COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Outdoor rink illustrates community at its best

Opinion Mar 10, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

It’s late in the Gourley Park neighbourhood.

There is a game of pick-up hockey occurring on a rink across the street – a rink that is maintained by the neighbourhood.

Hockey games right outside your window have the potential to become disruptive; the youth that play on these two rinks could cause too much commotion, but they don’t.

And I’d argue that this is the best use of a community space that we have ever seen.

Every winter, a few neighbourhood fathers get together to create two rinks. Despite the fact the ice melts when the temperature rises, these community members stay at it – watering them to create layers, building up the walls around it, and clearing it for hours after major storms.

There seems to be a never-ending stream of people utilizing this space. By day, parents with toddlers are out there ushering little bodies across ice, adjusting helmets and boosting egos.

Over the lunch hour, teens from the local high school hustle over with their very Canadian toques, while wearing T-shirts in 0 C weather. After school and after dinner is when the larger games break out. Trucks are parked up on snow banks, shovels for maintaining the ice are leaning up against lamp posts and there is the sound of camaraderie coming from the rink.

Undeniably, there is a respect and trust within the community. Hockey nets are left on the ice, day and night, for the duration of the winter to be used by anyone.

Last year, a few of the regulars on the rink were given permission to use our shovels that we leave out the front porch. They were used from time to time — and always put back.

One day I witnessed a boy remove the bag from the metal garbage bin that remains in the park, tie it up, and place it to the side so he could tip the bin to be used as a net for his game of pick up. It was placed back where he found it with the bag re-secured shortly thereafter.

This community knows it has a good thing. When you have a good thing, you respect the space.

This is community at its best. Communities grow and connect from having shared, neutral spaces that can be used as a hub. And this is our hub.

Sabrina Jaspers is a Mountain resident.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Outdoor rink illustrates community at its best

Opinion Mar 10, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

It’s late in the Gourley Park neighbourhood.

There is a game of pick-up hockey occurring on a rink across the street – a rink that is maintained by the neighbourhood.

Hockey games right outside your window have the potential to become disruptive; the youth that play on these two rinks could cause too much commotion, but they don’t.

And I’d argue that this is the best use of a community space that we have ever seen.

Every winter, a few neighbourhood fathers get together to create two rinks. Despite the fact the ice melts when the temperature rises, these community members stay at it – watering them to create layers, building up the walls around it, and clearing it for hours after major storms.

There seems to be a never-ending stream of people utilizing this space. By day, parents with toddlers are out there ushering little bodies across ice, adjusting helmets and boosting egos.

Over the lunch hour, teens from the local high school hustle over with their very Canadian toques, while wearing T-shirts in 0 C weather. After school and after dinner is when the larger games break out. Trucks are parked up on snow banks, shovels for maintaining the ice are leaning up against lamp posts and there is the sound of camaraderie coming from the rink.

Undeniably, there is a respect and trust within the community. Hockey nets are left on the ice, day and night, for the duration of the winter to be used by anyone.

Last year, a few of the regulars on the rink were given permission to use our shovels that we leave out the front porch. They were used from time to time — and always put back.

One day I witnessed a boy remove the bag from the metal garbage bin that remains in the park, tie it up, and place it to the side so he could tip the bin to be used as a net for his game of pick up. It was placed back where he found it with the bag re-secured shortly thereafter.

This community knows it has a good thing. When you have a good thing, you respect the space.

This is community at its best. Communities grow and connect from having shared, neutral spaces that can be used as a hub. And this is our hub.

Sabrina Jaspers is a Mountain resident.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Outdoor rink illustrates community at its best

Opinion Mar 10, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

It’s late in the Gourley Park neighbourhood.

There is a game of pick-up hockey occurring on a rink across the street – a rink that is maintained by the neighbourhood.

Hockey games right outside your window have the potential to become disruptive; the youth that play on these two rinks could cause too much commotion, but they don’t.

And I’d argue that this is the best use of a community space that we have ever seen.

Every winter, a few neighbourhood fathers get together to create two rinks. Despite the fact the ice melts when the temperature rises, these community members stay at it – watering them to create layers, building up the walls around it, and clearing it for hours after major storms.

There seems to be a never-ending stream of people utilizing this space. By day, parents with toddlers are out there ushering little bodies across ice, adjusting helmets and boosting egos.

Over the lunch hour, teens from the local high school hustle over with their very Canadian toques, while wearing T-shirts in 0 C weather. After school and after dinner is when the larger games break out. Trucks are parked up on snow banks, shovels for maintaining the ice are leaning up against lamp posts and there is the sound of camaraderie coming from the rink.

Undeniably, there is a respect and trust within the community. Hockey nets are left on the ice, day and night, for the duration of the winter to be used by anyone.

Last year, a few of the regulars on the rink were given permission to use our shovels that we leave out the front porch. They were used from time to time — and always put back.

One day I witnessed a boy remove the bag from the metal garbage bin that remains in the park, tie it up, and place it to the side so he could tip the bin to be used as a net for his game of pick up. It was placed back where he found it with the bag re-secured shortly thereafter.

This community knows it has a good thing. When you have a good thing, you respect the space.

This is community at its best. Communities grow and connect from having shared, neutral spaces that can be used as a hub. And this is our hub.

Sabrina Jaspers is a Mountain resident.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.