stewardMRV – The Plan
stewardMRV is transforming the way our community takes care of our swim holes, trail heads and river access points. Proper stewardship is vital to maintain the sustainability of recreation and the health of the environment in the Mad River Valley. Scenic beauty, a healthy environment, and outdoor recreation are are at the heart of why people visit and live here. How we care for these access points is essential for our future.
Bourne’s Energy, Lawson’s Finest and the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce have generously agreed to support the fledgling stewardMRV program to develop a sustainable, long-term vehicle to properly care for the Mad River Valley’s outdoor recreational access points. They have pledged a dollar for dollar match of up to $10,000 to help make this ambitious program a reality.
stewardMRV’s core mission is to foster an ethos of stewardship in the Mad River Valley community and to implement sustainable solutions of taking care of our vital outdoor recreation assets for people of today, and generations to come..
Institute a new program to steward the MRV’s recreational access points under the auspices of the existing MRV Trails Collaborative. This stewardship initiative is a natural next step to build on the foundation this group has built, which include the trail inventory and mapping along with the Trailhead Kiosk initiative. This unprecedented collaboration has been incredibly successful as it brought many organizations and stakeholders together.
The program has been designed with an eye towards extending the scope beyond these very visible trailheads and swim holes, working to instill an ethos of stewardship for the MRV’s entire network of recreational assets and the community beyond.
In year one, this pilot program includes new public trash and recycling receptacles with frequent pick ups, enhanced public restroom facilities and frequent cleanings, dog waste mitigation, stronger pack in pack out communications at sites without receptacles, encouragement of volunteerism, data collection, and more. The initiative will be closely monitored, and opportunities will be constantly assessed.
Usage at many of the Mad River Valley’s trailheads and swimming access points have been on the upswing for many years. The pandemic continued to accelerate this trend. The corresponding challenges that come with this increase has also been exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic.
These challenges include;
- Parking problems
- Inadequate Restroom facilities
- Increased litter
- Overflowing garbage receptacles
- Overwhelmed management plans
- Off-season trail use
- Dog waste and misbehavior (lack of leashing)
- River bank erosion and creation of inappropriate access points
- Inconsistent public awareness and stewardship ethic
Stewardship of our community is vital to maintain the sustainability of recreation and the health of the environment in the Mad River Valley (MRV). Scenic beauty, a healthy environment, and outdoor recreation are important drivers to our local economy. How we care for this place is at the heart of why so many people visit and why so many desire to live here. It is vital that we continue to foster this commitment to stewardship, that we develop a sustainable plan to address these emerging challenges, and position the MRV in a tangible way as a clean, friendly, caring, safe and healthy community.