Happy sign of winter: Volunteers get Clark Park ice rink up and running

- Outdoor rinks are a rare sight these days - except in southwest Detroit.

Of all the crazy things you are likely to see on a typical day in Detroit, grown men painting ice somehow doesn't make the list. Meet the Clark Park Coalition.

"It is very tedious, first you first put the lines down and about every hour you go out there and water the ice," said a volunteer. "It is like watering the grass. You start at one end and work to the other end. You put it away for a while, let it harden, and do it once more."

What may seem like insanity is another sign winter is here. At Clark Park that means getting the rink ready.

"It takes about three days, but today we are going to be laying the lines," said the volunteer.  "That is our goal, to put the blue and red lines in."

Only they are not the traditional colors you would find in most rinks.

"Two years ago we decided to lighten up the navy blue and the red to safety orange due to the fact the sun beats on the ice and on the darker colors and in turn, it makes that area softer,” a volunteer said. "It is a constant learning curve with Mother Nature you can't beat her. You just have to go with it and try to do the best you can here."

Clark Park is a special place offering year-round activities for kids and family in the neighborhood. It is a special place for those of us here at FOX 2. Every February, I host a charity hockey game with my old pal and attorney Mike Rataj.

His team has beaten my squad two years in a row but we will be back here again on February 25th for the Clark Park Winter Carnival and of course our third annual Outdoor Winter Classic hockey game.

Before the old guys take the ice, youth will be served.

"Once they see we are out here with the other group of guys and the ice is being laid it is a sign of the holidays between Thanksgiving and Christmas," said a volunteer. "They know good things are going to happen soon with Christmas season, ice skating season. They know they will be skating out here on their winter break."

For more information on Clark Park CLICK HERE.
 

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