The Nation Valley ATV Club held their monthly meeting on December 8. It was a good opportunity to sit down with them and find out what the club is all about. There has been a huge upsurge in the number of people driving ATVs during the pandemic. Not everyone jumping on an ATV realizes all the Club does.
Nation Valley ATV Club (NVATVC) oversees, builds, and maintains trails in and around Winchester, South Mountain, Kemptville, and Ottawa. The Club is part of the Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicle Clubs (OFATV). You need a OFATV trail permit to be using the OFATV trails, which includes all of the NVATVC trails. ATVs must be registered and insured.
The Club currently has 456 members. Use of ATVs has increased a lot during covid. This has translated into more Club members. The current president is Chase Rodley. Past president and quartermaster is Dave Baker. The volunteer of the month was Shawn Doolan. Many people getting ATVs initially don’t know that the trails or the Club exist. The Club builds and maintains the vast network of trails. A lot of trails are on private property, and the members build and maintain trails on all lands. There is no cost or work associated with a land owner hosting a NVATVC trail. The members are stewards of the land, with the approach that if they don’t take care of the land and trails, and be good ambassadors of ATVing, they will not have anywhere to ride. The extensive network of trails can include municipal land, crown land, sides of roadways, and private land. Some municipalities allow ATVs on roads, some want ATVs to stay to the outskirts of the townships. Either way, trails are maintained and well signed.
Wardens patrol the trails, ensuring that people have permits, watching for injuries, break-downs, emergencies, or vehicles on the trails that don’t belong.
Educating riders on responsible riding, as well as on rules and regulations is a primary mandate of the club and members. In addition to being stewards of the land, the members represent the sport. Riding responsibly, and making sure that others do as well, is important to the members. If the public and landowners see ATVing in a positive light, they are more likely to allow trails on their property. The trails are not designed for high-speed, dangerous travel. They are designed to allow people to safely enjoy their ATVs and the land around them, while spending time with friends.
The club raises a great deal of money for charity through rides and events, sponsorship, merchandise, and dues, including for Camp Erin, a weekend bereavement camp that provides support for children from 6 to 17 years old who are grieving the death of someone significant in their lives. This year they have raised $6,100 for North Dundas Christmas Fund and Community Foodshare.
The club is open to helping new members. There is a new moderated Facebook group where people can chat (www.facebook.com/groups/nvatvctalk). Trail maps are available at the NVATVC website, and at quadon.org. email@example.com, 613-465-6283