I received this information via email.  I have developed a love for hockey, thanks to my daughter Kylee, her boyfriend, Steven (Go #4!), and the UMD Bulldogs.

I don't have a child in the Congdon area, but I do know that ice time for practicing is valuable in the Northland.  I listen to some parents say their children get up at 6a, or have games and practices at 10p, just because there isn't enough ice time to go around.

I also hear that other programs are being or are close to being cut, from band and choir, to some sports.  If another solution can be found and our rinks can be saved, it would benefit the children and ultimately our community.    Here's the details I received via email:

The Save the Rinks effort was formed in September 2011 after a group of concerned community members learned that a revised plan for the Congdon Park Elementary School renovation significantly decreased the available ice. A large scale effort has been initiated to learn the facts and to distribute information to all neighbors, students, and other community members. The most current renovation drawing calls for completely eliminating all three rinks (this plan also eliminates summer use of space by soccer and softball associations). These rinks provide a safe and structured environment for area youth and community members to skate for free and be active during the long winter months. A steering committee has been formed to work on being proactive on informing our community and initiating discussions with Duluth Public Schools in any matters relating to this proposed renovation.

Our mission is to work together with Duluth Public Schools to preserve almost 100 years of tradition providing ice and promoting youth activity during our long winter months. We hope to inform and engage the community and be advocates for maintaining this valuable resource in our community.

UPDATE 1/11/12 - The newest plan (dated 1/9/12) includes no plans to keeps the ice rinks. We must FIGHT THE SCHOOL BOARD and tell them to VOTE NO to the entire outdoor space portion of the site plan at their meeting on Tuesday, 1/17/12. Please join us and and tell your elected school board that we do not want a parking lot. We want the ice rinks, warming shack and to keep this space available for summer softball and soccer. This is a multi-use recreation space that the school board is choosing to cover with a parking lot! TAKE A STAND NOW!

We need as much community support as we can for this campaign.

1. Email the school board members and tell them why this space is important to you and to VOTE NO to the entire outdoor space portion of this plan on Tuesday, January 17, 2012: Schoolboard@duluth.k12.mn.us

2. Attend our public open discussion about this issue at the warming shack, Congdon Park Elementary School on Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.

3. Attend the school board meeting at 215 North First Avenue East on Tuesday, January 17 at 6:30 p.m. (arrive at 6:15 to sign up for public comment - you will have up to 3 minutes to speak when they call your name) and encourage them to VOTE NO to the outdoor space in the Congdon Park Elementary renovation site plan. Tell them you want to keep the ice rinks, warming shack, softball and soccer fields. We are not asking for anything new, we simply do not want to lose the precious space we currently enjoy.

4. Write a letter to the editor in the Duluth News Tribune. Submission information can be found at http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/pages/letters

5. Sign our online petition http://www.thepetitionsite.com/6/save-the-congdon-park-ice-rinks/

6. Like us on Facebook! Find "Save the Rinks" at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Rinks/235914956461469

PLEASE the time for your support is now. We are in the 11th hour and face complete elimination by the school district.