Ice Safety -- Winter Preparedness Tips
Ice skating on county ponds, lakes and retention ponds is prohibited for safety reasons. Due to fluctuating temperatures, it is not safe to venture on any ice-covered lake, stream or stormwater retention pond. Even if the ice is a foot thick in one area, it can be 1-inch thick just a few yards away. It’s impossible to judge the strength of ice by its appearance, thickness, daily temperature or snow cover alone. Ice strength is actually dependent on all four factors, plus water depth under the ice, the size of the body of water, water chemistry, currents and distribution of the load on the ice.
If you fall through the ice, don’t panic. If there is someone with you, have them lie down on the ice to distribute weight over a wider area and pass you the end of a branch, rope, belt, coat sleeve or whatever is available to help pull you onto the ice, where you can roll or wiggle to safety. Several people can form a human chain with the lightest person reaching out to you. If you’re alone, get your arms onto the ice and kick hard with your feet to help lift you onto the ice, then roll to safety.
If you would like to ice skate, visit the county's Mount Vernon Ice Arena.