Posted by: HamptonIona | December 20, 2012

Skating Rink!

It appears that with the big snowfall predicted for tomorrow, the rink season will be upon us once again.   The Iona Park Rink is built and operated by the Hampton Iona Community Group with a grant from the City of Ottawa.  Over the years we have relied on a group of volunteers to build the rink and help maintain it once it has been built.  Once the rink is built we have paid attendants who supervise the skating.  The attendants also help to maintain the rink, with the volunteers once the rink is operating.   Over the years, with the growing number of young families we have seen increased use of our community rink.

In order to be able to provide the rink to our community and its growing population of children, we need volunteers to help out.  Each flooding requires about 45-60 minutes of time and its a great way of releasing your  inner fireman/woman .   The more volunteers we have, the quicker we can have our rink in operation and the quicker we can recover from major thaws or snowstorms.

As always, the first stage in building the rink will be to trample down the snow to establish a base.  Building the base requires as many people as possible to come out and trample down the snow.  Over the past few years we found that snowshoes are very effective in building the base.   That being said, skies, weighted down sleds, lawn rollers, etc can also be effective.   With the expected snow over the next few days, it would be great if we could get the base built this weekend so that we can start flooding over the holidays.  It will then take about 15 floodings to establish a skatable surface as long as we don’t get a thaw.   Ideally, flooding is easier when  two people are working together.  Once the rink is up and running most of the flooding and maintenance will then be done by the rink attendants but we still use volunteers to come out and flood from time to time particularly after bad weather.

We are always looking for new volunteers.  If you are interested in volunteering or want to learn more about what is required, please contact Lorne Cutler at lacutler@magma.ca.  If you are available to help, please let us know:

1)      Would you be available this weekend to help trample down the base and if so what is the convenient time?

2)      Are you available over the next week to help with the floodings?  If so, what times will best work for you?  I have found that it works best to have two people doing a flooding particularly if you are new to building a skating rink.  The faster we get the floodings done, the sooner we can open the rink.   Depending on temperatures and number of volunteers, we can get 2-3 floodings per day done.

We look forward to seeing as many of you this year helping to build this most important feature of our community.

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