Ice Dreams: 'rip the roof off winter'

Shunpiking Magazine
January, 2002 Volume 7, Number 40
A new outdoor rink program was launched on 5 January 2002 in conjunction with the official launch of Go for Green's "Winter Green" program.

The Ice Dreams program encourages the use and building of community backyard and natural ice rinks, at a time when ice time has become dear and the costs to play hockey prohibitive for many Canadian families.

The launch of the program took place in Windsor, Nova Scotia -- the birthplace of hockey -- as part of the third annual Hockey Day in Canada. To add to the excitement, residents of Windsor attempted to break the world record of the longest hockey game by playing continuously for 30 hours. Glimpses of the game were shown on CBC Television, January 4-5.

The Ice Dreams initiative will be rolled out nationally in the fall of 2002, and your partnership is encouraged. Learn more by calling 1-888-822-2848.

Related reading
Pond Life, shunpiking, Charles McGrath, February-March, 1998

* * * * *

FOR YOUR INFORMATION
The Ice Dreams Program

It's the home ice advantage

o Go for Green press release
o A call to action
o To share memories and experiences
o To search for outdoor rinks
o How to build an outdoor rink
- Building a rink with a tarp
- Optimal temperature for making ice
- To maintain your rink
- To build your backyard rink?

Go for Green press release

Go for Green, in partnership with the National Hockey League, Kodiak Group Inc., Canoe.ca, Health Canada, 13 provincial and territorial governments, The Rink Rake, and other national and regional partners, is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new outdoor rink initiative entitled Ice Dreams.

Ice Dreams is a national program that encourages and supports the development and use of new and existing outdoor rinks in Canada. It provides opportunities for girls and boys of all ages to get active in the outdoors during winter by playing hockey or other games on ice surfaces, such as frozen ponds and waterways, or backyard, neighbourhood and community rinks.

When interviewed by Ron Maclean during Hockey Day in Canada (5 January 2002), Stephen Grundy, Go for Green's Executive Director highlighted that Ice Dreams represents a committed effort to preserve the birthplace of hockey and other traditional winter activities: the outdoor skating rink. "Although the romantic notion of outdoor rinks is preserved in our folklore and in nostalgic media campaigns, the fact is that access to outdoor skating facilities is on the decline, reducing opportunities for unstructured play, healthy outdoor physical activity, and community-based sport among our children," he said. "Today a whole generation is missing out on one of the best parts of growing up in Canada."

This winter, individuals and municipalities in every community are being called to action to register existing outdoor rinks and share their stories on the Ice Dreams website at www.icedreams.canoe.ca. This information will be used to develop program components, tools and resources for the full roll out of the program in the fall of 2002, as well as help build thousands of new outdoor rinks in the coming years.

Outdoor rinks are such an important part of Canadian history and culture.

Hockey, curling, ringette and other traditional winter games were first played on outdoor ice surfaces, like frozen ponds and backyard rinks.

For generations, these historical playgrounds have seen children discover the joy of skating, youth dream of one day scoring the winning goal or landing a triple toe loop, couples pass the hours skating arm in arm, and families create memories to last a lifetime.

It's where many of today's NHL stars got their start.

Yet today, the outdoor rink is slowly disappearing, and a whole generation is missing out on one of the best parts of growing up in Canada.

A call to action

Go for Green and its partners aim to launch the rebirth of outdoor rinks in Canada through the Ice Dreams program.

Ice Dreams is a national program that encourages the development and use of new and existing outdoor rinks in Canada. It aims to provide opportunities for girls and boys of all ages to get active in the outdoors during winter by playing hockey or other games on frozen ponds and waterways, or backyard, neighbourhood and community rinks.

The idea is to 'rip the roof off winter' and create opportunities for unstructured play, healthy, outdoor physical activity and community-based sport.

Help young Canadians know the dream…

To register an outdoor rink
http://www.icedreams.ca/english/RegisterRink/regrink.aro

To share memories and experiences

Outdoor rinks are one of the best parts of growing up in Canada. Many of us have fond memories of playing shinny 'til it got so dark that you couldn't even see the puck, or of skating round and round while playing games with close friends and family.

We want to hear about your fondest memories on the outdoor rink, and share your experiences with others, like how you built your first outdoor rink.

Your memories and experiences will enrich the Ice Dreams Website, and will contribute to further developing the program.

Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

http://www.icedreams.ca/english/sharememories/
http://www.icedreams.ca/english/sharememories/shareAmemory.aro

Canadians memories of outdoor rinks

http://www.icedreams.ca/english/sharememories/memories.aro

To search for outdoor rinks

Looking for an outdoor rink near you? Search the Ice Dreams database of registered outdoor rinks to find the community, neighbourhood or backyard rink nearest you, and… get out and play!

http://www.icedreams.ca/english/RinkSearch/searchRink.aro


How to build an outdoor rink

Whether you are planning to build an outdoor rink in your backyard, in your community, on a frozen pond or a waterway, we have the recipe for you! Select the rink recipe below for the type of rink you want to build, and let Go for Green know how you made out.
http://www.icedreams.ca/english/howto/index.aro

Recipe for a Backyard Rink
http://www.icedreams.ca/english/howto/backyard.aro

Ingredients:

___ pieces of lumber (2x6 or 2x8 or 2x10's, depending on how flat your backyard is, and a couple of extra lengths to join side boards)

___ box(es) of screws (#8 Robertson, 2* inch long)

___ plastic shovel(s) (quantity depends on how many people help shovel the snow at once)

___ brush(es) (quantity depends on how many people help smooth the ice at once)

o 1 hose (the length of the hose must be long enough to flood your rink evenly)

o 1 "RinkRake" (see http://www.rinkrake.com/(

o indoor/outdoor carpeting for walking on skates (optional)

Building a rink with a tarp:

1 tarp (the size of your tarp must be approx. 2 ft. longer and 2 ft. wider than the actual size of your rink)

Optimal temperature for making ice

To make ice, you need a three-day stretch of cold when night temperatures are no more than -10°C to -15°C and day temperatures don't rise above freezing. The colder the better.

To maintain your rink

Shovel off snow regularly and re-flood your rink with warm water occasionally (at least after every second skate) to repair skate marks and cracks. It's best to re-flood your rink late in the afternoon or evening when its colder and there is no sun.

To build your backyard rink?

1. Choose an area of your yard that is fairly level and decide on the size of rink you want to build (20x40 is a good size, but even a town house backyard has enough space for a rink).

2. Create your materials list (see Ingredients) and purchase required materials from your local hardware or building materials store.

3. Cut the extra lengths of lumber into one (1) foot pieces.

4. To construct the frame, connect the boards in the dimensions of your rink

[INSERT FIGURE 1]

... with a snow base

5. Once there is at least 4-6 inches of snow on the ground, pack it down tight using your boots, a shovel, or better yet, load your kids on a toboggan and pull them back and forth over the snow!

6. Spray the rink area with water until the snow is soft and slushy (don't saturate the snow on the first pass), and let it freeze. Dragging a "RinkRake" across the surface is a great way to build ice. The "RinkRake" will smooth the snow as you go.

7. Once frozen, shovel off snow, brush the surface of the ice to make it smooth, and pack holes with snow using your boots or a shovel.

8. Repeat steps #6 and 7 until the ice is smooth, level and thick enough to stand on (min. 3 inches of ice).

It takes approx. 3 days and a total of 8 hours of work to build a backyard rink with a snow base.

... with a tarp

5. Spread the tarp over the entire rink and drape it over the top of the boards, down the back, and tuck it under the board itself.

[INSERT FIGURE 2]

If you live in an area that has mild weather in winter, remove the snow base first, otherwise it might melt and cause the frame and tarp to drop, allowing water to run off.

6. Flood the rink area with water (3-4 inches of water in the first pass), and let it freeze. Make sure that the tarp is perpendicular with the bottom of the boards.[

[INSERT FIGURE 3]

7. Once the water is frozen, shovel off snow and brush the surface of the ice to make it smooth. The "RinkRake" is a great tool to make smooth fast ice and reduce resurfacing time.

8. Repeat steps #6 and 7 until the ice is smooth, level, and thick enough to stand on (min. 3 inches of ice).

It takes approx. 1* hours to build a backyard rink using a tarp, plus the time it takes for it to freeze.


Nova Scotia contacts

Ted Scrutton (Past Chair)
Coordinator, Outdoor Recreation
Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission
5516 Spring Garden Road, Suite 200
P.O. Box 864
Halifax, NS B3J 2V2
Tel: (902) 424-4642
Fax: (902) 424-0520
E-mail: scrutttw@gov.ns.ca

Jody Conrad (NS Provincial Consultant)
Nova Scotia Go for Green Consultant
C/O Sport and Recreation Division
Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion
5516 Spring Garden Rd., Suite 200
PO Box 864
Halifax, NS B3J 2V2
Tel: (902) 424-7589
Fax: (902) 424-0520
E-mail: conradjo@goforgreen.ca


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