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Ice dreams come to life

Parks & Rec board hopes ice rink attracts winter skaters

By Staff | Oct 15, 2020

The Estherville Parks & Recreation Board met Monday evening to acknowledge winter’s approach and discuss the city ice rink planned for South 14th Street Park. Parks foreman Roger Hash said a liner was ready that would allow for pouring a defined, even ice rink. Electrical supervisor Mitch Eveleth was installing light poles and lighting for the ice rink, which at 80 x 160 feet would approximate a regulation hockey rink.

City administrator Penny Clayton said the next development for the ice rink area would be a warming house. Clayton said, “It takes a fair amount of electricity to keep the little heater going,” in the current warming house at Joe Hoye Park. The rink is moving away from the river and into a flatter area with South 14th Street Park. Clayton said the city rents ice skates for anyone to use.

Why should anyone in the community go ice skating?

According to Harvard Medical School, ice skating will burn at least 200 calories per hour, making it a great way to lose or maintain weight. Strengthening your muscles and improving your joint health leads to better balance; so does trying to stay standing on the ice. Ice skating can tone muscles, improve endurance, contribute to stress management and better mental health, and is a socially-distanced way to spend time with friends and family. It can be a multi-generational family or group activity. Skating works every muscle group in the body and gliding requires synchronized movement of the legs – this is important for joint flexibility.

Parks board members also envision pickup games of hockey and singles or pairs honing their skills with the puck as well as possible games of broom ball and beginners going from wobbling and slipping to gliding and turning in the course of a winter.

Parks board member Gary Phillips said an earlier warming house was put together with scrap lumber and supplies by a group of volunteers, and that a similar tack could be implemented. A trailer or grain bins were other suggestions for the composition of a new warming house.

In other business, the board discussed fundraising for the pool project. As of Wednesday, Oct. 14, fundraising is 76.67 percent complete with $72,175.00 still to be raised. The city will release an online portal later this week for community members to donate toward the pool expenses not covered by the bond approved two-to-one by Estherville voters Aug. 6, 2019.

Clayton said this week and next would be a big push to fund the project as bids from the second round of construction bidding are due at the end of October and the city council could award the projects at its Nov. 2 meeting.

Hash also reported on a sun shelter and swing at Joe Hoye Park, a pump house at Thoreson Park, and trees along the walking trail at Joe Hoye, Riverside and Thoreson parks.

See the Estherville News website for the link to the online pool donation portal when it becomes available.