Green may soon have ice rink

Rachael Scarborough King; Register Staff
December 24, 2007

GUILFORD – The traditional downtown Green could soon play host to one of New England’s traditional winter pastimes: outdoor ice skating.

The Board of Selectmen this week approved the installation of a temporary ice rink on the northeast corner of the Green.

Parks and Recreation Department officials had hoped to set up the rink by the end of last week, but the layer of icy snow on the Green delayed the process.

The rink measures 50-feet-by- 100 feet, and will be able to accommodate about 30 to 40 skaters, Director of Parks and Recreation Rick Maynard said.

“There’s so much crusty snow right now, I think we’ve got to get underneath that onto the grass to do it,” Maynard said. “It’s very important the rink has to be very level.”

The skating area will consist of a plastic lining bordered by a rectangular frame that installers will fill with water and allow to freeze.

Guilford has two other skating areas that open based on winter weather conditions – at Bittner Park and Mill Pond – but Maynard said the temporary rink will be a good option for families.

“I think it’s going to be something that will be very attractive to parents with real little kids,” he said, adding that hockey playing will not be allowed.”

The town has owned the portable rink for about two years, Maynard said, but the weather has not been cold enough at this point in the season to set it up in the past. The Guilford Savings Bank bought the rink in 2005 and donated it to the town, Senior Branch Manager Renee Pallenberg said.

The bank purchased the rink as part of its 130th anniversary celebration, Pallenberg said. But because that year saw an unusually warm winter, “we decided against putting in a swimming hole and donated the rink to the town for their future use.”

Maynard said that the Bittner Park skating area may open soon, as soon as there is a base of 3 inches of ice. Mill Pond needs 5-to-6 inches of ice to open.

The Parks and Recreation Department is also planning to purchase a small ice resurfacing machine to keep the ice smooth.

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