City workers recently put the finishing touches on a brand new way to enjoy the winter months in Amber Trails.
A new outdoor rink was opened to neighbourhood skaters on Dec. 18 at Leila Strasbourg Park, located near the corner of Strasbourg Drive and Morova Avenue. The simple square ice surface, bordered by snow banks, is one of many created by city crews during the winter months.
However, it is the first such rink to be set up in the Amber Trails area. Leila Strasbourg Park has recently been the site of other improvements, including a new playground structure, which was installed this past fall. The improvements are part of a multi-phase project to enhance the site.
"This is a former landfill site. We’re trying to refurbish it and bring it to be a park-like setting, but it’s going to be done in many phases," said Coun. Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan), who represents the area on city council.
Sharma said the area is growing and full of young families, making it well-suited for such improvements.
"There’s a lot of young families throughout my ward, but particularly in this community, so it seemed very fitting," she said.
Jack Lubinski, superintendent of parks for the north area of Winnipeg, said the design is intentionally simple to accommodate novices.
"These rinks are intended for what we call pleasure skating. For safety reasons, we don’t like to use boards around the edge," Lubinski said.
"A lot of these rinks are used by some of the youngest children... So if they fall, we don’t have to worry about them falling on plywood or on boards."
Lubinski said city workers will return to the site on a weekly basis to perform upkeep on the rink and reflood the ice. He said the city will continue to maintain its pleasure skating rinks until around mid-March, depending on the weather.
Sharma said the city’s parks and open space department will also monitor the rink’s use to determine if one should be installed again next year.