No smoking policy could come to city parks

Published: Jan. 16, 2019 at 5:12 PM EST
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The Boys and Girls Club of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County is hoping to stop people from smoking in city parks.

The policy comes as part of a three-year, $150,000 grant the organization received this summer from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth for tobacco prevention and cessation.

As part of the grant, the organization began education efforts about the effects of tobacco. The second is creating a policy change to designate city parks as non-smoking.

On Wednesday, the committee discussed the policy they’re hoping to implement for the parks.

Lori Kizner, the executive director of The Boys and Girls Club of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, said they included different parts of the community, including Parks and Recreation and city council to get opinions from all stakeholders.

Kizner said this policy is important to them because parks are healthy places.

“We try to set good examples for our kids and we try to care for the whole child, physically, emotionally,” Kizner said. “This is just an important part of helping them make good decisions and also helping them recognize that by doing this, you can really make some positive change”

The group is planning to bring a draft proposal at the Harrisonburg City Council meeting on March 12th. The organization hopes to place signs at the park after they get approval from city council.