Date: February 4, 2021
Contact: Jonathan Jones, Commissioner
Department of Recreation
For Immediate Release
ALBANY, NY – The City of Albany has announced Washington Park Lake is once again open to ice skating. The City’s Department of Recreation is once again checking and reporting on the status of the ice on the Washington Park Lake on a regular basis and is providing regular updates - on their website to inform residents whether or not it is safe to skate and will post signage at the Lake when the ice is not safe for skating. The City of Albany reminds all skaters that ice skating is an activity that is taken at your own risk.
Skating has been historically encouraged at Washington Park Lake but was temporarily suspended over the past several winters in part to accommodate the Elberon Place Storm Detention and Flood Mitigation, an Albany Water Department infrastructure construction project.
“I’m excited that ice skaters can once again utilize Albany’s beautiful Washington Park Lake, especially during a time when other recreational activities have been limited due to the on-going pandemic,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “Washington Park Lake and Buckingham Pond are both great options to get outdoors and enjoy the winter season while remaining socially distanced.”
Daniel McEneny, Washington Park Conservancy Board President said, “Many current and former residents of Albany have joyful winter memories of ice skating in Washington Park. We are thrilled to see a recommitment from the city to safely return this healthy activity back to the park. The park is designed to expand physical and public health opportunities to our residents. We hope many will partake in the opportunity to skate and make new memories!”
Matthew Peter, Albany County Legislator 5th District and Center Square resident said, "Washington Park is a remarkable place that people throughout the City go to and rely on for outdoor activity throughout every season. By allowing for ice skating and increasing the outdoor activities available in Washington Park we are further enhancing the walkability and livability of the Park and the communities that surround it. I commend Mayor Sheehan, Commissioner Jones and the community advocates who have opened up this free activity for our residents."
Richard Conti, 6th Ward Common Council Member said, "Washington Park provides year-round opportunities for recreation and public enjoyment. It is good to see a renewed emphasis on winter activities such as skating on the Lake. With the pandemic related closure of the Empire State Plaza ice rink this year, new opportunities on the Washington Park Lake offers a welcome alternative for downtown residents."
Andrew Harvey, President of the Park South Neighborhood Association said, "Embrace winter! Beat those COVID blues! Dress warm, grab your skates, and go have FUN!"
Jeff Crumpton, President of the Hudson Park Neighborhood Association said, “Washington Park is a beloved part of our neighborhood, and we welcome the return of skating on the lake. We are thrilled that the city is encouraging community events during all four seasons and are heartened that the park is moving closer to its original, intended use. Our sincere thanks to Mayor Sheehan and Commissioner Jones for supporting this great winter activity in our community.
Shadi Khadivi, President of the Washington Park Neighborhood Association said, "Washington Park Lake is a great asset in our neighborhood. Having access to safe socially distant activities year-round is a key aspect of living in a walkable community."
Jackie Ring, President of the Center Square Association said, "The resumption of ice skating in Washington Park is a terrific boost to winter sport activities in the city, particularly to neighborhood residents who can easily walk there. Knowing that the city will be monitoring and publicizing ice conditions is very reassuring and we thank Mayor Sheehan, DGS and the recreation department for this important family-friendly initiative."
Buckingham Pond, located on Berkshire Blvd., is also open for ice skating at your own risk. Signage will be posted at Buckingham Pond when the ice is not safe for skating.