Published on February 04, 2014
Advocate District Development Association president John Melanson and equipment operator Chuck Collins were among the workers on hand at the construction site of Advocate Harbour’s new outdoor rink this week. Melanson, who is also president of the Advocate District Development Association, is hoping to have the rink operational by this weekend, if the weather co-operates.
Andrew Wagstaff - cumberlandnewsnow
Published on February 04, 2014
Advocate rink 2
Permanent concrete pad to be put in place next year
ADVOCATE HARBOUR – Although some might be sick of winter weather, there are a few people in Advocate Harbour still hoping for more cold weather this year.
Those are the people with the Advocate District Development Association (A.D.D.A.) who have been working for more than a year to see an outdoor rink constructed for the community, a project that saw ground broken this week.
“We’re hoping to have the liner in by Friday, and hopefully some water on it by Friday or Saturday,” said John Melanson, A.D.D.A. president and one of the workers on site Monday with Charles Reid’s crew. “It’s depending on the weather, where it goes from there.”
A liner has been purchased for the 72’ x 100’ rectangle of ground being removed between the log building recreation centre and the nearby campground, but the plan for Phase 2 next year is for a concrete pad to be poured on the site, with boards installed for a 74’ x 174’ rink.
The idea for the outdoor rink has been kicked around for more than a year, when about 10 people came together for the purpose at a couple of community meetings. It then moved under the umbrella of the A.D.D.A., with the effort carried in large part by three volunteers – Melanson, Michelle Berry and Tim Phinney.
The project has the support of the association membership, according to Melanson, who said he believes more people will get involved once the word gets around and now that people see work is being done.
“It’s family-related, and it’s bringing the community together,” he said. “People who want to skate don’t have to travel outside the community – Parrsboro was the nearest place.”
The Municipality of Cumberland County has been a big supporter, providing a $10,000 grant to the project, which has allowed them to hire Reid and purchase the liner. Other funding applications have been applied for, while the Bayview hospital foundation has provided the property at the bargain price of $1. A tow-behind Zamboni has been donated from Oxford, our electrical poles and streetlights will be installed, and the local fire department has agreed to flood the surface when ready.
The volunteers are also looking at the project as more than just a rink, but rather a year-round multi-use area. In the summer months, for example, the boards can be removed, and the pad can be used for music festivals, flea markets, and more.
Complete with the log building, which also houses the local library branch, the association-operated campground, and the newly restored ball field that is now seeing the finishing touches, the recreation opportunities in this one area of the community are plentiful.
“Here we have this beautiful piece of property, and a recreation centre,” said Melanson. “Let’s use it as such.”