The County of Grande Prairie is reaching out to residents in Whispering Ridge and Westlake Estates to gauge their feedback on land-based ice surface alternatives in their community.  

The County is exploring options for safe and accessible winter recreation opportunities for residents and families. Although locations are still to be determined, larger ice surfaces are being considered for various green spaces, in addition to smaller rinks options through the existing Neighbourhood Ice Surface Program.  

Starting today, door hangers will be delivered to all households in the two subdivisions with access to an online survey. The survey is open until October 7, 2022, to collect feedback from local residents on potential new ice surfaces and winter recreation in their community.   

Outdoor recreation on ice surfaces was a topic of discussion at the August 26 Committee of the Whole Meeting after findings were reviewed from last winter’s pilot project testing outdoor recreation on stormwater ponds in the subdivisions. Administration acknowledged public safety challenges encountered during the pilot, including unexpected surface water, significant air temperature fluctuations, the uncertain chemical makeup of stormwater ponds and ice thickness inconsistencies, especially near pond inlets and outlets.  

In keeping with the County’s strategic priority of Community Wellness and Safety, Councillors were interested in exploring how land-based ice surfaces could meet the community’s winter recreation needs, encourage continued community involvement, and prioritize public safety by potentially discontinuing public access to stormwater ponds.  

Feedback from Whispering Ridge and Westlake Estates residents and Administration’s findings on possible enhanced ice surface locations will be presented at the October 25 Council Meeting. No formal decision on stormwater ponds has been made until approved by a motion of Council.