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New park code of conduct takes effect Thursday

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s new Code of Conduct takes effect on April 1.

It includes provisions from Washington state law, from Seattle City ordinance, from already-adopted administrative rules, and some new provisions. Violation of these rules can result in exclusion from a park or a group of parks. New prohibited behaviors include:

  • Possession of glass containers at athletic fields, beaches, or children’s playgrounds;
  • Smoking, chewing, or other tobacco use within 25 feet of other park patrons and or at play areas, beaches, playgrounds, and picnic areas;
  • Conduct that poses a risk of harm to any person or property; and
  • Possession of explosives, acid, or any other article or material capable of causing serious harm to others.

By prohibiting smoking in some parks, Seattle Parks join many other cities in Washington state and around the country that are making smoking unacceptable in public places. It is consistent with Seattle Parks and Recreation’s mission to provide healthy, safe places for people to congregate, and it sends a message to Seattle’s youth that the norm is for public places to be smoke-free.

The new rules mean park patrons can no longer smoke anything near play areas, even this hooka, which an annoyed park-goer witnessed in Greenwood Park a few months ago. The girls were smoking near the children’s play area. While it was legal at the time, the man who took the photo felt it was inappropriate.