The Hippo


May 25, 2020








Safety on ice

Maj. Kevin Jordan, assistant chief of law enforcement for New Hampshire Fish and Game, said 4 to 6 inches of solid blue-ish black ice can support a well-dispersed group. He said it’s important to monitor ice conditions, as they can change over the course of a day as a result of wind, sun, springs, waves and currents.
“We always tell people, if the weather has been below freezing for the past couple of days, don’t assume that the ice is OK and consistent across the body of water. We recommend you check it daily, as you go out,” Jordan said. “The longer period of time below freezing, the safer, but we would prefer people check the ice because there are so many other factors at play there.”
Jordan said smaller ponds will freeze more quickly than larger ponds, lakes or rivers.

Get your skates on
Icy fun to be had, once the rinks are safe


The ice may not be ready yet, but it’s New Hampshire — it’ll be cold enough to make for safe ice conditions soon, and when it is, you’ll want your skates to be ready. 

Manchester Parks and Recreation Chief Don Pinard said the city has several outdoor rinks planned for operation, as weather permits.
“Right now the weather is not cooperating with much of anything. Last year we had Dorrs Pond in Livingston Park. That’s one of the places we will be taking care of,” Pinard said. “I’ve got other places in mind, but [not] until it gets to that freezing mark. The warmer it is, the harder it is to get any kind of skating venues because the ice doesn’t freeze.”
The Queen City also plans to maintain ice at Veterans Park (where a donor provided the 100-foot by 75-foot rink and liner) and Parkside Middle School, which measures just about 35 feet by 25 feet. Pinard said he has talked to other schools about setting up rinks too. 
But the big draw in Manchester is Dorrs Pond.
“That is a big place with a lot of history to it. People have been skating there for years,” Pinard said. “There used to be, in the parking lot, like a hockey rink. Last year was one of the first years we had done it in a long time.”
Pinard said Dorrs Pond attracts skaters of all kinds, with room for one or two hockey games, plus space for casual skaters. He said grandparents look forward to taking their grandchildren to Dorrs because they skated there as kids.
“It also has a warming hut. We get a fire going in the wood stove. It’s a nice place,” Pinard said.
He said there are a few ponds around the city that the city doesn’t maintain but may make for good skating, including Crystal Lake at the south end of town, Nutts Pond off South Willow Street, behind Wendy’s, and Stevens Pond off Bridge Street Extension. 
Nashua has one rink up and running: “The Chiller” at Roby Park, according to Tom Dwane, recreation program manager for the city. Additionally, Nashua will be adding a rink just for hockey on Cleveland Street near Fairgrounds Middle School, and there’s a rink at “Four Corners” on Sargents Avenue.
Dwane said skaters need to bring their own skates to all the venues, and there is no sharpening onsite. Dwane said Roby Park is good for families, though after 8 p.m. it is used for hockey, and there is a safety light. Dwane said Cleveland Street sees mostly middle schoolers, and kids need to bring their own equipment for hockey. Four Corners also has a safety light and can be used after dark. The crowd there is mostly teenagers and older, Dwane said.
“We haven’t flooded those areas yet; we are waiting for the weather. The weather has not been conducive,” Dwane said. “The Chiller has been up and running; people have been playing there. Everything is free.”
David Gill, the Concord Parks and Recreation director, said the city is eyeing three sites for outdoor free rinks, but it’s still a ways off.
“At this rate it’s going to be a couple weeks before our outdoor skating areas are opened,” Gill said. “All the ponds and ice are thin. I wouldn’t walk on it.”
Planned rinks for the Capital City include Rollins Park at the south end of town, White Park Pond, which is for hockey, and the Beaver Meadow Golf Course Pond.
Next door in Bow, the town is still waiting for a freeze of Town Pond next to the fire station.
“We haven’t had any cold weather, so the pond [will be] posted for free skating when it’s ready,” said Parks and Recreation Program Coordinator Anne-Marie Guertin. “It’s weather permitting.” 
As seen in the January 1, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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