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Kandiyohi County park beaches are tobacco-free

WILLMAR -- With temperatures finally warming up, the Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition is putting the finishing touches in place to alert the public that Kandiyohi County park beaches are tobacco-free.

The County Board of Commissioners passed an amended resolution prohibiting tobacco on all beaches of county parks at its Nov. 20 meeting. While the beaches are currently considered tobacco-free, the plan is to post signs on all of the county's beaches so beach-goers will know the beaches are tobacco-free.

Laura Daak, grant coordinator for the Drug Free Communities Coalition, said the signs should come in soon.

The white and blue signs will read "welcome to our tobacco-free beaches," also noting that tobacco products are not allowed on the beaches. Dave Fritz, Kandiyohi County Highway Department maintenance engineer, said each beach will have five signs, reminding beach users of the new ordinance.

Daak has been working with Fritz to ensure the signs will be in place for most of the summer.

"Once the signs get here, we'll get them put up as fast as we can," Fritz said.

Now, the Drug Free Communities Coalition is working on getting the word out about the new tobacco-free areas.

"The tobacco-free area is just the sand area of the parks," Daak said. "People can still use tobacco products in the grassy areas of the parks."

Daak also had another reminder for park-goers.

"This is for all tobacco products, not just cigarettes," she said. "It bans everything -- cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, snuff, all of it."

Daak said the Drug Free Communities Coalition had two goals in mind when it came to pushing for this amendment's passage.

"First, it was for the safety and health of our children playing on the beaches," she said. "Second, it was for the environment, to keep the grounds and water clean."