WATCH: Volunteers flood the new ice path

Flooding of the new ice path at Centennial Park begins with smoothing to be done over the weekend

A new ice skating trail loop being built in Lions Centennial Park is expected to open and be ready within days.

The idea for the skating trail came from the Town of Ponoka’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee, which is heading up the project. Committee member Ryan

Crawford suggested the idea last spring and was met with strong support.

“We were trying to come up with fun, low-cost ideas for new recreation opportunities in town. We thought with this one that the whole community could get behind and enjoy,” says Crawford.

The committee approached the Ponoka County East District Fire Department, which agreed to donate time and equipment to help build the new ice skating trail. The department has also agreed to continue flooding the ice trail as needed through the winter.

The committee also approached the Town of Ponoka, which threw its support behind the idea and agreed to clear snow from the skating path throughout the winter. The town also donated rubber mats that will be laid down for skaters to access the new trail from the north-end gazebo at Centennial Park.

Exciting Volunteer Project

“It’s exciting to see this new skating trail take shape so quickly, thanks to the help of community volunteers, the county fire department and the town,” says Crawford.

The Ponoka County East District Fire Department began building the new skating trail last week.

“They started hosing the trail down with water on Jan. 9. They’ve been doing that about five times a day,” says Crawford, noting the frigid temperatures this week have aided their ice building efforts.

The public is asked to stay off of the ice until the trail is finished and ready for use. Skating on the ice too soon – before it’s thick enough and smooth enough for skaters – is a safety hazard and will damage the ice surface.

“It will also delay the opening of the new trail and cause more work for the county fire department members who are working so hard to build the skating trail,” explained Wes Amendt, director of community services for the Town of Ponoka.

Once the new trail is completed and ready for skaters to the hit ice, an announcement will be posted on the Town of Ponoka website at www.ponoka.ca, as well as on the Town’s Facebook and Twitter pages and the Hometown Weekly page of the local newspaper.

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