Two Mahoning Valley venues offer outdoor ice skating
By Jordyn Grzelewski
After a few warm winters, two Mahoning Valley venues were able to bring back outdoor ice skating this year.
During the deep freeze the Valley experienced over the past several weeks, both Mill Creek MetroParks and Boardman Park offered ice skating to visitors.
“You need steady cold temperatures. You’re at the mercy of Mother Nature,” said Tommy Ross, Wick Recreation Area manager for Mill Creek MetroParks.
The MetroParks previously operated a refrigerated ice rink at Wick. After the closure of that rink, ice skating was absent for years. Over the past few years, however, the MetroParks has brought it back – when weather permits.
Skating was offered for a time at the Lily Pond, and for the past few years has been at Wick Recreation Area. There, volleyball courts have been converted into a rink, which opened for the first time this season on Dec. 29.
“It’s been steady,” Ross said. “We’ve had a mix of hockey players, a couple of figure skaters and some recreational skaters.”
Skaters must bring their own gear, but skating is free. Call 330-740-7114 or visit the MetroParks Facebook page to check if the rink is open.
Also offering ice skating this year is Boardman Park.
Park Director Dan Slagle said the park operated an ice skating rink for many years where Kids Town Playground now is located. But, interest in skating declined over the years, so the park stopped offering it and in 1993 built the playground.
Last year, however, park officials decided to bring it back.
Because it was too warm last year, this is the first year visitors have been able to use it.
The rink is located near the Southern Boulevard park entrance, across from the dog park.
When weather permits, the park converts a retention pond into a skating rink. Slagle said skating is deemed safe when there is at least 31/2-4 inches of ice.
To find out whether the rink is open, call the Boardman Park office at 330-726-8107.