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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 12:56 pm | Fair 63º

 
 
 
 

Santa Maria Ups Game to Keep City Parks and Public Places Clean and Smoke-Free

Santa Maria now prohibits the use or disposal of tobacco products within city parks, public spaces and parking facilities, and is seeking entries for a youth poster contest to help spread the word.

The city’s Recreation and Parks Department is asking the public’s help to keep city parks clean and smoke-free. Picking up trash and keeping tobacco products out of city parks are just a couple of ways to make a difference.

Second-hand smoke can be just as dangerous in an outdoor environment as it is indoors. Cigarette butts on the ground are not only a form of litter but a safety hazard for animals and children who can ingest them.

With 27 city parks, Santa Maria boasts a variety of playgrounds, open space, and opportunities for good wholesome family fun in a clean and healthy environment.

To help spread the word for Clean and Smoke Free City Parks, a youth poster contest will be held with the After School Education and Safety School program and general public. Entries will illustrate how smoking and trash in city parks affects others and how to keep parks clean and fun for everyone.

Contest winners will be awarded a prize and have their posters printed and displayed at local government offices and facilities. Entries are due by Friday, Dec. 2 to the Recreation and Parks Department.
 
The City Council-approved ban also applies to public spaces such as the area near the Santa Maria Public Library, City Hall courtyard, and in city-owned parking facilities.

The city is educating the public now into the spring, by putting up signs and by explaining the new ordinance. During this educational period, however, chronic violators may receive an administrative citation with a $100 fine.

As before, smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of any doorway or window of a building, public or private. It is still OK to smoke along a public sidewalk.
 
For more information about Clean and Smoke Free City Parks, contact the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department, 925-0951 ext. 2260.

— Mark van de Kamp for City of Santa Maria.

 

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