Last spring, the Moretown Recreation Committee conducted a community-wide survey on recreational opportunities in Moretown. The survey received 157 responses. Eighty-six percent of respondents live in Moretown, while others live in neighboring towns and/or recreate in Moretown.
The survey showed the greatest number of respondents use Moretown trails/forest (80.4%), 58.2% use the fields, 48.7% use the courts for tennis, pickleball or basketball and 48.1% use the playgrounds. Favorite summer activities include hiking, swimming and biking, while favorite winter activities include alpine skiing/riding, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, hiking and sledding.
Asked what should be made available, more available or more accessible, respondents said mountain bike-specific trails should be easier, more kid-friendly and machine-built, there should be more running and hiking-specific trails and groomed Nordic/fat bike trails.
Respondents said there should be more youth (ages 6-17) recreational opportunities in Moretown. 69% said they would participate in group activities if offered. The group activities of the most interest were guided walks, instructional classes such as yoga, art and community dances, birding, foraging/plant identification/gardening, group mountain bike rides and tennis clinics/league, followed by pickleball and ultimate frisbee. Special events of the most interest were outdoor music, Winterfest, a sledding party, stargazing, a bonfire and food trucks/vendors.
Asked what recreational facilities should be improved or enhanced, respondents said trails — continued access and expansion, indoor facilities — pool and access to Moretown Elementary School gym, bathrooms — permanence and proximity to fields/court/pavilion, courts — tennis court upkeep/dedicated pickleball and basketball courts and trail maps — physical and information accessible online.
According to the rec committee’s summary, “The community overwhelmingly wants to see more trails, better maintained trails and spends the bulk of their recreational time doing trail sports like hiking, mountain biking, walking and running. The community is eager to participate in group activities. The committee could easily add value by orchestrating guided walks, bird watching, plant ID, mountain biking, running, clinics, pick-up sports. A number of names popped up that could be leveraged to volunteer to facilitate group activities, too.
“The community overwhelmingly would like to see music offered and a number cited Camp Meade’s weekly series as inspiration. The bulk of the other responses are winter based which could be wrapped up into a “Winterfest” event. The facilities section represents the lowest hanging fruit and could dictate the ultimate takeaway from the survey and the committee’s actionable items: improved and expanded trail access (including mapping/signage), playground improvement, indoor access (with partnership from Moretown Elementary School or neighboring town’s resources), bathroom, ball field and court improvements.”
According to an email from Gregg Mason of the Moretown rec committee, “The results have already shaped conversations amongst the Moretown Recreation Committee this year, influenced the budget and created a roadmap for where to direct efforts in the coming year.”