The Mad River Valley Recreation District (MRVRD) is inviting Moretown to join Fayston, Waitsfield and Warren as a half-member of the district – with an ask to increase that town’s portion of funding by $17,000.


The three towns founded MRVRD 30 years ago. As a Union Municipal District, its work is related to planning, programming, land acquisition, facility development and maintenance.

MRVRD executive director Laura Arnesen said that the district’s main costs are the maintenance of Mad River Park in Waitsfield, an annual grant program that supports local initiatives in providing recreational opportunities in the three towns, insurance, administration and staff.

This year, the district’s grant program allocated over $45,000 to 13 organizations – including funding for new softball bleachers at Couple’s Field in Waitsfield, basketball hoops at Waitsfield Elementary School, and equipment for community-led pickleball.

The district purchased the Mad River Park in 2017. It is a 10-acre site with recreation fields that serves residents across Valley towns.

Fayston, Waitsfield and Warren, as member towns, contribute $40,000 annually to the MRVRD. That amount has increased over the years.

Moretown began contributing to maintenance costs for the Mad River Park in 2016, with its contribution at $2,250 in 2023 and $3,000 this year, which is a quarter of the cost to maintaining the Mad River Park. Arnesen said that costs for the park increased considerably in 2023 due to rental fees for portalets, mowing, plowing, and treating the parking area in order to keep dust down for neighbors.

In asking Moretown to join as a half-member beginning in 2025, the MRVRD is requesting that the town contribute $20,000 annually. Moretown would have one board seat on a volunteer board that currently has nine members, and Moretown organizations – like the Moretown Rec Committee and Moretown Elementary School – would be eligible to apply for MRVRD grant funds.



At its February 20 board meeting, the MRVRD board members reported that Moretown kids account for about 20% of youth sports participants across programs funded by the district, and that Moretown residents utilize trails and recreation infrastructure across Valley towns. The board said that asking Moretown to partner with the district and increase their financial contribution is an equity issue.

The board said they also anticipate opportunities for trail development that would better connect Valley towns and they would like to have Moretown’s input going forward. 

The MRVRD began discussing this idea in late 2023 and met with the Moretown Recreation Committee twice. The decision is now in the hands of the select board, whose members will seek public input on March 5 on Town Meeting Day, and following that, will vote.

If Moretown voted to become a partner, the select boards of Fayston, Warren and Waitsfield would need to pass a vote to amend a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the three towns. Arnesen said that Moretown has time to weigh the pros and cons of joining, as their membership would begin next year.