New Brunswick

Fredericton's outdoor rinks are all wet this winter

Only one of Fredericton's eight outdoor rinks has enough ice to skate on, and that's because it has an artificial cooling system.

Warm temperatures have made it almost impossible to keep the ice open for skaters

All but one outdoor rink in Fredericton is closed to skating. (CBC)

The recent stretch of warm weather and rain has left only one of Fredericton's eight outdoor rinks with ice thick enough to skate on.

The only rink that is open to skaters is in Mitch Clarke Park, on Johnston Avenue behind Nashwaaksis Memorial School.

That rink has an artificial cooling system that has allowed it to keep its ice even as the temperatures have been warming up.

The other seven outdoor rinks are more slush than slide because of the warm temperatures and Wednesday night's rain hasn't helped.

Don Murray, parks and trees manager for the City of Fredericton, says even if it dips below freezing, that's not cold enough to create an ice surface.

"Once that sun gets up and we get into the early days of March, we can't win against that sunshine," Murray says.

"Now with very little frost in the ground, I do predict an early end to our outdoor rinks. Because we are getting heat from the ground and heat from the sun, so we are battling in both directions here," he said.

Murray says unless temperatures drop to double–digits below freezing within a couple of weeks, outdoor skating in Fredericton will be virtually over for the season.  

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