Greg Stevens began cleaning the trails at Indian Meadows this winter simply because he wanted to be able to make use of them during the long, cold months. He didn’t know at the time it would bring him so much joy. The Town of Glenville rewarded him for his efforts just a few weeks ago.
It is an example of paying forward that Stevens said is the essence of the joy volunteering can bring.
`For me, the most rewarding thing about volunteering my resources and labor at the park is obviously to see people enjoying the venue. More specifically, to see so many more people enjoying the trails more frequently than they have in the past,` said Stevens. ` I think that a place like Indian Meadows is instrumental in fostering an environment for an active lifestyle and in helping to build peoples’ sense of community.`
Parks and Humans Services Director James McFarland said that Stevens took up the project of maintaining the trails in Indian Meadows completely on his own, putting in a number of hours on a weekly basis. McFarland said it opened up a new whole aspect to the park and brought in many people to trails that had been underutilized for years.
Stevens, a Glenville resident who attended Glen Worden Elementary school and graduated from Scotia-Glenville High School, moved back to the area after college and now lives near Indian Meadows with his fiancEe, Lindsey.
His passion for cross-country skiing comes naturally, with his younger brothers both being avid skiers and his mom being the coach of the Nordic ski team at Scotia Glenville High School.
He said around Christmas time last year he decided to approach MacFarland about volunteering to groom the trails at Indian Meadows for use by skiers and snowshoers during the winter months.
Stevens said the trails are a great resource to have locally, and by preparing a groomed trail, the town is able to have a commercial-quality ski area open to anyone in the area.
`Indian Meadows is a beautiful, area and it is nice to be able to use the park to its full potential. Jamie [McFarland] was, of course, very receptive to my suggestion, and we had a few meetings regarding logistics, and I got to work grooming the trails in short order,` said Stevens.
Stevens even invented his own `drag` which he uses to groom the trails at Indian Meadows.
The contraption is designed to pack the snow, cut out bumps and ridges, and smooth the snow as it passes over the trail. This past winter alone, Stevens groomed more than 100 miles of trails.
Stevens said the reponse from the community has been outstanding, and he appreciates being recognized for his hours of hard labor.
` I understand that many, many people called the town to voice their praise for the new groomed trail network. Most every person I saw out on the trail while on my snowmobile stopped me to say, ‘Thank you,’ and how much they enjoyed the groomed trails. A couple of generous folks even donated small amounts of money to offset costs of fuel. Also, the groomed trails allowed us to host Glenville Winterfest’s first ever Cross Country Ski Race. Even after all the hours of grooming and maintenance, I even found some time to ski there this winter,’ said Stevens.
To help Stevens maintain the trails next winter you can contact the Town of Glenville Municipal Center at 688-1200.