Boothbay Civic Association

Raising funds for new line for the ice rink
Posted:  Friday, October 6, 2017 - 7:00am

The Boothbay Civic Association had our monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at the Boothbay Town Office. The BCA would like to remind its members and the community of our mission: “To initiate and support projects and programs to improve economic and aesthetic conditions of public facilities, thereby lessening the tax burden of the municipal government."

This time of year we often talk about the Boothbay Community Ice Rink, which has been a project we have supported for over a decade. Again this year we are getting ready to lace up our skates and set up “the rink.” The rink is located next to the Boothbay Fire Station right off Route 27 before you reach the Boothbay Common and directly next to the Boothbay Fire Station. The location is not as visible as we would like but it does have advantages, being next to a fire station insures a good water source, some parking, lights for night skating and a place to store equipment when it’s not being used. The ideal size for this outdoor rink is 70’ x 130’. As the liner is used each year it gets smaller due to wear and tear, after three years we buy a new liner.

This is a true community project that happens with funds raised by bake sales, bottle collections (see our bottle bins on the Boothbay Common and behind Good ’N You) and donations. The project came to light many years ago when Jeanne Tonon was the guidance counselor at the Boothbay Region schools and the rink was directed by the school’s leadership group. You might remember the “Think Rink” bumper stickers that you saw, and might still see around town, designed by a local, now young man, Andy Panagore. We have had events over the years with music, games and, of course, many hockey games have occurred on cold Saturday mornings.

Our costs are quite minimal since all the setup, breakdown and maintenance happens with volunteer efforts. We are always looking for new volunteers interested in helping out with any aspect of the rink from setup to breakdown in the spring. If interested in volunteering, please call Lincoln Erhard at 522-4717. If interested in donating, please send your check, payable to Boothbay Civic Association, to P. O. Box 81, Boothbay, ME 04537 (Boothbay Civic Association is a 501(c) (3) organization.)

Don’t have skates? Not a problem. We have a shed full of free skates for anyone to borrow and take donations if you are getting rid of old skating equipment. I recently cleaned out my basement and brought over hockey skates and pads from when my kids were wee ones. They were so small, hard to part with, but I always feel good when I imagine kids being able to use what we no longer need. We have some tables set up at the rink if you want to have a little break, and room for folks to eat lunch or warm up with some cocoa. I used to make big batches when the kids and I went over. We always seemed to be there longer than anticipated and the snacks and cocoa gave us a bit more energy for another quick hockey game!

Winter on the coast can be unpredictable and lately, well you know, down right challenging. The brains behind the ice, Kevin Anthony and Lincoln Erhard, are always trying to figure out how to work with the environment. Rain, ice and snow make it difficult to keep the ice skate-able and temperature fluctuations make freezing inconsistent. They are often talking about other locations and dreaming of having a roof over the ice so the shoveling and snow blowing would be alleviated. As changes in our environment and town occur, we hope that “the rink” remains a place that instills the essence of community, free for all, and embodies the true spirit of what makes the Boothbay region a wonderful well balanced place to raise a family.

The recent inquiry to build an ice rink on the Boothbay Common is a beautiful idea fueling a lot of positive emotions. This would be great for the community on many levels, however, there are many logistic issues to be resolved. First, the Common grounds are just that. Common ground for all to use. Temporary use is welcome and, as always, to be granted by our town manager. A permanent ice rink facility on the Common would impact other uses and unknown future events. These grounds should be protected and kept as open and as simple as they are, to be as welcoming as possible for all.