The Mad River Path Association (MRPA) is one section closer to fulfilling its mission of connecting the Mad River Path from Warren to Moretown thanks to a trail easement in Waitsfield.
Quentin and Anna Pearson donated a permanent trail easement to the Mad River Path Association in July on a parcel of land in Irasville. The Pearson's parcel is just south of Carroll Road, across from the movie theater, and extends down to the border of the Skatium parcel, owned by Brothers Building.
The easement will ensure the path can pass across this parcel in perpetuity, even when the land changes hands in the future.
This section of the Mad River Path - referred to as the Village Path - will undergo construction this month. Using funds granted by the Mad River Valley Recreation District and the Mad River Rotary, MRPA is working with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps to build a series of floating boardwalks and bridges through this Class II wetland starting this week.
As of Monday, August 11, a training crew from the Vermont Youth Conservation Corp was constructing an elevated, 6 foot-wide wooden walkway through the wetlands across the street from the Big Picture Theatre, which will eventually join with the Skatium property and Mad River Green.
BUILD A BRIDGE
Once the wooden boardwalk (approximately 600 feet) is completed, the Mad River Valley Rotary Club will be providing a crew to build a bridge that will cross a small stream. Rotary has provided funding for this project as well.
"It is envisioned that the Village Path will soon become a more functional, integral part of the non-vehicular transportation system in The Valley. Improved signage, better trail surfaces, and easier connections between sections will help to make this vision possible," explained path director Carol Thompson.
The path association is currently working on several other projects in the Irasville area of the village in an effort to improve the path system in town including looking into options to provide safer pedestrian routes for Evergreen Place residents and a more usable route around the town pond.
CREATE A PATH
The association is also working with Open Hearth Community Center and the town of Waitsfield on permits to create a path around the pond that connects to the other segments of the Mad River Rec Path. Both the pond path and the village path will be durable gravel surfaces, suitable for use by a variety of trail users year round.
Conservation planner and Open Hearth representative Tara Hamilton has met with the Waitsfield town boards to present the state application needed to construct the path in the wetlands area about the pond.
Currently, the select board needs to make a site visit to the project before signing off on the application process. State approval of that application will allow Open Hearth to proceed with its Winter Park/Marsh Loop Wetlands Restoration and Education project. Open Hearth has a $9,500 grant to undertake the project, with stated goals of increasing public access to and improving the functions and values of the wetlands located in the
Winter Park area by transforming compromised and altered wetlands into a healthy wetland system and riparian corridor. The design includes pedestrian bridges and paths to allow for environmentally responsible public access.