Nelson’s Citizen of the Year award presented to Peter Radosta
NELSON — On Sunday, Nov. 5, the Town of Nelson and the Erieville-Nelson Heritage Society (ENHS) presented Peter Radosta with the Norman Odell Citizen of the Year Award, which is bestowed annually on a Nelson resident who has made outstanding contributions to the town through his or her volunteer work.
Radosta, who resides in the hamlet of Erieville, is the founder and president of the Friends of Stoney Pond (FROSTY), a non-profit organization that exists to foster year-round outdoor recreation throughout Madison County. He is also a past member of the Town of Nelson Zoning Board of Appeals, a past director of the Wanderers Rest Humane Association, and a past president and the current director of the Partnership for Community Development in Hamilton.
According to Citizenship Award Committee Chairman Marge Lyon, Radosta was nominated for the 2023 award for his volunteer work at Stoney Pond State Forest in Erieville and for helping to transform winter outdoor recreation in Nelson and the Cazenovia area.
Radosta started working to improve Stoney Pond several years ago after recognizing that a decade of neglect had left the trail network overgrown and nearly unusable.
He initiated some informal trail rehabilitation efforts in 2017 and then approached the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to enter into a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement for trail maintenance and overall stewardship of the 16-mile trail network.
Radosta and his wife, Karen Storne, formed FROSTY in 2018 to operate as the stewardship organization for the DEC Volunteer Stewardship Program and started clearing and preparing trails for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking. Under Radosta’s leadership, volunteers also built walkways over muddy trails and constructed a classic wooden lean-to.
Once the trail network was reestablished, the DEC issued FROSTY a special permit to enable mechanized snow grooming in the state forest, which has brought countless families outdoors and onto the trails during the winter months.
Radosta and Storne invested in equipment and tools for year-round trail maintenance and snow grooming, and a pole barn was built for equipment storage. Read more here.