The fields at Mad River Park in Waitsfield are used by thousands of kids, adults and dozens of recreation leagues and groups. With heavy usage throughout the spring and early summer, by midsummer the fields are often dry and with no grass in many spots, according to rec district board chair Liza Walker.
“This has been on our wish list for youth recreation groups for a while. There have been wet years and dry years and the fields get brown and are easily damaged and then it takes more expense and application of more materials to bring them back,” Walker said.
To that end, the rec district had Manosh drill a nonpotable well last week to protect its investment and that of the community in the public recreation fields that are home to youth soccer, lacrosse and many more sports.
On Friday, March 25, Manosh completed drilling a well for nonpotable water to serve a future above-ground irrigation system for the park. The well has a yield of up to 18 GPM, and is located in the parking area, close to the storage shed.
Drilling the well cost some $9,000, Walker said and the rec district board wanted to get it drilled as soon as possible after securing the estimate because the costs of so many things continue to rise.
This first phase of the MRP irrigation project was paid for through a combination of MRVRD funds, a private benefactor and donations from Mad River Valley Youth Lacrosse and Mad River Valley Soccer Association.
The next phase includes installing a pump, electricity and purchasing and installing a moveable above-ground irrigation system. The next phases will take place later this year or in 2023 after funds are secured.
A fundraising plan, which may include public grants, community events and fundraisers, is underway at the MRVRD and with partner recreation leagues, with final plans to be announced later this spring. The completed project is estimated at between $40,000 to $50,000, of which over $10,000 has been secured.
Mad River Park (MRP) on Airport Road is owned and operated by the Mad River Valley Recreation District (MRVRD). The MRVRD purchased the property in 2017 with the help of a grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and individuals and local businesses. It includes 10 acres of community fields for soccer, lacrosse and other field sports, surrounded by a walking path with benches, an ADA ramp and a pavilion, which is available to rent. The fields are closed from late March to early April when the snow melts and they are too wet for use.