DALLAS — A few weeks ago, Dallas' new deck park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway downtown was covered in snow and ice. And if one group gets its way, the ice (or something very close to it) will be coming later this year.
Klyde Warren Park is an easy attraction in good weather, where visitors enjoy open space, and places to sit and relax and play.
On November 1 there are plans to add a new cold weather attraction — an ice skating rink.
"An ice rink is a natural," said Jody Grant, chairman of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. "Ice rinks have been used in other parks around the country."
The foundation announced that former Dallas Stars owner Norm Green and his wife donated money to buy and install an ice rink that will be at the park through February. The rink will be 50 by 100 feet and made of Super Glide synthetic ice.
Green said the synthetic ice is a proven winner — like the park. "You can use it outside in all weather, and it's very easy to maintain," he said.
"The synthetic ice is well-tested and well-received, so we're excited about this," Grant added.
Green says the Dallas Stars are interested in joining a yet-to-be-formed youth skating program at the rink, which would include some of the players coming over occasionally to skate.
The rink would be open to all ages — and free.
Grant said the facility there should be adequate space for the new recreational facility, which will be installed in a green space near the children's playground.
"We're going to send some of the food trucks down to the other end of the park, and we want people more distributed throughout the park," Grant said. "That isn't happening right now."
Some visitors at the park Tuesday predict the rink will be a hit.
"Definitely good for the community, downtown," said Fallon Jones, who was playing with her young daughter. "I think it will bring a lot of people, and it'll be fun for the children."
Green said normal ice skates can be used on the synthetic ice, so visitors will be able to bring their own. The park hopes to be able to rent skates, too... and if a sponsor steps up, that could also be free.
Grant notes that the rink won't kill the grass, since it will be dormant for the winter, and the surface will be built up and over the turf.