When the calendar turns its pages from August to September, residents in Devils Lake will notice a change in the city's parks.

When the calendar turns its pages from August to September, residents in Devils Lake will notice a change in the city's parks.

With a motion made and unanimously passed Wednesday evening during the Devils Lake Park Board regular meeting, a tobacco policy will be put in place at community parks for the first time starting Sept. 1.

Park board vice president voted to adapt the tobacco policy as fellow members agreed to move forward with the plan.

According to the policy, tobacco-use within 20 feet of playground equipment will be outlawed. Also no tobacco products will be allowed in the area of youth activities at parks in the city. This doesn't include adult events such as softball.
Elizabeth Bonney, tobacco prevention coordinator with the Lake Region District Health Unit, noted that the organization is pleased that a policy is going to be put in place.

"We are very pleased with the actions of the park board," Bonney, who approached the board with the issue in May, stated. "They have been very receptive and positive about the idea. The park board has been excellent to work with."
Signage will be provided and placed at the parks by the local health unit. The signs will encourage the public to police themselves and encourage others to follow the tobacco policy in place.

"I don't expect any problems," Bonney stated. "This will be a self-policing type policy and I think it should go well. Ultimately, it will make the public aware that there is no tobacco allowed around playground and youth activities."