HISTORY AND FUNDING
In 2009, TXTEAMM first applied for a grant through the National 4-H Foundation to create, develop and implement a statewide ATV Safety and OHV Education program through the Texas 4-H Foundation in partnership with Texas A&M University. The program was immediately successful even though funding through National 4-H was discontinued the following year. Since that time, funding has come from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. OHV Decal Program, Yamaha Motor Corporation, Polaris Industries, Tucker-Rocky Distributors, Alamo CyclePlex, El Campo Cycle Sales, various Texas Motorcycle Dealers Association (TMDA) dealerships and individual donations from 4-H groups and school districts. Until the end of 2013, TXTEAMM funding had been administered by the Texas 4H Foundation. TXTEAMM is now a 501c)3 public charity and partners with numerous agencies.
THE PROGRAM AND ITS REACH
The program itself consists of three components. One is to provide ATV/OHV Safety Education Awareness (SA) presentations to groups of any size in various venues. The curriculum is designed on the nationally accepted principles of ATV/OHV safety education either with (30-45 min.) or without (15-20 min.) a video module. The second component is a “train the trainers” element, whereby adults and youth leaders are taught to give the SA presentations themselves (SAT). SAT candidates must complete the RC. The third is the ATV Safety Institute RiderCourse (RC). The RC is a hands-on, 4 hour, ride-the-ATV course utilizing state licensed ATV instructors on a closed range.
Since the programs’ inception, we have seen 50,000 Texas schoolchildren (and adults) in 63 Texas counties. Media materials are most often distributed along with the SA and include brochures, videos, posters, stickers and activity books.
ATV/OHV PARK CREATION
While traveling the state TXTEAMM also speaks with various land managers, both public and private relating the dire need for safe, responsible and legal OHV recreation venues.
We discuss the economic development potential of OHV recreation and OHV park development and management. Two of our team members have been trained in sustainable trails development and one has written and implemented numerous trails grants. Of the 23 projects funded by RTP and State OHV decals grants, 10 were first contacted by TXTEAMM.