So this is going to come off as sacrilege to this group, but stay with me. I have been building a back yard ice rink for the last 7 years. Yes, I pound stakes into the ground, put up boards, lights, netting, the whole nine yards. Construction of the boards and fencing happens once the grass goes dormant, but before the ground freezes (usually the Friday after thanksgiving). I put the liner (6mil poly sheeting) and fill the day before I am going to get 4 full days below freezing (anywhere from the 2nd week in December to the second week in January). Everyone freaks out and says I am killing the lawn, when in actually the lawn under the ice stays warmer than the rest of the lawn because the ice doesn't reach all the way to the ground. There are two issues that I get from doing this to myself every year. 1) compaction. Having 3-15 inches of water on the lawn is a lot of weight for 3-4 months. I solve this with a spring time aeration. The second issue I don't have a good answer on, snow mold. The area under the liner looks like a crop circle hell after I drain and cut up the liner. Does anyone have any suggestions?