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RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462
DEM REPORTS SAFE ICE CONDITIONS AT LINCOLN WOODS AND MESHANTICUT STATE PARKS, BUT ICE AT GODDARD MEMORIAL STATE PARK REMAINS UNSAFE FOR SKATING
According to DEM's Division of Parks and Recreation, safe ice conditions now exist in certain areas of Lincoln Woods State Park in Lincoln, and Meshanticut State Park in Cranston. However, at Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick, ice is still not considered safe for skating. DEM monitors the thickness of the ice at the three state parks on a daily basis, from Monday through Friday, during the winter months.
Ice must have a uniform thickness of at least six inches before it may be considered safe for skating by DEM. It generally takes at least five to seven days of temperatures in the low 20s before ice may become safe. Even then, the strength of the ice is determined by a number of factors such as the size and depth of a pond, presence of springs or currents, and local temperature fluctuations.
John Faltus, Deputy Chief of DEM's Division of Parks and Recreation cautions, "No one should ever assume that ice is safe for skating by merely conducting a visual inspection. The ice needs to be cut through and measured in various locations in order to ensure that it is thick enough to support safe skating." Faltus also said skaters should follow other safety precautions, such as never skating alone or on an untested lake or pond; never using the ice for a shortcut; and never going out onto the ice after an animal or toy.
Although the ice is safe, DEM strongly encourages skaters to utilize indoor skating rinks over the next several days, as temperatures fall into or below the zero range and the wind chill increases.
DEM provides ice safety information for Lincoln Woods, Goddard and Meshanticut State Parks on its 24-hour Ice Information telephone line, 222-2632. However, residents should contact their local recreation departments for skating opportunities and conditions in individual communities since DEM does not monitor ice conditions in local communities.
DEM's Division of Parks and Recreation has an ice safety guide that can be found on its website, www.riparks.com, under Hot Topics on the homepage. Developed by DEM's Ice Safety Committee, the guide has safety tips, information on ice strength, and information on what to do if a person were to fall through the ice.
The website also lists municipal ice skating rinks and their telephone numbers, and provides links to those with websites.