There are two outdoor rinks in Telkwa and they are maintained meticulously by a group of volunteers.
One of the rinks is in the Woodland Subdivision and former Mayor of Telkwa Darcy Repen helps to clean it.
“There is myself and another fellow here that have mostly taken care of it over the last couple of years, sort of tag teaming but I do have a list of six or seven people that are sort of on call if I’m not around or if Eric isn’t around to work on it,” he said.
He added it isn’t a huge job to keep it up but it is a bit of a science to build it at the start of the season.
“The main task is building up the ice surface at the beginning of the year and that can be a little challenging depending on the weather,” he said. “Once the ice is built up, it is fairly easy. We have benefited from Village staff helping us out. They’ve provided us with a great snow blower which makes snow removal much easier than it used to be when we hand shovelled the rink. They helped set us up in the fall to get it ready for flooding. The staff has been really good with that.”
He added if the weather is good for the first couple of weeks, you have to flood it a couple of times a day and try to build it up. Once it’s built it up Repen said you need the right temperature to flood with -5 and -20 being ideal.
Repen said there have been a lot of people using the Woodland Rink this year.
“In Telkwa we don’t have any other recreational facility really and there are certainly some families that need affordable recreation for their kids,” he said. “It is really cool. It is meditating for me to do the flooding and it is super cool to see kids out there using it. It is good to know that we have something in the community that is free to use to be able to go out and the kids can access whenever they want.”
He added that residents of Telkwa are lucky because there are two outdoor rinks to use.
“We also have Dockrill Rink which is closer to a full-size rink with the beautiful new boards and the renovations that we had done a couple of years ago. It is just an awesome facility.”
A different group of volunteers maintains that surface.
Trevor Johnson heads up those efforts.
“There are lot of people who do it but we aren’t organized,” he said. “There are some high school boys helping out and I was going to ask them to make a Facebook page so we can all communicate. That is what is most needed.”
He said it is a lot of work to maintain.
“It depends on the weather and if it gets cold enough, we rock on pretty good,” he said. “The removal of the snow isn’t insurmountable as long as we get organized. It is about getting everyone to show up and shovel at the same time. If one person shows up to do it alone, it is too much.”
He said that the Inn at the Creamery next door has guests that enjoy the rink too and they are also trying to get it more accessible for the younger kids.
“It is beautiful rink, the more little kids skating around on it the better,” Johnson added. “Everyone involved in it does it so they can enjoy it as well as feel as though they are giving back to Telkwa. The community spirit is out in abundance.”