Tobacco to be banned in Maple Plain parks
The Maple Plain City Council has voiced its support to make city parks tobacco free.
Several Orono High School students presented their proposal to make all Maple Plain recreational areas tobacco free at the Aug. 13 city council meeting. The students noted their efforts in the nearby cities of Orono, Long Lake, Medina, Minnetonka Beach and Spring Park had been successful. They asked that all city-owned recreational areas, including playgrounds, ice rinks, athletic fields, tennis and basketball courts and open green space be deemed tobacco free areas.
The students said that prohibiting tobacco use in recreational areas would make them healthier for all users, reduce litter and will create better role models for children visiting parks.
Members of the council all voiced their support for banning tobacco products from city-owned recreational area, but they also had a coupe of concerns.
“I’m very much against smoking,” City Councilor Dave Eisinger said. “But, it is a legal vice.”
He said that he was in favor of banning tobacco products in recreational areas due to the large amount of cigarette litter that is left in the parks.
City Councilor Jerry Young said that he was concerned about how the ban might go over at Timpe Field during adult softball games. He said that he would be in favor of adopting a tobacco-free policy rather than an ordinance. With a policy there would be no official penalties if someone used tobacco, however there would still be signs posted alerting people of the prohibition. He said that city officials could then review reactions to the policy at a future date.
The council voted 4-0, City Councilor Roger Hackbarth was absent from the meeting, to direct city staff to write a policy that would ban tobacco products from Maple Plain’s recreational areas. When the policy is finished, it will be brought in front of the council again for formal adoption.