The Buffalo County Youth Advisory Board presented a policy proposal for tobacco-free parks at the Kearney Park and Recreation Advisory Board’s meeting July 18, 2013. The board postponed a vote on the policy so they would have time to do research and make an informed decision. If the proposed policy is approved by the advisory board, it will then be discussed at the next city council meeting.
The proposed policy would disallow the use of both smoked and smokeless tobacco products on park or recreational property in Kearney and would prohibit community members from discarding tobacco products in these areas. The intent is for the policy to be self-enforced, whereas park users would respect the policy and refrain from using tobacco products on park or recreational property, though police or park staff could ask tobacco users to cease using the product or leave the park. Whether the policy will reach the City of Kearney in this form, or will undergo changes, will be determined at the next Park & Recreation Advisory Board meeting August 15.
Youth Coordinator Jack Anderson said, “As a youth organization committed to bringing about positive community change, the Buffalo County Youth Advisory Board intends to make the City of Kearney a healthier, safer, and cleaner community through this proposed policy. Our city park and recreation properties exist for residents and visitors alike to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle with which tobacco use is not congruent. Through this policy, we have the opportunity to promote positive community role modeling to our youth, enhance the well-being of our residents, and eliminate health dangers and environmental denigration posed by tobacco use.”