Mild weather puts damper on area ice-skating opportunities

2013-01-09T18:45:00Z 2013-01-09T23:35:25Z Mild weather puts damper on area ice-skating opportunitiesChelsea Schneider Kirk chelsea.schneider@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com

Recent mild winters are cutting into the time city parks can operate ice-skating rinks.

With temperatures expected to top out in the 50s this week, Crown Point's rinks at the sports complex on North Street likely won't be skateable by today, said Jeff Jensen, the city's recreation coordinator.

Hammond has water in all its rinks, but temperatures usually need to dip below freezing for about a week before the ice is solid enough for skating.

Both cities don't operate cooling systems for their rinks, so it's up to Mother Nature to determine availability.

“Last year there were only a handful of days that it was frozen and skateable,” Jensen said. “This year we've actually had since Thursday or Friday where it's been frozen, but now it's not going to be anymore. We really haven't had any days other than that.”

Jensen recommends calling the Parks Department to know when the rinks are available. Crown Point operates two rinks at the sports complex with one reserved for skating and the other hockey.

Donna Muta, superintendent of the Hammond Parks and Recreation Department, said the office has fielded calls on the ice-skating rinks.

“There's not much we can do about it, though, it's the weather,” Muta said.

Hammond operates rinks at Pulaski, Irving and Hessville parks, while the Hammond Port Authority runs the rink at Forsythe Park.

Music plays and lights are on at Pulaski Park from 5 to 10 p.m. Once the ice is solid, the department will staff the rink during evenings.

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