Memorial Day weekend marks the kick off of stewardMRV, a new initiative that seeks to instill a greater sense of stewardship for outdoor recreational assets in the Mad River Valley community.
“A strong ethic of community stewardship is vital to maintaining the scenic beauty, sustainability of recreation and health of the environment for the enjoyment of all. How we treat and care for our outdoor spaces is the heart of why so many choose to visit and live here,” said Caleigh Ingram who is an intern working with the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce and the stewardMRV program.
StewardMRV is engaging with and building upon the foundation of the Mad River Valley Trails Collaborative, a partnership between multiple local recreation and conservation organizations. Their work includes recent trail inventory and mapping and the Unified Trailhead Kiosk initiative.
Many of the Mad River Valley trailheads and swim holes have seen an upswing in usage in recent years, with the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerating this trend. The stewardMRV program seeks to address a series of challenges that these recreational access points have faced as a result of this increase in usage, such as inadequate restroom facilities, increased litter, dog waste and misbehavior and inconsistent public awareness.
Work is already underway with two sites -- Lareau swim hole and the Bridge Street Marketplace parking area -- being prepared for additional portalets and trash and recycling bins within an enclosed shelter. An increased number of dog waste bag dispensers have also been dispersed throughout the community as a part of the Poop Stops Here campaign. These initiatives, and others to come, would not be possible without sponsorship from Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Bourne’s Energy and the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce.