from Jan. 1-Mar. 1, 2008.
The following grants are being awarded:
Illinois Off-Highway Vehicle Association (Statewide), $5,000 to train eight people to serve as instructors for off-road motorcycle safety courses throughout Illinois. This “train the trainers” program will help ensure that more off-road motorcycle riders throughout the state receive important safety instruction.
Little Egypt Off-Road Motorcycle Club (Williamson County), $210,000 to further develop the 718-acre Little Egypt Off-Road Public OHV Recreational Area near the Village of Crab Orchard. The project includes the construction of a shower and bathroom building, a picnic shelter with 20 picnic tables, the purchase of two utility ATVs for trail maintenance/security/rescue operations, the development of 12 additional miles of OHV trails, and funds for advertising the site.
Tim Jackson (Cumberland County), $557,200 for the acquisition of 171 acres of an existing 216-acre OHV park west of Casey that has been in operation since 1974. The portion of the site being acquired with grant assistance contains approximately 25 miles of recreational trail riding.
Tom Enyeart (Henry County), $484,700 for the development of a new OHV park on a 206-acre site located 30 miles east of the Quad Cities near Atkinson. The project includes the construction of an office/storage/restroom/shower building, a septic system, a gravel entrance road, a parking area, site perimeter fencing, the purchase of a utility ATV for site maintenance/rescue purposes, site liability insurance, and engineering fees.
Williams Hill Pass Association (Saline County), $188,700 for improvements to an existing 220-acre OHV park located south of Harrisburg near Rudement. Funds will be used for improvements to the showers, to widen and upgrade the entrance and site interior road, to install a water line to the welcome center/shower building, and funds for advertising the site.