More than $700,000 granted for snowmobiling
Six snowmobile clubs in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Canada have been awarded a total of $721,174 in non-repayable funding, according to a press release from Canada Economic Development.
Granted through the Community Economic Diversification program, this financial assistance covered a significant portion of the acquisition costs of new snow grooming machines to maintain certain sections of the Trans-Québec trail. This equipment represented a total cost of more than $1.3 million.
“The Abitibi-Témiscamingue region offers ideal snow conditions for the practice of snowmobiling,” Minister of State Denis Lebel said in the release. “Indeed, during high season this sport occupies a place of prime importance. Canada Economic Development is proud to lend its financial support to the seven projects being announced today, particularly as they all promise to bolster winter tourism spinoffs in the region. The acquisition of this equipment by the various clubs will also lead to a substantial investment in the area.”
These projects are expected to help strengthen the region’s assets, namely the more than 1,800 miles of snowmobile trails that crisscross the territory. Organized snowmobiling generates more than $47 million in economic spinoffs every year for the region.
Polaris donates four-stroke snowmobile
In support of one of Minnesota’s most popular attractions, Polaris Industries donated a four-stroke utility snowmobile to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for trail grooming and utility work, according to a press release from Polaris.
The low-emission FS IQ WideTrak utility snowmobile will allow the arboretum staff to groom cross-country ski trails and snowshoe trails, and complete winter chores, such as maintaining fences erected to keep deer from feeding on arboretum trees.
“We are thrilled with this donation by Polaris and thankful to have a machine that’s much more efficient and really fits with our ‘Green at Heart’ initiative,” Professor and Interim Arboretum Director Mary Meyer said in the release. “We had no budget for the purchase of this machine, so we are very grateful to Polaris for this wonderful donation.”
Polaris CEO Scott Wine said the company welcomed the opportunity to support one of Minnesota’s most popular attractions. “At Polaris, we’re all outdoors lovers and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is one of the most beautiful, relaxing and educational sites of its kind in the country,” he said in the release. “Our four-stroke FS IQ WideTrak is ideal for the arboretum’s needs and its sustainability initiative, and we are pleased to support them with this contribution.”
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, which is part of the University of Minnesota, is the largest public garden in the Upper Midwest and a premier northern arboretum.
“We had been grooming with a 1966 machine called the Super Imp that’s very inefficient,” Meyer said.