From Wellesley Recreation Commission Chair Andy Wrobel
On Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m., a true community project began. Much like a barn raising of years gone by, Wellesley neighbors of Phillips Park, Wellesley Fire fighters, Wellesley Youth Hockey volunteers and others descended upon Phillips Park to create an outdoor skating rink for Wellesley. An idea started and planned by Wellesley Recreation with the support of Natural Resources Commission and Wellesley Police Department.
Through a gift of sandbags from Department of Public Works and a partial sponsorship from the Wellesley Gentlemen's Club, Wellesley is getting its first outdoor "safe" skating area in years. A project attempted last year on Hunnewell Field - but unable to be executed due to insufficient cold or snow - the rink was constructed on Phillips Park instead of Hunnewell to allow the over used grass on the multi-purpose field at Hunnewell to rest.
The rinks will ultimately have two 50' x100' sheets of ice supported by a liner and sandbags for "big kids (&adults) and hockey" as well as a separate "No Hockey Tot Rink". The first rink was assembled by noon on Saturday with the Tot rink expected to be up and assembled on Tuesday.
The passersby feedback has been universally positive - from young and old alike. The comments that included "I used to skate at Kelly Field" or "the old high school" helped motivate the labor.
Signage is being added to direct drivers to only park in legal places like the meters, commuter lot as well as at Bank of America after hours. We ask people to please respect the "Rink Open"/"Rink Closed" signs to allow the ice to form solidly and avoid destroying the critical liner.
Snow removal is being supported by neighbor Joe Levanto and other ice maintenance will hopefully be supported by skaters with shovels as well as occasional additional water to help keep the surface smooth.
This project was initiated by Wellesley Recreation and funded by sponsorships in our community (more sponsorships are available - contact Jan Kaseta at Wellesley Recreation at 781-235-2370 to help).
Hopefully the opportunity to have skating will make the inevitable cold winter days a bit more attractive. Now all we need is cold weather to turn the "pond" into a rink.