CARP – It doesn’t matter what COVID-19 holds this winter, there will be ice at the Huntley Community Centre outdoor rink.
Huntley Community Association (HCA) board member and rink boss Peter Green announced during the Oct. 29 HCA annual general meeting. The popular outdoor rink is located across the parking lot from West Carleton’s first indoor ice pad – the W. Erskine Johnston Arena.
“We are going to have ice this year,” Green told roughly 40 people at the virtual Zoom public meeting. “If we have to monitor it, we’re going to do that. If we have to have signage, social distancing, we are going to do that.”
Right now, Green’s team of volunteers are on standby waiting for the cold weather.
“A crew is ready to start making ice as soon as it is possible,” Green said.
Although, the outdoor rink season is guaranteed, it is not exactly obvious what it will look like this year.
Since the Oct. 29 HCA AGM, the city has announced (Nov. 2) it is proceeding with the annual Outdoor Rink Program.
Green said he has been in contact with city officials.
“They support our program going forward,” Green said. “We do have to follow the Ottawa Public Health guidelines. It’s a moving target on how we move forward but we have November and December to plan. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to say I don’t know what it will look like.”
Ottawa staff share their thoughts on making perfect outdoor ice.
“In order to create base ice, we need 10 to 15 centimetres of accumulated snow with evening temperatures consistently below -10 degrees Celsius for a duration of five to seven days,” Ottawa Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services general manager Dan Chenier said about the best practices. “We will track the forecast as the weather cools and determine the best window for our community rink operators to begin creation of base ice.”
This labor-intensive process includes packing of the snow and applying 12 coats of water within that five to seven-day cold period.
“In recent years, this process has started around Dec. 15 with skateable ice established at most sites early in the new year,” Chenier said.
Volunteers will do their best to remove snow from the ice surface in a timely manner.