Conceiving a unique variation on the traditional outdoor skating rink
When the City of Elkhart sought to expand year round recreational opportunities for residents along the St. Joseph River, we responded with a novel solution—a riverfront water and ice park featuring a first-of-its-kind outdoor winter skating path. This unique variation on the traditional ice rink expands vistas for skaters and strollers, and responds to stakeholder priorities for a versatile recreation resource with low-maintenance costs.
To form the skating path, we designed a series of connected concrete pads cooled by embedded refrigerant piping that allows for an extended skating season. Skaters now have two options: traditional skating within the adjacent rink or leisurely weaving along the winding 600 foot long path to enjoy scenic views of the river and downtown Elkhart.
During spring, summer, and fall the skating path takes on another dimension as a landscaped pedestrian path for all ages, when the rink slab converts to a multi-use surface. A popular splash pad water play feature provides another safe and low maintenance recreational experience.
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