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Mark Placek of Berkshire Trail Riders, far right, presents a grant to Granville Fire Chief David Gay, center, while Deputy Chief Wesley Bauver looks on.

The Berkshire Trail Riders Association has announced that the fire departments of Granville, Blandford, Sandisfield, Tolland, and Pine Meadows have been awarded grants from BTR ranging from $600 to $1,000.

The grants will be used to purchase emergency rescue equipment such as safety harnesses, response bags and off-road extraction equipment.

Over the past 15 years, the Berkshire Trail Riders Association has donated more than $50,000 to both local and national charity organizations alike, including local fire departments and EMT units, police departments, State Forest and DEP agencies, both private and public land owners, and The Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Founded in the early 1970s as the Foothill Trail Riders and later incorporated in 1992, the Berkshire Trail Riders Association has been advocating responsible off-road motorcycle riding, competition, and local philanthropy in the greater New England region for nearly 50 years.

The group maintains the trails they ride, actively promoting their preservation through trail work parties several times a year, while working alongside various local, state, and federal agencies. Other than those on private lands, the trails are open to the public for other uses.