For the past six months, a multi-organization collaboration among a handful of local groups has been working on securing a significant grant that has the potential to dramatically enhance outdoor recreational opportunities in the Mad River Valley. On Monday, November 15, beginning at 6:30 there will be a forum for the public to learn about the proposed project and about the grant and to provide input and ideas to the team. Representatives from the various partner organizations will be on hand to present the information and answer questions. See the meeting access information below.
The grant is being offered by the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC). The VOREC program is in the process of awarding $5.1 million to local communities which seek to leverage their outdoor recreation assets to grow their local economies.
The Mad River Valley’s grant proposal requests approximately $400,000 and is being submitted by the Mad River Valley Recreation District (MRVRD) on behalf of a diverse group of local partners who envision the creation of a new Recreation Hub in Irasville. Partners in the proposal include Mad River Valley Planning District, Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce, Mad River Riders, Friends of the Mad River, Mad River Path, the town of Waitsfield and multiple local property owners.
The Recreation Hub will be sited at the Local Folk Smokehouse, in Irasville and will provide space for a new recreationally-focused Mad River Valley Visitors’ Center operated by the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce. The grounds behind the building will offer parking, restrooms and a trailhead accessing a new pedestrian/bike bridge across the Mill Brook and will host enhanced stormwater mitigation and riparian buffers. The bridge will connect to the Mad River Riders’ existing network of trails on private and state land and safe crossings to the Mad River Path’s Village Trail and town sidewalks are also planned.
The central location near the intersection of Route 100 and 17 will direct pedestrians, bicyclists and other visitors to businesses, encourage locals to get outside, increase visitor participation in recreation and encourage trail users’ stewardship of our natural resources. The grant proposal also includes a component to engage the whole community in envisioning and working together towards a sustainable trail network for The Valley that capitalizes on outdoor recreation for all its benefits while sustaining and enhancing the ecological integrity of the watershed.
All members of the community are invited to attend this information and input session so they can learn about the project, share input and ask any questions. The meeting will be held remotely. Access the meeting via this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87353762016 – Meeting ID: 873 5376 2016 -- it will also be lived streamed by Mad River Valley Television at https://mrvtv.com/live-broadcasts/live-stream/