SOUTHINGTON – With the recent frigid temperatures, the pond at Memorial Park opened to the public for ice skating last week.
“You need that consistent span of weather or some cold weather to keep it frozen,” said Recreation Director Dave Lapreay. “It’s basically all up to mother nature.”
A temporary skating rink the town set up along the linear trail hadn’t been able to open for the past several years because of inconsistent temperatures, he said. In addition to opening the rink this year, the town decided to once again allow skating on the pond.
“My personal opinion is pond skating is much better,” Lapreay said. “You can get more people out there and there’s more of natural feel to it.”
The temporary rink, which also opened last week, is open to the public on Sunday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and then on Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. with lights that come on after dark.
The town’s public works department runs daily maintenance of the pond, which is open without supervision. Public works will be monitoring the pond as temperatures warm this week.
“They check it daily while it’s open,” Lapreay said. “They check the thickness (of the ice) and check if it is safe.”
After the storm that swept through the state on Thursday, crews headed to the pond to make sure it was still safe after first clearing the roads and sidewalks.