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January 28, 2013

Farmington looks to put Riley Park on ice

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

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The ice rink in Barnum Park near downtown Birmingham has been a hit with residents since it was first installed two years ago. The city of Farmington hopes to bring a similar rink to Riley Park next winter.

FARMINGTON — As the chill of winter sets in next year, Farmington residents could be strapping on skates for a spin around a new city ice rink.

According to Annette Knowles, executive director of the Farmington Downtown Development Authority, the DDA is hoping to draw residents to Riley Park year-round by installing an outdoor ice rink.

“We found that this is rising to the top of the interest list with residents,” said Knowles. “We’d like to do one that’s refrigerated, so it extends the season in cooler and cold weather, since you’re not relying entirely on Mother Nature to be cooperative.”

To make the rink a reality, however, Knowles said she needs help from interested community members. The DDA released a statement Jan. 24, calling for volunteers to join an ice rink committee, which would conduct a study to ensure a rink is the right move for the area. If the study proves positive, the group would then discuss ways to fund the rink.

“I would say that, if there are people who have fundraising experience, people who have experience with outdoor venues, or people who love skating or hockey and who want to see this happen, any of those would be likely candidates for the committee.”

“Adding an ice skating rink in Riley Park during winter months would offer Farmington and surrounding communities another excellent family activity,” said DDA member and Farmington volunteer Pat Shelton in an email.

Knowles said that, if all goes well, the rink could be installed for the 2013-14 cold-weather seasons.

Those interested in volunteering for the project are asked to call Knowles at (248) 473-7276 or email volunteer@downtownfarmington.org. For more information, visit www.downtownfarmington.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.