Grant funds Grist ATVPublished 7:46pm Tuesday, March 5, 2013
PLANTERSVILLE — With the help of grant money from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the Outback Trail Riders donated an ATV equipped with four-wheel drive to Paul M. Grist State Park Tuesday.
Bobby Whaley, past president of the Outback Trail Riders delivered the vehicle and said the process of getting it to the state park is one that started in August of last year.
“This started when they opened [the park] up for the horse people,” Whaley said. “For years this park didn’t allow horses down here, and then in late spring of last year, we came down and talked to [the park manager] about opening it up for [us]. And he was all for it because it would create revenue for this park.”
Park Manager Roger Nichols said that until Tuesday, the park only had two golf carts to maneuver the trails — golf carts that were worn out and no longer able to drive up the parks’ hills.
With the park now open to horses, Nichols said they wanted to create more trails, but simply didn’t have the equipment to do so.
Whaley said the people who ride horses were eager to help, so the Outback Trail Riders applied for a grant from ADECA.
“We just decided to help them get something to work on the trails, because you can take this [ATV] and a chain saw, and you go out there and you can cut some trails in,” Whaley said. “They’re going to put some more trails in for the horse people, so there’s nothing wrong with the horse people helping [the park].”
The Outback Trail Riders were approved for a grant for the ATV in the fall of 2012.
“I think the purchase price for this was about $13,600, and the grant was for 80 percent of that, which was around $11,000,” Whaley said. “The state paid for the rest through timber funds from the storm that came through a little over a year ago.”
Nichols said the park plans to use the ATV for new trails, trail maintenance and for general maintenance around the park.
And while the grant was specifically for the trails, Whaley said, the ATV will be able to get deep into the woods if needed, in case of emergencies.
“If somebody gets hurt back there — they can get in there and help them out,” he said, which is something, he noted, the worn out golf carts could no longer do.
“It adds a great safety feature,” Nichols said. “It will make a difference.”