Blewett is getting its own skating rinks.
Two outdoor rinks are set to be built at Morning Mountain after the Blewett Conservation Society (BCS) was funded $35,000 for the project through the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s Community Initiatives Grant program.
The rinks, which will be free to use and run by volunteers, are expected to be finished by December.
Shari Imada, a member of BCS, came up with the idea for the rinks in 2014 while looking for local winter outdoor activities her two sons could participate in. She said skating made sense at Morning Mountain, where skiing, snowshoeing and tobogganing already happen in the winter.
“We do have the main skating rink in Nelson but at that time there wasn’t many other opportunities to just go skating for fun,” she said. “I think that’s why I decided this might be a good fit for Morning Mountain.”
Designed by Cover Architecture’s Lukas Armstrong, the main rink will be 15-by-24 metres, while a secondary rink meant for younger skaters will be nine-by-nine metres. (For comparison, an NHL-size rink like the one at the Nelson and District Community Complex is 61-by-26 metres.)
The site will also feature a warming hut, storage shed and a fire pit, while a high-pressure waterline is being installed to provide ice. Brackets that will support the rink’s boards meanwhile are being built by students in Selkirk College’s carpentry program.
Imada said construction will begin after next month’s Fat Tire Festival, which takes place next to the site planned for the rinks.
“I think it’s going to be a great project and I’m really looking forward to seeing this happen,” said Iwada. “It will be a great facility for the community and I’m really looking forward to seeing families out there.
“It’s providing a recreational activity for the kids but also it’s a way for the community to get together in the winter, which I think will be awesome for Blewett. We don’t have a lot of infrastructure so I think this might be a good opportunity for us to get together.”