The Feversham Kinsmen have successfully set up an outdoor rink for public use at Feversham Park, after proposing the idea to Grey Highlands council back in November.
Kinsmen member Devin Seeley said that the project was a welcome return to community involvement for the organization.
“Over the last two years, we really haven't been able to do the things we have done for our community,” he said. “Doing this, the guys are extremely happy with the way it's come out and being able to do something.”
He said that the Kinsmen were interested in building the rink due to limited access to public skating facilities throughout the pandemic. The rink has seen daily use since being set up in late December.
“COVID put us in this direction because of the limited public skating at the arena,” he said. “They're using it all hours.”
“All positive feedback, which is fantastic. When you get those comments, it makes it worthwhile.”
Prior to setting up the rink, the Kinsmen had to gain council approval and find insurance coverage, but building went well due to its location on the concrete pad of a former arena.
“It went pretty smooth, and we're very lucky for where we are because it's the base for the old arena that was there years ago, so all we really had to do was start adding water.”
The group sourced water for flooding the ice at the neighbouring Osprey Snowhawks Snowmobile Club, and Seeley said that the community has pitched in to make it a good outdoor recreation opportunity.
“We've had a couple businesses donate nets. We had a local resident donate … a training aid for young skaters,” he said.
Seeley said that, given the success of the rink, the Kinsmen plan on setting up in the coming years as well.
Although there is a streetlight that provides light for after dark skating, the group is currently working on securing better lighting for the rink.
Greg McGrath-Goudie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca