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Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events Are Officially 100% Tobacco-Free

Fredericksburg, VA. – Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events decided to commit to making its parklands 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free to provide a clean, healthy, and safe environment for all to enjoy.

The policy change was initiated by Y Street, a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and Virginia’s largest youth-led movement. VFHY and Y Street members strive to ensure Virginians have equitable access to clean and healthier outdoor environments through its campaign, Share The Air. Share The Air aims to create 100% tobacco-free parklands by encouraging local park and recreation departments and government officials to adopt comprehensive tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free outdoor policies. 

In September 2023, Y Street members met with the Fredericksburg Recreation Commission to present how the city can enhance its parks and outdoor recreational areas and provide an even greater outdoor experience by going 100% tobacco-free. When asked why the campaign is important, Y Street member Vivian Wright, a resident of Fredericksburg, replied, “As the eldest of five, I support Share The Air as it allows my younger siblings, the youngest being 1, to be free to enjoy the outdoors without risking compromising their lungs. Every child and adult deserves the right to a clean environment.” The City of Fredericksburg strives to create dedicated spaces that allow residents to be active, relax, and gather outdoors. For this reason, Fredericksburg’s Park Director recently signed a commitment form to adopt a voluntary tobacco-free outdoor policy and partner with Share The Air. 

The impact of the new policy is expected to reduce tobacco and vape litter and residents’ exposure to secondhand smoke, and promote positive role modeling for youth who visit the city’s parks and outdoor recreational areas. Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events joins the growing list of localities with tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free outdoor policies, becoming Share The Air’s 20th partner. Todd Brown, the Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation and Events Director, shared, “We are excited to partner with Share The Air to provide safe and healthy places to play and recreate. Residents and visiting park users will begin seeing the Share the Air signs in our parks this spring. This awareness campaign is to serve as another reminder of the City’s commitment to promoting a healthier community and a green, clean environment.” 

Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events will receive free tobacco-free signage as part of its partnership with Share The Air to post as a reminder to park visitors.

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About the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY)

Established in 1999 by the Virginia General Assembly, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth empowers Virginia’s youth to make healthy choices by reducing and preventing youth tobacco and nicotine use, substance use, and childhood obesity. 

VFHY takes a comprehensive approach to prevention work that includes reaching about 50,000 children each year through classroom-based prevention programs in public schools, after-school programs, community centers, day cares, and prevention programs across the state. VFHY’s award-winning marketing campaigns deliver prevention messaging to more than 500,000 children annually. In addition, VFHY’s research program provides scientific insight on methods to effectively reduce tobacco use. Since 2002, VFHY has funded 40 large research projects at universities throughout Virginia. For more information, visit www.vfhy.org.

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