For 14 years Jeff Gamble has made huge rink on Black Creek

By Donna McMillan

OTTAWA has its $5.6-million outdoor rink on Parliament Hill. Arrowhead Provincial Park has its torch lit ice trail through the woods. Thanks to Port Doverite and Sunninghill Drive resident Jeff Gamble, his neighborhood has an outdoor ice rink and skating path on Black Creek.
Jeff told the Maple Leaf last week he has been creating a skating surface on Black Creek for the past 14 years. He is the father of three, now aged 24, 22 and 17 and started the outdoor skating for the kids when they were much younger.
“It all depends on the cooperation of Mother Nature,” Jeff said. He cleared a large rink on the creek, using a quad with a blade to plough the snow, once the ice on the creek is five inches thick. He then floods it with his Honda pump.
“I used to do it all by myself, but now there are younger families helping out,” he said. It is also lighted for night-time skating.
Jeff said the rink always starts off quite large and gets smaller as snow and the season goes on. He also creates a zigzag skating path with the blade. The neighborhood, whoever wants to use it, takes advantage of the skating surface, Jeff shared. Children enjoy playing hockey and skating on Black Creek.
Last year, Jeff said, the ice surface only lasted one week.
While last week was bitterly cold, this week will see warmer temperatures.
Jeff is owner of Port Dover Service Centre.


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