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The Scoop

Checking the Ice

Robert Moyer, supervisor of grounds and maintenance for Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, checks the thinkness and density of the ice on Lakeside Pond. Despite several days of below freezing temperatures, Moyer and the Parks and Rec staff have not opened the city ponds to public use because of gray, snow ice that formed when snow on the ice melted then refroze. Snow ice, Moyer says, is weaker than black, clear ice, and the ponds do not yet have a suitable, safe thickness of the weaker snow ice to open them for use. Journal Gazette video by Chad Ryan.

Fort Wayne park ponds are dangerous

Statement as issued Wednesday morning by the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department:

Fort Wayne, IN: The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department urges citizens to stay off the ice on Lakeside, Swinney and Reservoir ponds because the ice is not safe. Although the surface may appear sturdy, the large amount of snow we received this month insulated the ponds and is keeping them from forming solid ice. Instead, there are layers of snow ice in the ponds. Snow ice is weak and dangerous.

“We’ve had reports of citizens going out on the ponds with shovels and clearing areas so they can skate,” said Al Moll, Director of Parks & Recreation. “We have the red lights and flags displayed for a reason. The ice is extremely dangerous. Please don’t put yourself at risk.”

More reliable ice is available at Headwaters Park during public skating hours. These public skating times are subject to change due to special events, rentals and holidays.

Residents are asked to stay safe this winter and follow the rules and guidelines of the City and the Parks & Recreation Department. If conditions change, the Department will put out a press release and indicate improved ice at the ponds.

In the meantime, red lights/ flags are posted at each outdoor ice skating pond. For additional information, call the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department at 260-427-6000 or visit

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