Back in 2004 I received a phone call from Russ Ehnes Executive Director of NOHVCC (National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council). NOHVCC is the lead US umbrella organization that represents various state clubs and associations dealing with off highway issues everything from safety, environmental, partnerships, property usage, trail development, education and other riding issues. Working closely with partnerships including state parks, manufacturers, land owners, law enforcement, riding clubs/associations, government agencies and NGOs their mission is to help preserve and enhance the enjoyment of off highway riding across the nation.
Russ Ehnes mentioned he and the NOHVCC board were impressed with the work I was doing for the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) and asked if I would be interested in developing art for their young riders programs for kids between the ages of 8 and 11. I thought immediately ‘what a unique opportunity’. I had never had the chance to create art for a children’s program of this magnitude before.
I was extremely impressed with Robert’s skills as artist, his ability to understand the messages we were trying to convey and his incredible ability to do it in an entertaining and humorous manner that appeals to kids 3 to 85 years old.
Russ connected me with Dana Bell, NOHVCC’s education director, and a beautiful thing happened. It resulted in the birth of ‘Adventure Trail’. What began as artwork for NOHVCC’s educational interpretative trailer soon blossomed into
design work for the activity/story book, coloring book, poster series, interactive web platform, and CD package graphic components. It didn’t stop there.
Karen Umphress, who replaced Dana upon her retirement, became instrumental in installing our work in a number of US elementary schools. What I found exciting is the poster images were even laminated to hallway floors where kids could walk over my art. Cool! The Canadian Off Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV) even adopted Adventure Trail for their young riders education programs.
Robert has proven again that he is extremely skilled in getting our message across to our audience in an incredibly effective way. I’m sure if you had a chance to see the illustrations for the Adventure Trail’s activity books, poster series, interpretative trailer and interactive web platform that Robert created for us you’ll be impressed. ~ Russ Ehnes, Executive Director, NOHVCC
By 2019 NOHVCC published their 1 millionth issue of the activity/story book. Wow! It still takes me by surprise how my art has reached millions of kids. What surprised NOHVCC is the impact the Adventure Trail had on their adult audience too. My objective has always been to create art that has a little something for everyone.