RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — An old ice rink in Rapid City has been given new life and is once again helping people enjoy the outdoors.
The ice rink at Braeburn Park hasn’t been filled for almost 20-years. But with help from Public Works Crews, it is ready for skaters once again.
For decades, this ice rink was a place for friends and family to come together and shoot the puck around, get some exercise in, or just have fun. It was quiet for 20 years, but now it’s back open and busy with skaters.
“It was actually pretty awesome, and today is just perfect!” Finnan Wheaton, ice skater, said.
Finnan Wheaton and his friends got together for a birthday party. Wheaton says it was a great way to spend his morning.
“My buddy, Kyron, had his birthday here and he invited me to come so we went around skating, have fun, playing games, it was actually a pretty fun day,” Wheaton said.
Taylor Auringer came to the rink to get in some peaceful exercise.
“Just going to see how long I can go, mess around with puck and have a little fun,” Taylor Auringer, ice skater, said.
The ice rink is located at Braeburn Park, on the west side of Rapid City. Auringer says the location is perfect.
“It’s quiet, you get the cliffside, you get the stream, you get nature while you get a little bit of exercise and enjoy the activity of ice skating,” Taylor Auringer said.
You won’t just find skaters here at Braeburn Park, but also plenty of dogs.
When the ice rink wasn’t flooded over the last 20 years or so, Braeburn Park was mainly a place for dogs and their owners to get outside and play.
“It’s such a beautiful spot as well, you get to be around dogs. It’s about as good as it gets,” Taylor Auringer said.
Auringer says that’s how he stumbled upon the rink.
“Driving to and from on 44, always seeing it, thinking oh it’s just part of the dog park. Then, I got a wild hare and decided to stop this year, and it’s an ice rink,” Taylor Auringer said.
The repairing of the ice rink is all thanks to the Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department. Scott Anderson says it was a big project for the crews that started a couple years ago.
“I had some guys interested in it and decided to fill it up and see how it would work. We pump water out of the creek so it really doesn’t cost anything. We had it filled up that first year and we had some stuff we needed to do with it,” Scott Anderson, Parks Division Manager for the City of Rapid City, said.
So the crews pieced the rink back together. Anderson says he’s happy to be a part of the project that means so much to the community.
“When we were doing some work on it, we did have people come through and say, ‘Oh yeah when I was a kid, we would come by and do some skating.’ So over the years, I think it has been a popular spot for people,” Scott Anderson said.
“For my situation, just to happen to stumble upon an ice rink that actually has boards and nets, that’s awesome. Then, you mix in the history of it makes it an even better place to skate,” Scott Auringer said.
Now, the Braeburn Park Ice Rink isn’t just a relic of Rapid City’s past, but a place where friends and families can skate for many years in the future.
The Braeburn Park Ice Rink was repaired for the first time in two decades last January. We’ve included links to the city’s website for the ice rink at KELOLAND dot com.