If you build it; they will come … and skate.
Not the exact quote from the movie Field of Dreams but, in this case, appropriate since it’s referencing a proposed outdoor skating rink, built on top of a baseball field.
The Town of Antigonish recreation department is hoping to build the rink on the field which is located at the end of Central Field, beside Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional High School.
Town active living co-ordinator Emily Stephenson said the call is out for volunteers to help with the initiative and there is meeting, for those interested, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m., at the high school.
“In another community we spoke with, they had about 25 volunteers to run a rink of a similar size (40’ by 60’),” Stephenson said. “That would be great, the more the merrier for a project like this, and the more volunteers we have, the less work for each volunteer.”
As for the timing of the project, Stephenson said it’s really dictated by the weather and whatever is decided upon by the volunteer group.
“Other communities have said they’ve found the beginning of January to be the best ice-making time so, likely we’ll be shooting for that,” she said. “But, at the volunteer meeting, that will be something to be discussed there. If the volunteers want to start to get going over the holiday period, than we can look at doing it earlier.”
Stephenson said an outdoor rink is something residents have been asking about; whether it has been through surveys or by dropping into their office at town hall.
“It fits in with our aim in the recreation department of getting people active outside, especially during the winter,” she said. “Winter is a time people struggle to be more active so, anything we can do to help have people be more active in the winter, is worth trying.”
Noting a report conducting and conversation with other municipalities around the province, Stephenson said the outdoor rink project would be constructed using, “best practices from all over the province, we’ve been hoping to follow.
“And I’m hoping the volunteers we’ll bring in some creative tricks they’ve used, on their own, in their backyard rinks,” she added.
Those interested in volunteering or wishing additional information can contact Stephenson at 902-867-5596.