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Outdoor skating not permitted on storm ponds as outdoor rinks open for the season

December 20, 2023 3:00 PM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

The storm water ponds in the Anders and West Park neighbourhoods, traditionally maintained as outdoor skating surfaces, will permanently close for public use starting this year.

“While these surfaces have been used for recreational outdoor skating in the past, we now have more information to suggest the fluctuation of ice thickness can be a safety issue when there is water flowing underneath the surface,” said Jim Jorgensen, Utilities Manager with The City of Red Deer. “We know this may disappoint some people; however, the safety of families and citizens is our primary concern, and we are simply not comfortable with continuing to open these surfaces for recreation use.”

The decision to close the two surfaces comes after recent reviews and safety incidents in other communities determined that storm ponds should not be used for recreational activity as the constantly flowing water beneath the surface of the ice can create soft spots, which are a significant safety hazard.

Red Deerians are asked to stay off all storm ponds and exercise caution on all natural ice surfaces.

The closure of storm pond skating surfaces does not impact public skating at Bower Ponds, Setter’s Place Speed Skating Oval, or community outdoor rinks.

  • Setter’s Place Skating Oval will open Thursday, December 21, 2023
  • Bower Ponds skating surface will open December 23, 2023
  • Most neighbourhood community rinks will open December 23, 2023
    • Some will require more flooding to get the ice base sufficiently thick enough to safely skate on; look for hockey nets and evening lights to know when the rink is open and safe for use.

A complete listing of rink sites and opening status is located on our website at

More information about storm pond safety can be found at

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