Fox Valley parks hope weather conditions improve for winter activities

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 5:45 PM CST
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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) - Parks departments across the fox valley hope to see weather conditions cooperate, so some more traditional winter recreation can happen this season.

Despite it being mid-January, most Fox Valley park grounds have patchy snow, and no open ice rinks.

“Yeah it’s been tough. I really like a milder winter but for all of our winter activities it hasn’t been helpful,” said Jenny McCollian, Oshkosh Parks Revenue Facilities Manager.

“I mean the last couple winters haven’t been great, at least around here,” said Jim Kluge, Neenah Parks Superintendent of Recreation.

Kluge says they aim to make three ice rinks each year, but the last two years have only been able to open one. While space for ice rinks have been prepped, that may be the case again this year.

“We ask for at least six inches of frost in the ground and then really temperatures that stay in the teens or even single digits for at least a couple days to get that ice, nice solid ice down,” said Kluge. “But so far, no luck.”

He and McCollian hope that luck will turn soon.

Earlier this month Action 2 News learned about a new outdoor Rink at Roe Park, but the warm temperatures delayed its opening.

Oshkosh Park Department’s Jenny McCollian says they are hopeful it can open Friday - in time for the rink’s first scheduled event.

“So that is the hope and it looks like temperatures are supposed to drop tonight and be a little bit colder tonight, so that we’re hopeful for so that we can get things up and running for our event on Friday,” said McCollian.

Neenah Parks recently hosted its Winter Fest event which hundreds of families attended. Kluge noticed many families took advantage of what little snow there is to sled.

Both departments are also hosting scavenger hunts, one for Netti the Neenah Yetti and the other for Flaky Francine.

“It’s an opportunity to get out in the parks, get some fresh air, family time, and so far it’s been a massive hit,” said Kluge.

Plus, both agree milder temperatures do have one upside.

“It’s a great time to get our and walk your dog, or take a family walk, or just use the parks more and kind of, they’re beautiful during this time of year, so just getting back out and with the temperatures being nicer just getting some fresh air,” said McCollian.

“The one thing that has been nice is temperatures have been mild so people have been able to get outside, even though we don’t have the ice or maybe enough snow on some of the hills, it’s still nice to be outside and get some of that fresh air,” said Kluge.

Both departments post information on their events and ice rink openings on their Facebook pages.

To visit the Neenah Parks and Recreation Facebook page CLICK HERE

To visit the Oshkosh Parks Department Facebook page CLICK HERE

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