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Grants at Work: Klamath Ice Sports

Outdoor ice skating has been a tradition in the rural town of Klamath Falls, Oregon, for more than a century. The natural sheet of ice that townspeople skate on each winter was maintained by the city for decades, but it eventually became impossible to keep up due to climate change and budget constraints and was shut down in the 1970s.

About 20 years went by before local retiree and former hockey player Bill Collier decided to resurrect the ice sheet, spending hours of his own time refurbishing and maintaining the ice sheet. It soon became clear that a refrigerated, covered ice rink was needed for the long-term maintenance of the ice sheet, and thus Klamath Ice Sports was born.

The ice arena is open for five months out of the year between November and March, seeing 22,000 visitors during the span of the season. Hockey players, figure skaters and recreational skaters enjoy the views of the beautiful countryside from under the permanent pavilion that was constructed in 2002 with help from a Murdock Trust grant. More recently, the Trust supported various renovations and upgrades that improve energy efficiency, facility safety and customer experience at the ice arena.

We are proud to support the beautiful ice arena in Klamath Falls, which provides valuable recreation and sports opportunities to the rural community.