Mad River Park fields showing burned grass due to lack of water.

The Mad River Valley Recreation District and Mad River Park fields committee are 75% of the way through a fundraising effort towards a well and irrigation system. The Mad River Valley Recreation District (MRVRD) purchased Mad River Park in 2017 through a broad community fundraising effort and has made a number of enhancements like the pavilion, benches, a shed and an ADA compliant ramp. The MRVRD Board and Mad River Park Fields Committee knew maintenance and improvements would be a priority, and they consider the well and irrigation system a major enhancement.


The Mad River Park Recreation Fields are used by thousands of kids and adults each year. With heavy usage throughout the spring and early summer, by mid-summer the fields are often dry and with no grass in many spots. MRVRD wants to protect its investment, provide an outstanding community resource and minimize the expenses of reseeding, fertilizer and labor. With climate change upon us, we cannot count on enough rain to keep the fields from drying out. MRVRD is committed to sustaining our fields and allowing people of all ages to use this community space. 

In April 2022, the first phase of the project, the drilling of a nonpotable well, was completed. The cost, $10,300, was paid for by a MRVRD budget allocation and donations from Mad River Youth Lacrosse, the Mad River Valley Soccer Association and an individual donor.

"Since then, we have been quietly raising funds for the installation of a pump, electricity and a moveable irrigation system, which uses a water reel sprinkler and underground hydrants. We are thrilled to report that as of September 2022 we have raised $26,100 in donations and pledges toward a goal of $35,000. Our partners include: Waitsfield Telecom, MRV Rotary, Washington Electric Company, Kingsbury Construction, The Alchemist Foundation, Mike Krupka and others," said rec district board chair Alice Rodgers.

On Sunday, September 18, from 3 to 6 p.m., there will be a Mad River Park appreciation day to celebrate this community resource and allow families to gather to play games, sports, and listen to music. Food trucks will be on hand and people are encouraged to consider a donation to Mad River Park to help complete the fundraising for the irrigation system. Many of the activities are free and more details about the event are forthcoming. It’s a rain or shine event at Mad River Park, 236 Airport Road, Waitsfield, VT 05673.

"Many thanks to all the groups and individuals considering donations to this project. To help us reach our goal, please mail checks to MRVRD (Irrigation project noted on check) and mail to MRVRD, 4144 Main Street, Waitsfield, VT 05673. For more information, please call or email our executive director, Laura Arnesen, 802-917-1056 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check," Rodgers added.

MRVRD is funded by the towns of Fayston, Waitsfield and Warren.