Cold Weather, Outdoor Ice Rink Coming to South Orange

0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

Correction: The ice rink will be 90′ x 180′ — not 90′ x 80′ as originally reported. 

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, New Jersey is looking at “a repeat of last winter” for the 2015/16 season, with a forecast of “snowy and unseasonably cold” weather.

That’s good news for South Orange Village Trustee Steve Schnall, who has spearheaded an effort to bring a temporary outdoor ice rink to the tennis courts at the Baird this winter.

“As we expect to be renovating our tennis courts,” said Schnall, “we expect to place the vinyl rink on top of the courts and fill it with 4-6 inches of water and upon it sufficiently freezing — based on outside temperatures — will allow interested residents to skate.”

Schnall added, “We had listened to citizen’s requests and interest in skating on the duck pond and since we will now not be dredging the pond, we were concerned that it might not freeze enough days nor be safe for public use. As such we purchased this alternative and, for the first year, are taking advantage of the Baird courts construction in the off-season.”

Schnall said that, initially, the plan is to allow any South Orange resident with a valid South Orange recreation card (the same as used for the pool and other activities) to skate for free — but their guests would be required to pay $5 per day for a pass. (Guests must be accompanied by a resident.)

Schnall said that this plan could encourage residents to also get their 2016 passes early as it will be valid for use all winter for skating. New passes can be obtained after December 1 for $35.

Schnall thanked Kate Schmidt, Director of Recreation, and Pete Travers, the Deputy Director of Recreation, for making arrangement to procure and set up the 90 foot by 180 foot rink.

The total cost of the rink is $9,287, said Schnall, including all components and freight, and is being paid for through the South Orange Open Space Trust Fund.

Related Articles