Low-Emission FS IQ WideTrak Utility Model Provides Excellent Power
Trail grooming and winter utility work at the Arboretum will be accomplished in a more efficient and environmentally friendly manner with the new four-stroke utility snowmobile donated recently by 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," said Professor and Interim Arboretum Director Mary Meyer. "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. "Our 4-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, part of the University of Minnesota, is the largest public garden in the Upper Midwest and a premier northern arboretum.
Located in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen, the arboretum features more than 1,000 acres of gardens, model landscapes and natural areas such as woodlands, wetlands and prairie, as well as extensive collections of northern-hardy plants.
In warm weather, the arboretum grounds feature over 12 miles of paths and trails as well as a scenic Three-Mile Drive. In winter, there are 9 miles of cross-country ski trails and 3.5 miles of snowshoe trails. These trails, especially the cross-country trails, have previously been groomed using an old, unreliable V-8-powered machine that taxes both the environment and arboretum mechanics' repair skills.
"We had been grooming with a 1966 machine called the Super Imp that's very inefficient and we were constantly repairing it," Meyer said. "A mechanic worked on it regularly all winter, and parts were nearly impossible to find. We were thrilled when Polaris offered to donate a snowmobile."
She said the FS IQ WideTrak will allow more frequent grooming of the cross-country ski trails, as well as expanded initial grooming of the snowshoe trails, some of which run in remote areas the old machine couldn't access.
"Since the Polaris snowmobile is so much lighter than the other machine, we'll be able to groom more often," she said. "The other machine was so heavy, you didn't want to groom too often because the tracks would actually dig into the ground. Our cross-country ski trails are heavily used, especially in light of recent snowfalls, and were in dire need of a new grooming machine."
The FS IQ WideTrak has a clean, powerful, quiet and efficient four-stroke engine. It also has electric start, reverse, Hi and Low forward ranges, underseat storage, a tow hitch, heated glove box, heated handgrips and thumb warmer, mirrors, a tall and protective windshield and a wide track that delivers excellent flotation and traction.
With annual 2009 sales of $1.6 billion, Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets off-road vehicles (ORVs), including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER®, snowmobiles and Victory Motorcycles® for recreational and utility use. Polaris is a recognized leader in the snowmobile industry, and one of the largest manufacturers of ORVs in the world. Victory Motorcycles, established in 1998 and representing the first all-new American-made motorcycle from a major company in nearly 60 years, are rapidly making impressive in-roads into the cruiser and touring motorcycle marketplace. Polaris also enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Pure Polaris® apparel, accessories and parts, available at Polaris dealerships. Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "PII," and the company is included in the S&P Small-Cap 600 stock price index. Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories, is available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime from the Polaris homepage at www.polarisindustries.com.
(L-R) Polaris President Bennett Morgan,
Arboretum Director Mary Meyer,
Polaris CEO Scott Wine and
Arboretum gardener Richard Gjertson
at the snowmobile donation ceremony.