The Mad River Valley Recreation District (MRVRD) has hired Laura Arnesen, Warren, as its new recreation coordinator.
Arnesen is a longtime Valley resident who has worked with numerous local nonprofit organizations to lead fundraising, event planning, communications and site management. Along with her professional experience as an executive director for the Catamount Trail Association and consulting with organizations like the Mad River Path Association and the Vermont Land Trust, she brings her own experience raising children who participated in youth sports, a love of physical activity and extensive knowledge of The Valley’s wide-ranging recreational opportunities. In her continuing role as an organizer of the annual Mad River Valley Craft Fair, Arnesen helps to bring together diverse businesses for an event that showcases the Valley’s artisans, attracts visitors and supports the Valley Players’ programs.
“We are thrilled to have Laura on board, starting October 1,” said Alice Rodgers, vice chair of the MRVRD. “Her extensive experience supporting growing organizations and her deep connection to The Valley community will help the MRVRD take this long-awaited leap forward to improve our service to the community.”
The MRVRD is a union municipal district which was established in 1994 to provide for the recreation needs of Fayston, Warren and Waitsfield through a program of planning, administration, land acquisition, facility development and maintenance. For the last 26 years, the MRVRD has been operated by a volunteer board of directors. Following the purchase of Mad River Park, the MRVRD developed a strategic plan to guide its expanding role in The Valley. In 2020, the towns of Waitsfield, Fayston and Warren approved funding to enable this staff position and enhance recreation opportunities for all in the Mad River Valley.
Arnesen will serve as the point person for the management of the Mad River Park Recreation Fields and coordinate the MRVRD’s long-standing recreation grant program, which directs community funding to vital recreation projects, programs and facilities. Additionally, Arnesen will undertake new efforts to enhance recreation in The Valley by collaborating with recreation partners in five areas addressed by the MRVRD’s Strategic Plan, including funding, programs, events, trails and needs assessment.
“I am very excited about working with the Mad River Valley Recreation District as their first staff person. I wanted the job because recreation is so important to economic development and contributes to making The Valley a great place to live,” said Arnesen. “The support of the towns is key to our success, as is the hard work of so many volunteers and the teamwork between our many recreation partners. This community effort has served The Valley well in the past and will be the key to the continued growth of the recreation district."