Allied Waste Services of Santa Barbara donated $7,500 to local nonprofit Greater Santa Barbara Ice Skating Association to help fund the construction of an outdoor ice rink at Goleta’s Girsh Park.

The city’s “Ice in Paradise” project, slated to open in winter 2011, will offer several recreational activities including public skating, figure skating, ice hockey and both group and private lessons. The GSBISA has accumulated over $3 million in donations of the $8 million needed to fund the project.

According to Capital Campaign Director Ada Conner, the association is using the finances to seek bidders for the rink’s design and construction.

“Right now we are in the midst of our bid process, which means we have quotes coming in for building the ice skating rink,” Conner said. “[We] are up to $3 million and we need to raise a bit more to get to where we want to be. After we break this ground, a community campaign will raise the rest of the money.”

Several private benefactors and corporate business have donated to the project including Gateway Computers co-founder Norm Waitt and his fiancee Christina Djernaes, who funded a $250,000 grant in February through the nonprofit organization Kind World Foundation.

Conner said the project relies on donations as its primary source of funding because the state government halted financing for recreational development.

“Something that is important to know is right now our government is not able to subsidize facilities or recreation anymore,” Conner said. “So we will be filling a great void as far as that goes.”

The closest current rink for local residents is the Channel Islands Ice Center in Oxnard.

According to Sarah Feldman, president and founder of the Ice Skating Club, the group organized several activities such as ice-blocking to educate participants about the project’s development.

“The ice-blocking event was entirely free, and it made it a lot easier for us to talk to people and find out what they knew about the ice rink,” Feldman said. “We explained the different construction dates and how awesome it will be — because really it is going to be awesome — and how the rink should be up sometime soon.”

Connor said the ice rink will foster a family-friendly environment for the youth to become involved with ice-related sports.

“Really the only thing for kids and families to do in this town, as far as recreational facilities, is Zodo’s,” Conner said. “We are filling that need: the need for recreation and something for the youth and families to do.”

Additional information is available on the Ice in Paradise website at or the UCSB Ice Skating Club website at