Rink Update Jan 14 2014
Post date: Jan 14, 2014 6:19:29 PM
Conditions at the rink.....GREAT considering the crazy weather.
Snow, rain, tons of branches down.
Due to a FLU (I mean few) unexpected factors, rink maintenance and posts have been at a minimum.
Because so many people ask how it's done, why it's done that way and why don't you do it "this way", here is......
A little bit about the Vankoughnet rink:
This rink is in an ideal location that makes it able to withstand many variables in weather, especially warm spells. Due to the shelter it receives from the surrounding trees, it is well protected from the ravages of the sun and from blowing snow.
The Way the rink is maintained also helps it withstand all that nature throws at it. Some people put a tarp down, and/or edge the perimeter with boards and sometimes plastic sheeting to keep the water in. This can prevent volumes of water escaping, but it also creates the swimming pool effect during a thaw, and the large volume of surface water takes a significant amount of time to refreeze. Time (days even) are lost waiting for the rink to freeze up again...and it's not terribly fun to skate in large puddles of water. Besides, the Vankoughnet rink is so large and the onsite well used to flood it does not give the ability to fill it up like a swimming pool. There is really only enough water for a light resurfacing.
Without the perimeter boarder the surface water can naturally drain from the rink preventing any major pools of water. Because of this, during many thaws it can still be skated on. When the temperatures drop, the rink freezes quickly and any downtime is reduced. Removing the nets during the thaw prevents them from melting large grooves into the surface. Removing any piles of snow on the rink and around the boarder during the thaw prevents large frozen mounds from forming...that are terribly hard to remove after the temperture drops again.
Also doing all that extra work adding tarps and board and plastic is...extra work. It would require, before season setup and after season teardown. With the "limited" volunteer maintainance crew...and money, it is not a good addition. It is also yet another thing to repair and maintain if there is "accidental" damage....and don't forget the swimming pool effect!
Rain is a free flood if managed well. Remove slush and snow piles, let nature do the rest.
These photos are taken the day after the thaw. Looks (almost) like new.