Dutchess parks to go smoke-free

Jun 29, 2012

Soon, all parks maintained by Dutchess County, New York will be smoke-free. County Executive Marcus Molinaro made the announcement Thursday at Bowdoin Park, overlooking the Hudson River in the Town of Poughkeepsie.  Hudson Valley Correspondent Hank Gross reports...

he smoking prohibition at county parks is an addition to the Dutchess County Clean Indoor Air Law, which was passed in 2003 and championed and sponsored by Molinaro when he was a county legislator.

“Today’s a very exciting moment for us,” said Molinaro.  “That prohibition will begin officially July 9 at all county parks.”

Many towns in the county already have smoke-free playgrounds and parks, and Thursday’s announcement will affect Dutchess Stadium, the Dutchess Rail Trail, the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, Wilcox Park in the Town of Milan and Quiet Cove Riverfront Park in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

“Dutchess County has been recognized as best in the Hudson Valley. Beyond that the work that we have already committed to improvements and enhancements throughout park facilities make it necessary for us to continually evaluate our policies to improve the quality and character of these park facilities, but insure that those individuals making use of them have the best, the safest and healthiest environments to enjoy themselves,” the county executive said.

After July 9, non-compliance of these smoke-free measures at these above-mentioned parks will result in being asked to leave them.

“We want to make sure those using them have the best, safest environments to enjoy themselves,” said Molinaro.

At Thursday’s announcement, Molinaro was joined by county parks and public health officials. Arianna Lendino, community executive director of the American Cancer Society’s eastern division in New Windsor, also attended the announcement.

“No form of tobacco use is safe. We’re very happy to see this go forward in Dutchess County,” Lendino said. “Wherever we can prevent smoking, especially with the young, it’s really key.”