Volunteer groups wanted to run outdoor ice rinks

City of St. Catharines press release – Looking to start up an outdoor ice rink for the community to enjoy? A new City of St. Catharines program can help you and your volunteer group get set up for the upcoming season.

Applications are now open for the City’s Community Outdoor Ice Rink Pilot Project, a program that will allow community volunteer groups to build, operate and maintain outdoor ice rinks in City-owned parks. The City has selected six parks, one per ward, that offer a reasonably flat surface, sufficient lighting, access for emergency vehicles, and adequate parking where volunteer groups can build, operate and maintain outdoor ice rinks.

Locations include Community Park (Merritton), Burgoyne Woods (St. Andrew’s), Berkley Park (St. George’s), St. Patrick’s Park (St. Patrick’s), Grantham Lions Club (Grantham), and Port Dalhousie Lions Club (Port Dalhousie).

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.

Outdoor ice rinks in St. Catharines are intended to bring people together, promote healthy, active lifestyles and strengthen relationships.

“We want to partner with community members who are interested in establishing outdoor ice rinks to provide a place for everyone in the neighbourhood to enjoy winter,” said Kaylea Cassano, the City’s community outdoor ice rink coordinator. “Outdoor ice rinks driven by the community builds civic pride, promotes healthy lifestyles, and truly makes St. Catharines a place where everyone can play.”

Applications are due Friday, Sept. 13/2019, at 4 p.m. Successful applicants will be notified by Oct. 7. The community outdoor ice rink season will run from Dec. 1 to March 20. Learn more about the program and how to apply at www.stcatharines.ca/OutdoorRinks.