Working on it: Ice nearly perfect

Photo by Chea Waters Evans
The Charlotte public ice rink is almost ready for skaters.

The temperamental winter weather of late hasn’t done much good for the Charlotte public ice skating rink, but Recreation Commission Chair Bill Fraser-Harris is optimistic that upcoming chilly temperatures will set a good foundation for some solid skating over the days and weeks to come.

The skating rink, located west of Charlotte Central School on Hinesburg Road, has yet to be open this season, Fraser-Harris said. “The ground didn’t freeze very quickly, and we haven’t had a good extended period of cold weather.”

Last week’s warm temperatures, plus inches of snow over the holiday weekend, caused some literal bumps in the process that should be gone soon. “This period now of solid cold weather – we will get good ice,” Fraser-Harris said. He added, though, that people might not be so excited to go skate when the temperatures are in the single digits.

Volunteers maintain the rink, and their dedication is evident even on holidays and in nighttime sub-zero temperatures. The ice rink was cleared on Christmas Day, and volunteer Ed Sulva added a layer of water Monday night that should help get rid of the lumps created by last week’s melted snow.

Fraser-Harris added another layer of water on Tuesday, but updated the rink’s Facebook page Tuesday evening to say: “Thicker layer on this afternoon to try and fill the holes but still cannot open. Ice is pretty rough but we are making progress. Layering tonight and tomorrow will help. Almost there.”

Though the recreation commission volunteers clear the ice in sections, Fraser-Harris said it’s important that skaters do not shovel or clear the ice on their own. When people clear the ice, he said, even when they think they are helping, they frequently leave piles of snow that freeze and then create mounds of solid ice that are difficult to remove and eventually ruin the ice altogether.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering to help at the ice rink can contact the committee through the Charlotte Vermont Public Ice Rink Facebook page or can email Fraser-Harris directly at billandeva@gmavt.net. Updates on ice conditions are posted regularly on the Facebook page.

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