Frigid temperatures help pond to beckon skaters back
By DALE VINCENT
New Hampshire Union Leader | January 24. 2014 10:32PM
Marcus Laube, right, and Chip Foley, both of the Concord High School team, shovel the ice following their game during opening day of the Black Ice Hockey Tournament at White Park in Concord. Teams from the Northeast and Canada will be competing throughout the weekend. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
The ice was still being groomed for free public skating. Starting today, for the first time in years, Dorrs Pond will “officially” be open for skating, said city parks chief Don Pinard.
On weekends, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be staff on hand and a fire in the “skate house” stove to warm skaters taking a break.
With the temperature expected to be in the 20s today, he’s sure the skating will be ideal for opening day. Especially if a few snowflakes drift down in the afternoon.
That’s not to say Dorrs Pond hasn’t been in use for skating without official city maintenance.
They weren’t skipping Friday. “It’s midterms. We just wanted to play more hockey,” said Brendan O’Neil.
The four teens chose not to waste the day and decided to head to Stevens Pond, next to Interstate 93, where they’ve skated before, said Jon Mathieu. But Stevens Pond isn’t groomed and O’Neil took one more look at the smooth, unmarked surface of Dorrs Pond. “I’ve never seen it like that,” he said.
Nordic skiing trails have been groomed at Derryfield Country Club and they also open officially today. They are on the south side of the clubhouse, the opposite side from the popular sledding hill.While cross country skiers have cut their own trails in the past, Pinard said: “If we groom the trails, we can keep them off the green.”
There are other possible cross country trail locations he’s looking at in the city, including recreation trails. “But we have to depend on Mother Nature,” he said.
He’d like to bring back neighborhood skating rinks. He’s starting at Parkside Avenue, and Sheridan-Emmett Park is his next target. “We plow it out, make bankings and flood them,” he said. They used to be common. “I’d like to bring that back,” he said.