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Outdoor rink gets sponsor

On the day the New Richmond outdoor rinks were open for business, local youngsters take a spin around the ice at the Starr Elementary site. Pictured are Ashlyn Schulze (left) and Aleah Rodriguez.

The winter season is officially upon us. The New Richmond outdoor skating rinks are officially open.

This year's winter activity is made possible through a new sponsorship program being promoted by the city of New Richmond.

"With tighter budgets, city staff are asked to look at ways of continuing services that we provide and at the same time lower spending," explained Joe Kerlin, director of parks and recreation. "We're trying to do more with less."

Kerlin approached the New Richmond Area Centre about its possible sponsorship of one of the community's outdoor rinks and the non-profit organization jumped at the chance.

"Darian Blattner at The Centre was the first person that I talked to about sponsoring the Starr Elementary rink for a year and his board unanimously approved it," Kerlin said.

Kerlin said the city will still provide maintenance and staffing at the rink, but a financial donation from The Centre will make it all possible.

"It will continue to be provided to the New Richmond area community as a healthy free winter activity," he said.

The following outdoor skating rinks will be available for use in New Richmond:

• Starr Elementary: At South Knowles and County GG. Leisure rink with warming house and sledding hill. Sponsored by the New Richmond Area Center and New Richmond Parks and Recreation. Hockey play is not permitted. The Starr Elementary warming house opened Friday, Dec. 28, for the season. The warming house may close due to bad weather, poor rink conditions or the last hour of the scheduled time if there are no skaters. Please make sure the warming house is open before dropping off your child. Also remember that children under 9 years of age must be supervised. Warming House Hours for Starr Elementary: December 28 - January 1, Dec. 28 - 31, 1-9 p.m.; Dec. 31, 1-5 p.m.; Jan. 1, 1-9 p.m. Jan. 2 through end of season: Monday - Friday, 4-9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1-9 p.m. Skates for use: There are a variety of skate sizes available for use at the Starr leisure rink.

• Sports Center - East Fourth Street and Oak Avenue. Outdoor hockey rink open to public at assigned times. Sponsored by New Richmond Hockey Association and New Richmond Parks and Recreation. Hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday - Sunday 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

• New Richmond Golf Club Cross Country Ski Trail: Located a half mile west of New Richmond at 1226 180th Ave. The trail is about three miles long and kept groomed, snow conditions permitting. Trail head starts at the golf club parking lot. The trail is not groomed at this time but the grooming may start the first week of the new year.

For updates on New Richmond's skating rinks, warming house hours, cross country ski trails, paved trails and parks, contact the New Richmond Parks Department at 715-243-0440 or visit the City of New Richmond's website at and click on City Departments and then Parks and Recreation.