Canal Park Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Welcomes New Ice Rink Operator
WC Smith welcomed Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena (FDIA), the non-profit organization that operates the only public indoor ice skating rink in Washington, DC, as the new operator of the outdoor ice skating rink in Canal Park. A portion of revenue from the Canal Park Ice Rink will help to support FDIA’s KIDS ON ICE® programming, which provides ice sports instruction accessible to all DC youth, regardless of ability to pay.
WC Smith created Canal Park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, which this year is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The company conceived the idea of replacing a 3-block bus parking lot with a park — a concept the city agreed to, but offered no money to execute it. WC Smith Chairman and CEO Chris Smith raised $5 million in initial funding and formed the nonprofit organization Canal Park Development Association to secure the site and oversee development of what would become Canal Park.
Canal Park provides the community a 3-acre open space that is home to restaurants, seasonal markets and events, dancing fountains in the warmer months and an ice skating rink in the winter. The park features sculptures by DC artist David Hess.
Canal Park is a model of sustainable development and neighborhood-scale storm water management. Underground cisterns can hold 80,000 gallons of water which is then treated and used to satisfy up to 95 percent of the park’s requirements for irrigation, fountains and the ice skating path. The park’s utilities are powered in part by a series of geothermal wells, forecasted to reduce energy consumption by nearly 40 percent.