Four years ago, when the current owners decided to close Berkeley Iceland, our community lost an ice rink and a lot more. While riding by the building and seeing how they continue to let its appearance deteriorate, I thought about what I miss most about Berkeley Iceland and what will be gained with its return as a rink.
Community - More than just a rink - a Berkeley icon which brought everyone a bit closer. In spite of the conditions in its later years, Berkeley Iceland was that special place you could go and feel comfortable that you would fit in. Whether a regular rink rat or an occasional board hugger, you knew that you were part of a community when you were at Berkeley Iceland.
Opportunities for Discovery - Sometimes just having the chance to try something that was totally outside your daily life can change your life. Berkeley Iceland provided the opportunity for kids of all backgrounds to get on the ice and discover a new passion. I'm related to one of those kids for whom skating became an important part of her life from which she learned discipline, goal setting and achieving, and value of teamwork. When Berkeley Iceland closed, many of the kids who were finding their passions for figure skating or hockey were cut off - mostly kids without the means to go elsewhere and follow that spark.