The Indianola Ice Rink will be located on the soccer fields south of the Indianola Middle School this winter. This will be the second season for the rink, which was donated to the city by the Iowa Wild and Wells Fargo.
Last winter the Indianola Ice Rink was set up at Pickard Park, which does not have water during the winter. Without a nearby source, staff attempted to truck in water, making it difficult to maintain the rink's surface throughout the winter. In preparing for this season, staff searched for an area with an accessible water source, level surface, and plenty of parking. Several locations were analyzed, with the middle school fields best meeting those requirements, according to Parks & Recreation Director Doug Bylund.
In a survey last spring, rink users were asked to choose their preferred location for the rink this winter. “Moats Park was mentioned by some citizens, but unfortunately it doesn’t have a water source nearby. Parking is limited, and the rink would not be as accessible as it is at the middle school,” he said.
As the weather gets colder, anticipation for opening day builds. “We know that people will be anxious to get out and skate,” said Bylund. “Just as soon as the overnight temperatures are low enough to maintain a safe skating surface, we’ll open it up”. Ideally, that would be in mid- to late-December.
Daily rink hours will be from dawn to noon for hockey, and from noon to dusk for open skating. Throughout the winter, the rink may be periodically closed for maintenance if the ice has melted or there is damage to the surface. Red and green signs will be posted at the gate to indicate whether or not the rink is open.
As for opening day, the Parks and Recreation Department will get the word out via its social media pages and the city’s website, and with press releases to KNIA radio and the Indianola Independent Advocate.Those who are interested can also register to receive rink updates via text message. Visit https://tinyurl.com/y5e389lp to subscribe to the News – Ice Rink group.
Bylund says his team learned a lot about managing the ice rink facility last year. “In Iowa, it doesn’t just freeze up in December and stay that way the rest of the winter. There can be a lot of thawing and refreezing, just in a 24-hour period. We’ll see what Mother Nature throws our way this time around.”