MAD RIVER VALLEY LOT - RECREATION
Supports the MRV Vision by enhancing year-round recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Or does land conservation go here?
1. Enhance our recreation-based economy by funding groups to maintain and develop new trails and facilities, continue improving trail signage, organize events, and foster collaboration.
Why: Recreation has been recognized as a key driver of economic development as well as a strong contributor to the well-being of communities through physical and emotional health, reduced crime, and increased social connections. The MRV Recreation District and local volunteer organizations are ready to launch projects such as mountain bike trails, a walking path through Irasville, and equipment for a new girls’ softball program that would elevate recreation in the Valley. However, current funding for the MRVRD’s grants falls 30% short of demand annually, slowing these efforts.
If the MRV wishes to continue to enjoy the economic and community benefits that come from being a premier destination for four season recreation, it cannot rest with the status quo. Towns such as Waterbury and Stowe spend more per capita ($111 and $164, respectively, to the MRV’s $11 per capita investment) on recreation and are attracting businesses, young families and visitors as a result.
How: Replace the current annual town assessments to the MRVRD with a minimum allocation of $110,000 from the MRV LOT Fund as well as provide access to additional MRV LOT Fund grants. The result will be an increase in public money available for facilities, programs and events vital to the MRV recreation while reducing town budgets.
Goal: Complete the MRV Recreational Needs and Assessment by the end of 2021 (detailed in the 2018 MRVRD Strategic Plan).
2. Fund a staff position to assist the MRVRD board in implementing its 2018 plan and support the thousands of volunteer hours donated annually to enhance recreation in the Mad River Valley.
Why: After extensive public input, the MRVRD identified specific priorities in its 2018 plan including trail work, maintaining Mad River Park, continuing the grant program, and supporting community rec events. A paid staff coordinator will ensure that the work gets done.
How: Hire a coordinator. This position shall have a minimum annual allocation of $45,000 to provide for an ongoing commitment,
Goal: Have a coordinator hired by January 1, 2021.