North Dakota Parks & Recreation Reminds Visitors to Recreate Safely Over Independence Day Weekend

Devils Lake Journal

North Dakota Parks & Recreation Reminds Visitors to

Recreate Safely Over Independence Day Weekend

The North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department wants to remind visitors and citizens to recreate safely over the upcoming holiday weekend. Recreation, specifically water recreation, is a popular way to beat the heat and celebrate the Fourth of July. While out enjoying the water with family and friends, the agency asks you to keep these important safety tips in mind:

Wear a life jacket: North Dakota law requires all children ages 10 and younger to wear a personal flotation device while in boats of less than 27 feet in length. The law also requires all personal watercraft users to wear a life jacket, as well as anyone towed on skis, tubes, boards or other similar devices. Several North Dakota state parks feature life jacket loaner stations where individuals can borrow a life jacket free of charge. Look for them at boat ramps and swimming areas around the parks.

Drinking and boating do not mix. Boating under the influence is illegal and dangerous.

Watch out for others: The water is a shared use area. It is important to watch for others recreating nearby, including kayakers and swimmers, while operating a watercraft. It is also important to keep an eye out for water skiers and tubers as they may enter the water unexpectedly.

Out of water safety: Boat safety is important while on the water and on dry land. Boat ramps and state parks are high traffic areas. Make sure to watch out for people and animals moving about when hauling boats. Additionally, transporting people and pets on watercrafts across dry land is dangerous and discouraged.

The Department would also like to remind visitors that fireworks are prohibited in North Dakota’s state parks. It is critical guests follow the rules, especially during high drought conditions. Some communities near the state parks are holding firework shows over the holiday weekend that guests can attend.

“We encourage all visitors to use good judgement and recreate safely so the weekend can be enjoyed by everyone,” stated North Dakota Parks and Recreation Director Andrea Travnicek. “With this year’s drought conditions, it’s especially important to take personal responsibility for fire safety to protect the public in addition to state park resources and facilities.”

The mission of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is to offer a diversity of recreation opportunities and sustainably manage resources.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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