Four years ago, Mark McLean’s son had a request for his dad: to build an ice rink in the family’s backyard.
McLean agreed and started off with a homemade rink framed with wooden boards.
“My family is very much oriented around hockey,” McLean, an engineer for Cianbro, said. “My son’s been playing since he was 4 years old.”
The rink proved a hit, but sloping terrain and the shortcomings of a homemade rink made for some “trials and tribulations” in the first couple years, McLean said. So he upgraded.
McLean bought a used ice rink kit that’s easier to work with and leveled more of his backyard on Rolling Meadow Drive, off Mt. Hope Avenue, to create a large, flat area.
This winter is the second year the family has used what is now their 36-by-68 foot rink. McLean’s son, Michael, 13, and his two buddies, Miles Randall and Chase Caron, practice hockey on it whenever they can.
“This has been the ideal thing for our family,” said McLean, “something the kids will always remember.”