Ice skating will return to the Green this winter, and the rink will be open to Dartmouth students and employees and—new this year—also to area residents.
Facilities Operations and Management has begun work on the 70-foot by 120-foot ice skating rink on the north side of the Green, which will open after the holiday break, contingent on a stretch of freezing weather.
The rink was not erected last winter, and was only open to Dartmouth students and employees two years ago during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dartmouth and Hanover officials say they are pleased the rink this winter will be open to all.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Dartmouth folks and members of the surrounding community to come together to enjoy the good things our winter season has to offer,” says Emma Wolfe, vice president for government and community relations.
“We thank the town Parks and Recreation Department for sharing in the efforts to maintain the rink with Dartmouth,” she says. “And we are all excited about the possibilities for enlivening the downtown area while embracing our beautiful New Hampshire winter.”
Hanover Town Manager Alex Torpey calls the rink on the Green “another great recent example of how the renewed collaboration between the town and College can result in not just long-term value on key institutional and community strategic goals, but also provide some great, fun, and tangible short-term results.”
Torpey also says the rink may bring more visitors to downtown Hanover. “Many are aware how the town has doubled down on efforts to help support our downtown, and the College has been a really positive part of that initiative. I’m glad the College and Hanover Parks and Rec are joining forces on this project,” he says.
Jim Alberghini, director of logistics for Dartmouth’s Conferences and Events department, has been leading the ice rink project, which is made possible this year by funding from the Office of the President.
Alberghini says the rink will be open at first from 9 a.m. to sundown, but Dartmouth is investigating bringing in lights to extend the hours to 9 p.m. Some ideas for events on the ice include a town-sponsored silent disco, where people skate while listening to music on wireless headphones; broom ball competitions; house community invitational events; and events sponsored by Dartmouth or Hanover clubs and groups.
The rink on the Green can pick up some of the recreational activities that have been enjoyed on Occom Pond in the past, Alberghini says. In recent years warmer winters have significantly cut down the number of skating days possible on the pond, he says.
Dartmouth first set up a rink on the Green in 2017, and then the idea was revived in 2021 as an outdoor recreational outlet for students during the pandemic. No matter the circumstances, the ice on the Green has always been a hugely popular spot for wintertime fun, says Alberghini.