Ice rink off to a bumpy season

Last winter, high temperatures prevented the Hayden Parks and Recreation Department from opening the town's portable ice skating rink.

This winter, a cold and snowy start enabled officials to open the rink during the second week of December -- even before the official start to winter.

But fluctuating temperatures and slushy snow and ice have made rink maintenance difficult during the past couple of weeks, said J.D. Paul, supervisor of the town's Parks and Recreation Department.

"The bad thing about an outdoor ice rink is it totally depends on the weather," Paul said.

Most recently, wet snow was kicked into piles across the rink. Those piles froze, making the rink unusable until the next warm day rolls around and maintenance crews are able to resurface the uneven ice, Paul said.

"It's been kind of an ongoing battle with the weather," he said.

The ice rink in Hayden Town Park is free to use -- as long as it's open. Parks and Rec officials plan to determine soon whether they will host the annual skating party, Paul said. In the meantime, residents who want to use the rink can stop by and check on the ice conditions before venturing out for a skate on the approximately 5,000-square-foot rink.

In other Parks and Recreation Department news:

The town's Nordic trail is in good condition, which is a good sign for the Tiger Gliders Nordic Program, which begins today.

The third/fourth-grade basketball season begins Jan. 16. There will be one team for third- and fourth-grade girls and one team for third- and fourth-grade boys. Interested families can register their children at Town Hall or at Hayden Valley Elementary School. The program needs coaches, Paul said. As of Tuesday afternoon, no parents or volunteers have offered to coach.

The Parks and Recreation Board will host a Back to the '80s Party on Jan. 21 at the Routt County Fairgrounds exhibit hall. The party is for adults ages 21 and older. There will be alcohol and door prizes, Paul said. "We have a lot of programs for kids, but we don't have a lot of programs for adults, and this is something we came up with," he said. Call J.D. Paul at 276-3741 for more information.

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