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Lake Ellyn Ice Update

Posted on: February 9, 2021

Despite the recently extreme cold conditions, Lake Ellyn still has challenges regarding ice skating. While the ice thickness has reached 8 inches in some areas, significant snow has accumulated on the ice surface over the past months which adversely affects the ice conditions and is extremely challenging to remove and/or relocate. The accumulated snow also serves to insulate the ice, causing the surface below to be unstable in areas and making the ice surface extremely rough. Keep in mind, six to ten inches of snow on the Lake Ellyn, a 10-acre body of water, could weigh upwards of 10,000,000 pounds and some if not all the ice may be compromised.

The Park District will continue to evaluate conditions and determine if reasonable, safe, and practical efforts to provide ice skating at Lake Ellyn is possible. As a reminder, Lake Ellyn is subject to the environment with most conditions not controlled by the Park District. Please refrain from throwing debris onto the ice surface and absolutely no ice fishing. Both actions further complicate the District’s ability to provide safe and quality ice skating.

Finally, all outdoor skating is not the same. Wheaton Park District has two refrigerated rinks. The initial investment to construct these rinks was $1 million plus annual operating expenses. Newton Park east rink has a liner which acts like a pool and allows water to accumulate prior to freezing conditions. This expedites the process of making ice once the conditions are favorable. Unfortunately, it is only practical to be used within an area that can be secured when conditions are not favorable.

In the meantime, Newton Park east rink is currently open with public skating hours seven days a week from 11:30am to 1:00pm and 4:00pm to 5:30pm. All other times are for hockey. For updates regarding skating opportunities, please visit our hotline by clicking here.