What’s happening with the ice rink?

What’s happening with the ice rink?

A temporary absence

Something is missing this winter!

Coastal Rivers’ community skating rink, a fixture of the local winter landscape since 2011, is on hiatus for this season.

Time is needed to raise money to replace the worn-out liner for the rink, as well as to recruit many additional volunteers to keep the rink in shape for skating.

The rink consists of plastic boards and a rugged plastic liner that is filled with water once the weather becomes cold enough to freeze it. The liner is expensive and wears out after several years, or more quickly when people skate on the ice when it’s not fully frozen. Though volunteers monitor the ice daily and close the rink when conditions aren’t right, skaters often ignore the closure signs, resulting in tears in the liner.

In addition to the expense of a liner, maintaining the ice rink each winter requires hours of labor. To keep the rink free and available to the community, we rely on committed volunteers to set up the framework in the fall and lay out the liner, fill it, clear the snow after every storm, monitor the rink daily to determine whether conditions are right for skating, keep the ice smooth and skatable, and disassemble the structure in the spring.

We are also looking to find a volunteer coordinator for the ice rink. Since the rink’s inception, volunteer Matt Filler has been the driving force behind the project. Matt recruited and coordinated the teams of volunteers, checked ice conditions daily and participated in much of the clearing and maintenance. Matt stepped down from his role this year, leaving big shoes to fill.

“Taking a year off is no small decision,” Executive Director Steven Hufnagel explained. “It’s a beloved community asset. With some changes, new volunteers, and a new liner we should be up and running again next year.”

Coastal Rivers will organize a meeting this spring to begin planning for the 2020-2021 skating season. Volunteers will be needed to help with rink set-up, breakdown, and maintenance, as well as one volunteer coordinator.

Anyone interested in being involved is welcome to participate. To learn more or to volunteer, please email Jim Grenier or call 207-563-1393. Or, to contribute to the purchase of a new liner, please email Steven Hufnagel.