Skating rink proposed for Vernon’s Polson Park

Permanent ice rink great way to build community; provide entertainment amid COVID-19

A skater practices ice hockey skills on a frozen Okanagan Lake in December 2019. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star file)

A Vernon city councillor sees a lot of potential in Polson Park, complete with an outdoor ice rink, propane pits, lights and food trucks.

Coun. Scott Anderson is proposing a revitalization plan that could bring a “carnival atmosphere” to the city’s jewel in the future with a permanent ice skating rink.

In the meantime, his motion calls to build a temporary natural skating rink in the former track at Polson Park with a deadline set for “no later than Feb. 15, 2021,” in hopes to provide a safe outdoor entertainment option for households amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Towns and cities across Canada have outdoor community skating rinks and in most cases, offer low-cost ways for citizens to get out, enjoy fresh air and build community,” Anderson wrote in his rationale.

“In the meantime, it will be a long dark winter with very little to do for the citizens of Vernon, and this will help alleviate the developing mental health issues we’re seeing,” he wrote, noting vaccination rollouts will take months to complete.

Vernon’s Centennial Outdoor Rink is out of commission for the season for necessary repairs, meanwhile, the City’s Recreation Services opened public skating at Kal Tire North over the holidays with required pre-registration. As of January, public skating is available at both Kal Tire North and Priest Valley Arena.

Anderson’s notice of motion is set to come before council during the meeting Monday, Jan. 11.

Members of the public can watch the council meeting live on the City of Vernon website at 1:30 p.m, by navigating to council videos via government services and clicking the Council Videos button and Now Play.

The recorded videos will become available once again by noon Tuesday, Jan. 12, for public viewing.

READ MORE: Outdoor skating rink coming to Vernon’s Predator Ridge

READ MORE: Indoor walking, public skating soon to return in Vernon


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