The outdoor rink is a mainstay in the Lavington community, a reader says. (Morning Star file photo)

Letter: Lavington rink needs a roof

Reader says that outdoor ice rink is a staple in the community

Lavington has a plant cooled outdoor ice rink complete with a tractor Zamboni, a covered area to put your skates on, a fire pit, and a full hockey set up, nets and all.

If you live in Lavington you probably already know this. But, just to say them in one breath, there is a lot there. More so are the details and the history that has happened in bringing this unique facility to the place and use it sees today.

I have lived in Lavington for four years and have enjoyed the community rink for a leisurely skate or some “slap the puck around” fun with my wife. Now that I have kids, this amenity has become a welcome answer to the question, “what should we do with the kids on a cold winter morning?”

On one such cold morning, as I was transporting skates and kids from the car to the benches. I noticed the beautiful clean ice surface, and then I noticed the fire pit. It had paper crumpled, kindling chopped, neatly set, and balanced in a ring, just waiting and ready for a match.

Related: Vernon outdoor rink closed for season

Related: Vernon outdoor rink demolished

The ice surface is one thing to take note of, but the fire pit? To me that’s extra. That’s detail. That’s pride. It is this pride and effort that is unique. It should be highlighted.

On any given weekday or morning, you may find the rink in use by either a father and son playing shinny or a mom teaching her kids to skate. You might even get to bump elbows with a grade school class from the elementary across the street. And, If you drive by the rink on a Saturday night the parking lot is usually packed with a full-blown hockey game going on. This is all to say, the rink is well used and for good reason. It’s one of a kind in the Okanagan Valley.

The ice rink is the product of the community of Lavington, its residents, and the Community Association that manages it. The rink didn’t always call its present location home (it used to be across the street in the park) and it didn’t always have an ice plant, which, as any back yard rink maker knows, you are at the mercy of the weather. Some weeks you have great ice and the other weeks you’d better just leave your boots on. Not to mention the headache of rebuilding the ice surface after each melt.

Now, kids and families from the Valley get good ice the whole winter through. Even when the temperature goes above zero, the ice is solid. Not just solid, it’s pristine. Ground down and resurfaced daily by the farm sized Zamboni, driven by Gord. Gord is one of a few volunteers maintaining the facility for all to use.

And I do mean all because it is the only outdoor hockey rink that is plant cooled, Zamboni maintained, and free of charge. It is used by all in the valley. Gord says he’s had groups from as far away as Kelowna come to skate and play hockey on the rink. More commonly though are visitors from the neighbouring communities of Vernon, Armstrong, and Lumby.

With that being said the ice rink needs a roof. And here’s why.

The volunteer base that runs and maintains the rink is small, currently two people strong. It’s not a big pool to draw from when you consider the rink is open and maintained seven days a week.

A heavy snowfall takes hours and hours to clear and we get some pretty heavy dumps of snow.

Warm temperatures and direct sun on a clear day will damage the ice surface, needing more volunteer time to repair. The ice plant can handle some above zero temperatures but it can’t handle both.

Lastly, the roof will allow the community to gather for events in all weather, year round.

Pat Spohr


@VernonNews
letters@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Animals seized from North Okanagan property

Animals to be seized not yet confirmed

Vernon eco-friendly home tour builds support for students

Canadian Federation of University Women host fifth annual fundraiser

Westwold stars in thriller film

Beyond the Woods set to release in June 2019

Fire destroys pickup: Vernon Fire Rescue

A vehicle is a total write off after a late night fire, the Fire Department says

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Rainy days ahead

Rain in the forecast until Wednesday

VIDEO: Fire contained to garage beside East Kelowna house

Garage is fully involved, say firefighters

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

RV lifestyle comes to the Okanagan

BC Interior RV Show returns to Penticton for the eighth year

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

‘Cowardly acts’ towards homeless continue in Osoyoos

RCMP confirm they are investigating two incidents of assault on a homeless person

Most Read