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Volunteer Spotlight: John Stacey, A Passionate Outdoorsman Dedicated to Winter Park Improvement

Brookhaven Winter Park, a free cross-country and snowshoeing park on Alpine Meadows Road, may be owned and managed by the Town of Greenfield but it is the cast of its resident volunteers who bring it to life each winter.

Resident John Stacey is one of the captains of this ever-growing group of citizens that come back year after year to serve our town. Stacey makes it his business to be out on the course every week, both skiing and grooming and regularly lends support to Recreation Director Jen Zeisler and the other groomers.

“John’s passion for our winter park is contagious,” said Jen Zeisler, recreation director. “He was quick to teach me the ins and outs of Nordic skiing and helps year-round on the trails. He and his very talented wife, who is also an incredible volunteer, designed our new logo and manufactured our new merchandise. They spend a lot of time researching other similar parks to help provide us with the knowledge we need to determine our future vision.”

It is committed volunteers like Stacey who help the town determine which next steps to take each year to grow the park with new equipment like this year’s new Ski-Doo snowmobile, which will be used to tow grooming tools. He worked to design the Brookhaven Winter Park logo and helped coordinate production of BWP sweatshirts that are being sold as fundraisers at The View Restaurant and at town events. 

Stacey has much related experience having worked at Baltimore Country Club and then the Adirondack Mountain Club in Lake Placid, which led into a job for the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid.  After his time in Lake Placid, he went on to work in computer application sales, followed by sales at an Orvis dealer in Saratoga Springs and then a more than 20-year career selling for Cortland fly-fishing products. He has an undergraduate degree from Cornell University.

Stacey moved to Greenfield in the late 80s, marrying wife Callie in 1987. The couple soon thereafter purchased a home with four acres on Sand Hill Road.

“We began to love the quiet of our remote living,” he explained. “We have since immersed ourselves in the area. We canoe, ski and fish around Lake Desolation. We enjoy the Kaydeross River and are regulars at Brookhaven Winter Park.”

Stacey loves the wildlife in Greenfield and is an avid birder, fly fisherman and wood carver, along with his ardor for Nordic skiing.

Stacey said he met volunteer and resident Steve Schriber “by accident” when Schriber was grooming the trails on his property many years ago. A few of us that used the trails began putting some money into his mailbox to help him buy gas for his grooming,” he remembers. Stacey was happy to pitch in to help with the grooming and was encouraged that the town became involved in maintaining and expanding the park upon taking it over from International Paper in 2011.

He not only helps clear the trails in the summer months, but he spends more than four hours a week skiing and grooming at Brookhaven Winter Park.

“I’m proud of the quality of grooming we offer in this park,” he said. “We offer trails for all levels of skiers with proximity to Saratoga Springs.”

For future, Stacey would like to see the Greenfield continue to expand the trails by leasing or buying more land in the woods. He has visions of the park selling season passes to help cover the costs of expansion and upkeep. The park is currently free, but there are several donation collection boxes on the premises, that create a fund for park improvements.

“I think our park is groomed as well as other area Nordic centers and encouraging people to donate to receive a season pass with some key benefits would help us bring in more money to make improvements,” Stacey said. “It is important to consider that many skiers are not Greenfield residents.”

Stacey said he thinks skiers would pay a minimal donation for a season pass, if they received things like customized emails with tips and tricks, discounts on clothing and reciprocal discounts at other participating ski centers.

Town Supervisor Kevin Veitch said, “We are so lucky to have people like John Stacey who care about the future of this park. We appreciate his enthusiasm and commitment each winter.”

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