The MRVPD is dedicated to “enhancing year-round recreation opportunities for all” by creating safe, fun, and well-crafted facilities for user groups ranging from youth, elderly, those with limited mobility, seasoned athletes, and thrill seekers (MRV Vision Statement).
This work is fundamental for achieving the community’s interconnected goals of improving human health and wellbeing, environmental health, and economic vitality.
A distinct and profound relationship with recreation and the natural world has long been a hallmark of the Mad River Valley (MRV). An ethos of outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship has been a defining feature from its earliest settlement by hill farmers in the 19th century through its population explosion with the rise of the ski industry in the 1940s, and into the present. As the MRV community looks toward its future, it has engaged in initiatives to enable full and responsible utilization of its outdoor recreation assets as well as create an understanding of its history and connectedness.
Mad River Valley Recreation District (MRVRD)
The crucial importance of recreation in the Valley, for residents and visitors alike, resulted in the need to create a body which could focus its energy and resources specifically on recreation.
In 1994, the Mad River Valley Recreation District (MRVRD) was incorporated as a Union Municipal District, and arm of the MRVPD, to provide for the recreation needs of its three member towns, Fayston, Waitsfield, and Warren. MRVRD’s mission is to facilitate, enhance, and create recreational opportunities throughout the MRV that promote community vitality, physical fitness, appreciation for the outdoors, and a high quality of life. This group collaborates with MRVPD and other local partner organizations to create and support projects and facilities that will advance recreation in the Valley.
For more information and to apply for MRVRD grants, visit their website.
Creating and maintaining recreational opportunities for all in the Valley requires vast amounts of time and effort on the part of many stakeholders. The MRVPD, with its focus on building capacity among community members and organizations, engages in a variety of collaborations across stakeholder groups to ensure that they are able to define and achieve their goals.
The MRVPD is proud to partner with the following organizations in addition to others to support recreation efforts in the Mad River Valley:
- Mad River Valley Recreation District
- Mad River Path Association
- Mad River Riders
- Friends of the Mad River
- Mad River Ridge Runners
- Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Vermont Land Trust
- Waitsfield Conservation Commission
- Warren Conservation Commission
- Fayston Conservation Commission
- Green Mountain Club; US Forest Service
- Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission
- Sugarbush Resort
Timeline of MRV Trail Milestones
MRV Unified Trailhead Kiosk Project
The MRV Unified Trailhead Kiosk Project emerged from a collaborative visioning process led by the Mad River Valley Planning District (MRVPD), which included the six municipalities in the watershed (Fayston, Warren, Waitsfield, Duxbury, Moretown, and Middlesex), the Central Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Mad River Valley Recreation District (MRVRD), the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont Dept. of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, the US Forest Service, and local stakeholder organizations, including non-profits like Mad River Path Association (MRPA), Mad River Riders, businesses like Sugarbush Resort and Mad River Glen, and hundreds of residents and visitors.
This work culminated in the 2016 MRV Moves Active Transportation Plan, which provides the framework for a consistent, cohesive and connected regional system of trails, roads and sidewalks that provide a range of transportation options and recreational experiences for all user groups in the MRV, all while connecting users to the natural landscape and respecting the resources that make the Valley so special.
The consensus of the stakeholders was that designating the community’s existing active transportation network through a unified trailhead signage system was the best first step for realizing the MRV Moves Plan’s community recreation goals. The MRV Trails Collaborative that has emerged from this process has been actively designing, planning and implementing the initial stages of this project, and includes a roster of 78 community trail stakeholders. MRVPD is serving as facilitator and project manager for this important community project. The group has met 14 times since the work commenced out of the 2017 MRV Trail Summit.
- 7/6/18: Scrag Mountain Town Forest Kiosk installed by Waitsfield Conservation Commission & Volunteers (pictured below).
- 10/4/18: Mad River Park Kiosk installed by Mad River Valley Recreation District & Volunteers for Mad River Park Pavilion Dedication Ceremony
- 1/24/19: Valley Reporter article detailing the project published (Clipping found here).
- May 2019: Kiosk structures installed throughout the Mad River Valley by the volunteers, Green Mountain Valley School students, the Mad River Path, and Mad River Riders
- June 1, 2019/National Trails Day: 18 Trailhead Kiosks and printed overview map ready to guide visitors
- September 2019: Project complete; all Trailhead Kiosks installed
MRVPD Executive Director, Joshua Schwartz, sands hemlock posts for the Scrag Mountain Town Forest Kiosk (July 2, 2018). Source: Bob Cook
Waitsfield Conservation Commission and local volunteers fabricate and install trailhead kiosk at Scrag Mountain Town Forest. (July 9, 2018). Source: Bob Cook & Joshua Schwartz
Following the creation of the MRV Moves Active Transportation Plan (2016), the MRVPD and the MRV Recreation District co-hosted a 2017 MRV Trails Summit—attended by 13 local recreation and conservation entities— focused on identifying how to put the MRV Moves plan into action.
Read the 2016 MRV Moves Active Transportation Plan here. This plan was funded through the Better Connections Program, a joint program of the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD) “working to create thriving, livable places with diverse transportation choices” (ACCD). Please see the Better Connections Story Map here.
Please visit the MRV Moves website for updated information about projects in the Mad River Valley.