Slocan Park outdoor skating rink under construction

Slocan Valley residents will have a new amenity this winter. An outdoor skating rink is being constructed on the field behind the Slocan Park Community Hall.

Hall society president Ruth Hackett explains the idea came from Blair Jewell, who offered the boards from an unused rink at Sleep is for Sissies in Winlaw.

“He had boards from that rink which was no longer happening and expertise and wondered if we at the hall would be interested in having a rink,” she says.

It took them a few years to secure the funding and insurance necessary to put the project together, “but this year we’ve managed to get all the ducks in order. We’ve got a number of grants and sponsors and now we’re on our way.

The Slocan Park outdoor rink is beginning to take shape. Photo submitted

“A week or so ago we put all of the boards together. So now it’s there on the field and as the weather gets colder, when it seems like its going to freeze, we’ll put the liner in and put the water in and pray for cold weather and skating.”

The rink measures 100 by 50 feet, with low plywood boards. Hackett says the rink liner is meant for skating rink, as it’s white, reflects light, and doesn’t melt ice as quickly as using a black tarp.

They are hoping the Passmore Fire Department will do the initial flood. Come the spring, the rink will be disassembled and stored in the hall basement.

“Then we have volunteers willing to go in the middle of the night, because that’s the best time when it’s coldest, and top up the flooding,” Hackett says.

Grants came from the Slocan Valley Co-op, Slocan Valley Community Legacy Society, Kootenay Savings Community Foundation, and Heritage Credit Union in addition to some paint donated by Slocan Valley Home Hardware.

Through a connection with a new board member, a North Vancouver skating club has collected skates, helmets, pads and other equipment which will be available at a skate swap at the ballpark dugouts at the hall on Nov. 13.

Whatever is left over will also be available to be used at the rink.