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Warm weather ended Airdrie's outdoor rink season before it could begin

“It was definitely a slower start to building our rinks,” Hughes admitted. “We weren't able to get the rinks up and running until early January."
Airdrie City View file photo

Outdoor rinks across the city this season were closed before winter was even over.

Certainly in Alberta the outdoor rink is as synonymous with winter as anything possibly can be, but this past cold season was anything but typical, and outdoor rinks across Airdrie suffered because of it. 

According to Jeff Hughes, the Parks Operations Coordinator for the City of Airdrie, the outdoor rink season typically runs from late November or early December, through to the beginning of March. This past winter did not see prolonged periods of snowfall or temperatures in the deep negatives, which are paramount to the creation and maintenance of outdoor rinks. 

“It was definitely a slower start to building our rinks,” Hughes admitted. “We weren't able to get the rinks up and running until early January. (So) it was a little bit of a late start, and with the chinooks it's difficult to keep ice on the rinks...and build them back up.” 

According to the City’s website, “outdoor rinks are flooded once the temperature drops to, and maintains a constant -10 C for a minimum of one week.”

There are snowbank rinks at Bayview Way Park, Fletcher Regional Park, Plainsmen Arena and Jensen Park, Ravenswood, and the Town and Country Centre.

Boarded rinks at Bayside Drive, Big Springs Crescent, Chinook Winds Regional Park, East Lake Regional Park, Kings Heights Drive, and Monklands Regional Park were also all maintained by the City, but suffered due to the spells of warm weather this winter. 

“This is certainly, in my recent memory, a shorter outdoor rink season," Hughes confirmed. "(There was) a late start building them up, and by late February we ended up losing them; so definitely a short season.”

Hughes remarked that outdoor rinks are important to the community during the winter months, and said that he hoped for a colder winter with a little more snowfall next year to help maintain the rinks throughout next season. 

“Hopefully next season, if we get an early start, sometimes with a cold snap in November we can build that ice up and maintain it through a little longer,” said Hughes.


Riley Stovka

About the Author: Riley Stovka

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