Ice on Duck Pond in South Orange Not Safe for Skaters

The red flag signifies that it is unsafe to ice skate on (or walk across) the Duck Pond Credits: Adam Stiles
Signs at the Duck Pond explain the safety notification system. Credits: Adam Stiles
The Duck Pond is frozen, but the ice is still too thin to support weight safely. Credits: Adam Stiles

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ--Residents who are eager to sharpen their blades and venture onto the Duck Pond in hopes of landing a triple lutz worthy of the Sochi Games will have to wait.  

Despite the frigid January temperatures and recent storms, the ice is still not thick enough to safely accommodate ice skaters, according to the Department of Public Works. 

A red flag at the pond indicates the ice is unsafe. There are at least two signs in the area informing visitors of the pond flag designations.  

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“Our parameters (for safe ice skating) are 3 inches,” said Kate Schmidt, South Orange's recreation director. She added that the DPW is in charge of the measuring the thickness of the surface and then relays the information to her office. 

Until the DPW  gives the clearance, the only inhabitants allowed atop the ice will be the ones who give the body of water its name.  

According to Schmidt, the fowl who frequent the area. combined with the leaves and other assorted debris that finds its way into the water, inhibit freezing.

Snow also acts as an insulator from the low temperatures. National Weather Service data shows that the South Orange area has seen at least 25 inches of snow this season. 


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