Riverside Fields Ice Rink

Riverside Fields ice rink in Shakopee, which was closed by the city this winter per the 2040 Parks and Trails Master Plan, was flooded by neighbors of the rink who unsuccessfully petitioned the city to keep it open.

Riverside Fields neighbors in Shakopee have flooded their closed neighborhood ice rink after unsuccessfully petitioning the city to bring it back.

The rink was full of ice Friday, Jan. 17 — neighbors say a water truck was used to get the job done.

Earlier this month, more than 500 people signed a petition in favor of keeping the rink open and many neighborhood residents have shown up to Shakopee City Council meetings to voice their opinions on the matter.

At the last city council meeting on Jan. 7, the council reaffirmed its decision, citing a year-long planning process in which hundreds of residents were interviewed and never heard any recommendations to keep the Riverside Fields ice rink open.

As part of their last-ditch effort to keep their neighborhood rink Jan. 13, residents who live near the rink offered to flood it themselves at a Shakopee Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting Jan. 13.

“We’re trying to get the city to opt to keep those boards up and be able to flood that with no city cost,” Shakopee resident Erik Radtke said at the meeting before asking the advisory board for recommendations on how to move forward and who to talk to.

The advisory board couldn’t reverse the council’s decision, but it did unanimously pass a motion to recommend the council work with the Riverside Fields neighborhood to answer questions related to the liability and feasibility of allowing them to flood the rink on their own.

City Administrator Bill Reynolds did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the city’s opinion on the matter, but said Jan. 15 that the “issue isn’t fully about funding the operation of the rink,” adding that the master plan determined there would need to be ice rink consolidation to increase the quality of rink space at Lion’s Park, so the “Riverside Fields boards and lights will be transferred to Lion’s (Park) which will increase the experience there at a lower cost.”

The boards and lights still remained installed at the park as of Jan. 17. Some of the neighbors involved in the petition organized an event to “Save Riverside Fields Ice Rink” on Jan. 18 at Riverside Fields.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.

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