FLORENCE — Thanks to its fire department and community volunteers, Florence has an outdoor ice rink to enjoy every winter.
However, a few individuals have done some damage to the rink in a variety of ways that put the longevity of this year's ice in jeopardy.
"There's a few things that there will be no coming back from, half the ice with six inches of slush and holes we will just have to cut it off and it will be done for the rest of the year," rink volunteer Chris Kovatch said.
Kovatch says that rocks were thrown and they punched a couple holes through the liner and vandals also busted through the gate. On top of the damage caused by negligent people, weather hasn’t helped keep Florence’s ice sheet in the best condition this year.
“At that point we just have to wait until we get some temperatures that cooperate to get it froze solid and start building layers from there with fluctuating temperatures. We've had a hard time freezing our ice solid," Kovatch said.
To help keep the rink going for the rest of the year, don’t go on the ice if its locked up and clean up the ice after you skate. That means make sure to clear the ice when your done using it of everything.
Kovatch also stressed the importance of completely shoveling the surface when you are done.
"If snow sits on the ice it will absorb heat and start creating slush and its harder to start shoveling off,” said Kovatch. “So it's important that if your going to shovel you shovel 100% complete you don’t just shove l half or essentially your going to ruin half the ice."
The rink is put together by volunteers and so any damage prevents both adults and children from valuable time on the ice. Half of the outdoor sheet opened to the public on Tuesday evening.
The Florence Outdoor Ice Rink is located in Florence Park which is off of Florence Carlton Loop. More information about the facility can be found here.