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Sundre, area to have three outdoor rinks

Two nearby rinks are already available to the public, with ice in town soon ready
MVT-outdoor rink
The Town of Sundre's community services department was in the end able to install the 18-inch plastic boards for the outdoor public rink despite initially not anticipating being able to do so. The ice is soon expected to be ready. In the meantime, there are two other community rinks nearby — one at McDougal Chapel and another at the Bergen Church. Simon Ducatel/MVP Staff

SUNDRE — Residents who embrace outdoor winter activities and want somewhere to skate have a few available options.

Rinks are already in place for people to enjoy at their leisure at the Bergen Church as well as McDougal Chapel, while another in town is soon expected to be opened up for public use.

Prior to the new year, Sue Nelson, the municipality’s community services manager, had told The Albertan the boards wouldn’t be going up this year but that the ice would be prepared.  

Since then, the town crew was in the end able to install the collapsible and portable 18-inch high plastic boards that are stored away throughout the rest of the year.

“The staff were able to hammer in the spikes, so they were able to put up the boards,” Nelson wrote by email on Jan. 4 in response to follow-up questions.  

Unfortunately, the extremely cold conditions of late hampered the process to finish flooding the ice’s surface, she said, hopeful the effort could begin as soon as warmer forecasted temperatures arrived later last week.

Over at McDougal Chapel, pastor Kent Janz confirmed the ice is ready and that anyone is welcome to use the rink. As the site is unsupervised, Janz added people who come out to skate do so at their own risk.  

The primary rule is simply to be respectful and courteous of others who are on the ice. People also have the option to bring their own firewood, and are encouraged to have fun, the pastor said.

And at the Bergen Church, pastor Rob Holland said the ice has been ready for a few weeks and has already been used several times, albeit somewhat sparingly because of the extreme cold.

“The temperatures have been so cold that it’s just received minimal use right now. But I’m assuming that as it warms up a little bit, more and more people will be taking advantage of it,” said Holland.  

Playing an important part in making the rink available was the Sundre Fire Department, whose members came out to flood the ice, he said.

“Last year was the first time they helped out a little bit. We also had some other people helping out with water last year, but this year they were strictly our water source — they were just awesome,” the pastor said about the fire department.

“It’s just a great asset to have such a great group of people able to help out, and now it’s here for the community,” he said about the rink, which he later called “a gift to our community.”

The rink is available to the public at large, but Holland reminds everyone that the ice is a family space.

“So, we just ask people to act accordingly,” he said. “Be respectful of one another and of the space.”

Additionally, he said skaters who are aged 14 and under are asked to wear helmets, and added people may visit to check on the rink’s status.

Sundre Fire Department Chief Ross Clews said a few members didn’t hesitate to help out when a request for assistance was received.

“They volunteered to go down. We were asked and I put it out to the members, and four of them decided to take it on and do it,” said Clews, adding the work took several hours spread out over a few days.

“We participate in as many of the community events in (and around) town as we’re able to,” he said.

Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel is the editor of the Sundre Round Up and a longtime columnist for other publications of Mountain View Publishing.
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