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Community skating rink developing into local hangout

Isaiah Olson enjoys skating on the new outdoor community rink near Depot Park over Christmas break. The rink is seeing increased use. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

The Park Rapids outdoor community skating rink is seeing increased use this winter.

The Park Rapids outdoor community skating rink, located at Depot Park between the tennis courts and J&B Foods, has developed due to the efforts of several volunteers. Lights and hockey boards were added this fall.

Paul Larson is a member of the Park Rapids Park Board and spearheaded the initiative.

"I was out there cleaning it off the other day and a family was waiting for me to finish so they could use it," Larson said. "They had never skated before and it was nice they had the opportunity."

Last winter, the skating area was simply a sheet of ice. This year, there is a sheet of ice with the addition of three lights to allow for skating in the evening, along with an area enclosed by hockey boards for broomball or outdoor hockey.

"I think a lot of people are using it and it's great," Larson said.

The three light poles are located on the east side of the rink. In the future, three additional lights could be added on the west side.

The lights are set up on a timer, turning on at 4:30 p.m. and off at 10 p.m.

The skating area is free to use. A warming house could be added in the future but it would need to be a temporary structure.

A grand opening celebration is being planned and details will be announced in the Enterprise once a date is set.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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