Working with the community to provide residents and visitors the highest quality park, program, facility and event experience is the mission of Bismarck Parks & Recreation. With just under 3,400 acres of public acres provided to the public, the parks and recreation program is proud of all they offer Bismarck and the surrounding communities.
With ice in it most of the year, the ice is used by the Bismarck Figure Skating Club, Bismarck Hockey Boosters for various teams and tournaments, Bismarck Public Schools boys and girls high school hockey teams, as well as time for the general public to rent it for adult hockey, public skating, private ice rentals, and more. Bismarck Parks & Recreation offers skate rentals to the public to assist with all recreational activities available to the public.
Some of those programs involve ice. Executive Director of Bismarck Parks & Recreation Randy Bina mentions that the Capital Ice Complex came about as a result of Bismarck needing more ice for the public to enjoy. With figure skating, hockey, and open skate in demand, Bismarck Parks & Recreation started a capital campaign ‘Building on Tradition’ to fundraise to build one additional sheet of ice. With all funds raised in private donations, the sheet of ice along with the vast additional public building space, including locker rooms and a dry land training area, was added for the local community.
“When you build a new sheet of ice, you have to look at a new ice resurfacer and in this case we purchased a Zamboni with the help of Dakota Community Bank & Trust. This is an electric Zamboni, so it’s not operated by a standard engine. It’s operated by batteries. It’s quiet. There is no air pollution. It was made possible by a donation from Dakota Community Bank & Trust,” says Bina. The Zamboni was purchased in 2017 for the additional sheet of ice. Bina continues, “We are so blessed and fortunate to have such wonderful partners in our community, and Dakota Community Bank & Trust has been one that has led the way.”
The Capital Ice Complex has made some major benefits to the community including better ice times to the youth hockey teams, better practice times for high school teams, better access to a quality facility including locker rooms for teams, and indoor ice for the public. When referencing the facility as a whole, Bina mentions, “Away from the ice part of it, to provide the opportunity for dry land training and an area to shoot hockey pucks has really been a benefit. It has been a facility amenity that we have wanted for a long time and now we finally have it in one of our ice arenas.”
Bina states that the goal of Bismarck Parks & Recreation is to offer recreational opportunities for the city’s citizens for all ages and all abilities. With the recent growth of the community as well as overall growth in the skating programs, including figure skating and hockey, there were capacity issues with limited indoor ice, but by adding an extra sheet of ice – issues with practice times and scheduling have helped to be elevated. Bina recognizes that as the community continues to grow, there are long term plans in place for a couple more sheets of ice as well.
With the core purpose to provide affordable, accessible, and sustainable public parks and recreation services for all, the Bismarck Parks & Recreation District has big things planned for 2020 and beyond. For more information on all their programs, parks, special events, and services, visit: https://www.bisparks.org/.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director