When it looked as though there would be no skating at the Frog Pond on the Boston Common this winter for the second consecutive season – this time, due to a mechanical issue with the rink’s colling mechanism – the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the city worked together with The Skating Club of Boston, the private entity that manages the facility’s year-round operations, to remedy the situation by installing a temporary rink there.
Ryan Woods, commissioner of the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, said the Frog Pond, which usually opens for skating the week of Thanksgiving, “wasn’t freezing because the chiller couldn’t get through the ice.”
Woods added, . “In order to locate the leak, we would have to tear up the concrete to do some studies. We deiced that having a temporary rink for skating was more important than not having it for two years in a row.”
Skating at the Frog Pond, the oldest outdoor skating rink in New England, was cancelled last winter due to the ongoing pandemic, but Woods said the Parks and Recreation Department worked “hand in hand to find the temporary rink solution” (which is smaller than the traditional rink).
The temporary rink was installed this month, which unfortunately was too late to accommodate this year’s annual Tree Lighting Skating Spectacular, which had been scheduled originally been scheduled for Dec. 2 to coincide with the Common tree-lighting.
“As soon as the skating season ends, which is usually in mid-March, around St. Patrick’s Day, engineers will conduct a study on the rink’s pressure so hopefully next season, we’ll be back to full capacity,” said Woods.