EVART — Residents and visitors to Evart will have an outdoor winter activity to enjoy when a new ice skating rink is created in the next few weeks.

The idea for a rink came from Deb Booher, according to Evart Department of Public Works Supervisor Mark Wilson. Collecting the money to make the concept a reality was hard to come by, however.

"We solicited donations for a while, but they were thin," Wilson said. "The rink has received positive response from the community, but as far as funding goes it had been slow. Then the chamber stepped in."

The Evart Area Chamber of Commerce and the city chose to help fund the rink from the admission fees from the Haunted Park. The 60-foot-by-160-foot rink is a $5,000 kit purchased from NiceRink and It will be located at the skate park. DPW employees took time on Dec. 3 to remove skating equipment off the area. Once the ordered equipment arrives, setup will begin.

Wilson hopes the weather will allow for installation before Christmas, but a minimum of 4 inches of ice has to be in place before the rink is available for use. Once it is installed, clearing fallen snow will be part of maintenance taken up by the DPW or community volunteers.

"I hope there is enough interest in using the rink that youth and adults will shovel off the snow when they want to use it," Wilson added. "We're looking forward to offering something new for Evart residents and it's a good thing. I'd like to see families come down in the evening after work and enjoy it."

Chamber Vice President Eric Schmidt also has positive feelings about having such an activity in the city.

"I think the ice rink is going to be a big hit with the young and old," he said. "From a Chamber point of view, the ice rink will bring people into Evart and hopefully boost the economy as they enjoy their skating and then visit some of our businesses. We hope the community enjoys the new rink and that we all can take ownership and be proud of our assets."