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Local snowmobiling club earns multiple awards, grant

Iowa Snowdrifters volunteer to maintain trails

A plow used to make snowmobile trails rests after a snowfall in February. The Iowa Snowdrifters snowmobile club helps to maintain more than 200 miles of trails across four counties. (Iowa Snowdrifters)
A plow used to make snowmobile trails rests after a snowfall in February. The Iowa Snowdrifters snowmobile club helps to maintain more than 200 miles of trails across four counties. (Iowa Snowdrifters)
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CORALVILLE — Although they didn’t get the white Christmas they’d hoped for, an area snowmobiling group has plenty to be proud of this winter.

Iowa Snowdrifters, a club covering four Eastern Iowa counties, won the American Council of Snowmobile Association’s Club of the Year award for 2018 and is working to maintain a network of trails for snowmobilers in Eastern Iowa.

The group meets once a month to discuss volunteer tail maintenance, which is made up of a network that stretches through Johnson, Linn, Iowa and Benton counties.

When considering a Club of the Year, the council looks “for a variety of things. Number one, we’re supporting snow mobiles. So we have a lot of trails, we’re fairly well organized,” said Derrick Parker, who handles communications for the Iowa Snowdrifters.

“They like to make sure that you’re maintaining safe snowmobile trails, and then community service and other activities, so we turn in a lot of volunteer hours with all the work we do.”

The club also has earned the Iowa State Snowmobile Association’s Club of the Year honor as well as won a $10,000 grant for trial equipment.

The group, which was started in the early 1970s, is made up of more than 100 snowmobilers who take care of about 240 miles of snowmobile trails. Parker, a North Liberty resident and a club member, said they work with the cities and counties as well as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Army Corps of Engineers to make sure they properly create and take care of safe trails.

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The network is based mostly in Johnson County and includes trails in Lake Macbride State Park to the Coralville Lake. The Iowa Snowdrifters’ network also connects with other clubs networks — the Sledheads to the south and the Winter Warriors to the east.

The Iowa Snowdrifters also perform a number of services for the community in addition to maintaining the trials. They organize a tractor pull to raise scholarship money for the children of members or other children interested in the sport and help out Johnson County Emergency Management if needed to rescue drivers from their cars during a snowstorm.

“It’s a pretty fun group of generous people. They all like to do a lot of fun activities, and when we do get snow, I mean these guys will all get out together,” Parker said,

l Comments: (319) 339-3172; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

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