The Plymouth Park Board took a huge step Monday evening by approving a policy of tobacco-free in all the city’s parks.
Annette Haining, Tobacco Education Coordinator for Marshall County addressed the park board in January with a proposal to make all the parks “smoke-free”. She discussed the idea of placing signage in the various parks and then at events such as junior league baseball games or during the Mayor’s Month of Music announcements would be made at the beginning of the event announcing that the park is “smoke-free” which would include no smoking and no vaping. Participants would be encouraged to not smoke or vape although there would be no enforcement.
Park Superintendent Mike Hite told the park board he surveyed No Smoking Signs in the parks. He said there are a few signs up around the ball diamonds and some of the playgrounds but noticed that some have disappeared. He said the signs need to be placed where people congregate and estimated they could probably need up to 50 signs.
Park Board President Dave Morrow said the policy will be difficult to enforce and he doesn’t want park employees policing it. He said he thought the signs would discourage some people from smoking or vaping in the parks.
Recreation Director Abby Collins was happy with the park board’s decision and said while there is a no smoking sign at the pool she has had issues with patrons vaping at the pool.
The Plymouth Park Board approved the policy that will go into effect on March 1st. This will give the park department time to determine the exact wording they want on the signs. Since this is a park policy, there is no penalty for those who do violate the policy.
Haining said she can assist with the purchase of new signs using some of the grant money she has from the state.