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Dozens of Eagle Lake community members volunteer time to maintain outdoor ice rink

Outdoor ice rinks are a staple of Minnesota, it allows kids and adults to get back to the roots of hockey.
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:20 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2022 at 7:48 PM CST
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EAGLE LAKE, Minn. (KEYC) — Outdoor ice rinks are a staple of Minnesota, it allows kids and adults to get back to the roots of hockey.

”Really, it’s fun for us so too, it doesn’t even resonate that it’s work. We are out here having fun, and then you drive by, and it’s being used. It makes it worth it,” volunteer Anthony White explained.

Like many others in the Midwest, White spent his younger years shredding through ice on an outdoor rink.

“Growing up I lived right next to a park. Mine was a t-ball field that got flooded by the city with, you know, snow as the boards. So I just remember getting really excited when I saw that water truck drive by and fill it.”

It’s because of those core memories that White has taken the keys to the City of Eagle Lake’s public ice rink, and has donated his time as a volunteer for five years now.

But he isn’t the only one who volunteers his time once the temperatures start to drop.

“There has been so many different volunteers; to former players of mine, people that live in town here to family members. You name it, they have kind of all chipped in,” White explained.

“It says something to the community that we have volunteers that care and I think they appreciate it more,” Eagle Lake City Administrator Jennifer Bromeland said.

White and some of his fellow volunteers hit the rink to create a key part of winter in the state of hockey.

“We have fire hoses and a fire nozzle that we start out with. It literally is layer-by-layer and last year we were close to 80 or 90 layers, and this year we are up to 50 so far,” White stated.

From little tykes to college students, even adults, those are the types of people that have laced up their skates and embraced the outdoor elements.

Bromeland has seen it firsthand what the magic of an outdoor sheet of ice does.

“I’m a mom of two hockey players, so they like to skate and not just play hockey. So they will come down here for open skate and hockey. They get a lot of use out of it, and it’s a great place for them to meet up with their friends.”

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