Map of Waitsfield showing proposed VOREC trials, parking and crosswalks

Local recreation and conservation groups invite the public to join the Mad River Valley Conservation Recreation Visioning (CRV) team as they host their first community forum on Thursday, June 15, at the Pavilion at Lareau Farm in Waitsfield.



The forum will begin with a potluck at 5 p.m, followed by a meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Organizers want the public to help them find ways to balance a great trail network with a healthy ecosystem. Participants will hear about the CRV work and be asked for their ideas to help shape a shared future.

The CRV process is funded by local municipalities and a $408,000 grant from Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC). That grant funding will be used to connected Waitsfield and Irasville villages to the existing trail networks. That will happen via a bridge over the Mill Brook that runs from Localfolk Smokehouse land to public and private land on Dana Hill Road. That will allow cyclists, pedestrians and others access to Waitsfield’s commercial districts.



It also involves creating a new crosswalk to connect the Localfolk parcel of land with the existing Mad River Path network. Another aspect was moving the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce into the Localfolks building, adding a new parking area behind the building and an educational component. Part of that education component has been to take a look at the balance between the environment and a robust recreational trail network with an eye to creating a gold standard for new and existing trails and maintenance.

Over the past 12 months, representatives from 15 different local recreation and ecological groups have been meeting on a regular basis to lay the foundation for this effort, forming the CRV Steering Committee and two working groups (one focused on ecological integrity, the other on recreation and trails).

Based on community feedback, ongoing discussions between local stakeholders, and consultant-supported mapping and research, the CRV team aims to develop maps, a set of shared goals, and guiding principles that together will provide a well-supported vision for balancing ecological integrity and outdoor recreation across The Valley.

“This community forum will be the first in a series of meetings intended to engage the broader MRV in envisioning a shared future. Please stay tuned for more information regarding this upcoming forum and feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions in the meantime,” said Community Recreation Visioning spokesperson Emily Friendman.