Hurley Winter Park in Milbank will come to life this winter thanks, in part, to community initiative. The park, which is owned by the City of Milbank, will be expanded to increase its winter fun quotient.
The city has flooded the rink and it’s ready for skaters. It has added benches for the comfort of on-onlookers and a railing to aid skaters as they enter and exit the rink. Lights have been installed to provide a night time skating option and additional holiday lights will add to the festive feel. Once the snow starts accumulating, it will be piled near the rink for kids to climb, sled, or use to build a fort.
Another new dimension is hockey. Hockey goals have been purchased and the MHS wood shop program is building a divider to separate the pond into two sections- skating and hockey.
The warming house is already open and ready for skaters. This year along with assistance with skates and some supervision, it will offer popcorn and hot chocolate.
“We can’t make the long winter months in South Dakota shorter” said Katie Heller, a member of the core- committee group involved in expanding the park, “but we can make them more fun.” Another core-committee member, Jan Bierschbach said, “Growing up in Northern Minnesota where ice rinks were everywhere, and as a former PE teacher who took kids skating, I envision our rink as a fun gathering place to meet up with friends of all ages. As a huge plus, skating is a great way to get the heart beating faster. Skating is not just for the young, but for the young-at-heart. It’s for all ages and is a great way to improve balance, physical fitness and coordination. It is so much fun, you will forget you are working out.”
The core group of volunteers pumping life into the park are Heller, Mike Hanson, Denice Hooth, Bierschbach, and Cheri Maugher. “We just got this going, but we invite anyone to join us and help out,” said Heller. Volunteers to man the warming house are especially needed.
The group also hopes to gather hockey and ice skates in various sizes to be used at the park. “Any used skates you would be willing to donate, would be so appreciated,” she said.
To volunteer your time, donate skates, or get involved contact any core-committee member or connect on the Hurley Winter Park Facebook page.
The committe is working on a celebration event at the rink. Watch the Valley Express for upcoming details.