A new outdoor skating rink in Slocan Park enjoyed a successful first year and will be back next year with some additional improvements.
“We were so lucky with the weather,” says hall society president Ruth Hackett.
“Especially for the winter break. We had such cold weather then that the rink was well used with all the families off from school. It is a short season and it’s an awful lot of work for the skating you get, but it was definitely worth it and very successful.”
People of all ages used it, she adds.
“We had no organized hockey, but kids and parents and friends played hockey. We had old people skating. I was skating myself on my 60-year-old skates, my last pair when I was young that I’ve been carting around for years. It was very, very successful.”
However, Hackett explains that the rink was supposed to be built on the outfield of the ball diamond behind the hall, but it proved so uneven that it had to be moved toward the infield.
Even then, one corner close to the pitcher’s mound was still uneven, so it never got covered with ice. Consequently, their rink liner was damaged.
They applied to the Columbia Basin Trust’s outdoor active recreation fund and received a $19,000 grant that will pay for a new liner and levelling of the outfield so the rink can go where it was originally intended.
“The Trust is so generous,” Hackett says. “We are just thrilled with what they do for us.”
The rink opened in early December and operated over Christmas and beyond as temperatures remained low. It was then closed for about a week and reopened, but closed for the season a couple of weeks ago as the ice was too soft to continue.