City seeking volunteer groups to operate outdoor ice rinks

Posted on Wednesday September 16, 2020

While winter may still be months away, the City is looking to local volunteer groups to assist in offering up outdoor skating in their communities.

Applications are open for volunteer groups to participate in the City’s Community Outdoor Ice Rink Pilot Project. Now entering its second season, the project allows community volunteer groups to build, operate and maintain outdoor ice rinks in City-owned parks. Volunteer groups are permitted to apply to use any park they wish, provided it offers a reasonably flat surface, sufficient lighting, access for emergency vehicles and adequate parking where volunteer groups can build, operate and maintain outdoor ice rinks.

Last year the Fitzgerald Neighbours resident group operated a rink at St. Patrick’s Park with much success.

“It was great to see members from across the community out there on the ice, participating in a healthy activity, enjoying themselves and getting to know their neighbours,” said community outdoor ice rink coordinator Kaylea Cassano, adding, “this project is really driven by these community groups, it’s an opportunity for us to partner with them to build their communities and come together.”

Volunteer groups do not have to be incorporated charities or not-for-profit groups to apply but must allow all community members free and equal access to the outdoor ice rinks. Volunteer groups are responsible for acquiring and storing equipment and materials required to build, operate and maintain the outdoor ice rink, including boards, tarps, shovels, scrapers and water.

In addition to the park space for the outdoor rink, the City will provide signage, and training sessions on how to build outdoor ice rinks and complete the reporting requirements. The City also offers grants up to $500 per rink to help cover watering costs.

Applications are due by Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. Successful applicants will be notified by Oct. 19. The community outdoor ice rink season will run from Dec. 1 to March 19. Learn more about the program and how to apply at www.stcatharines.ca/OutdoorRinks.

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