Hello Calgary Minor Hockey Association Member,

With the colder temperatures and winter break fast approaching for Calgary students, we’re expecting to see more kids and families eager to lace up their skates and spend time outside. And while we enjoy seeing them on a community rink, we’re reminding Calgarians to stay safe and stay off storm ponds and reinforcing where to find safe outdoor skating rinks near them. Storm ponds play an important role in our communities. They provide protection from overland flooding while returning cleaner water back to the river. While they might look inviting to walk, skate or play on, no recreational activities are allowed on them because the ice is not safe.

Unlike natural ponds, stormwater ponds can experience rapidly changing water levels causing unstable air gaps and quickly changing depths. The ponds also contain sediment and contaminants (e.g. bacteria, fertilizers, pesticides, vehicle fluids, metals, road salt) that are collected as water travels through the community on their way to the storm pond, which can weaken the ice. These all present hidden hazards that can be dangerous to people and pets.

Unfortunately, children and families may underestimate the dangers and that’s why we need your help. In addition to improved signage at these sites and more outreach activities, The City of Calgary is working with community partners to help share this message and promote safe alternative locations for skating. We’re asking for your support to help distribute this information to your members.

PSA Video: Stay safe. Stay off storm ponds.