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Park District Bans Smoking and Drones, Adds Single-Track Bike Trails

The East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors unanimously approved changes to the District’s rules Tuesday, adding a ban on smoking, increasing the number of single-track bike trails and adding specific language prohibiting drones.

The smoking ban came at the request of Save the Bay as a way to reduce cigarette butt litter and improve health conditions for park visitors. Billions of cigarette butts flow into San Francisco Bay annually, harming fish, birds and other wildlife and blighting the shoreline. Cigarette butts take years to decompose, and contain chemicals – including arsenic, chromium and ammonia - that can be harmful to water quality and wildlife.

Smoking will still be legal in overnight campsites, but prohibited everywhere else.

The drone ban re-affirms the District’s long-standing ban on motorized model airplanes, but adds the word “drone” to clarify the ordinance. Drones can be extremely dangerous to helicopters and airplanes, disruptive to wildlife and annoying to other park users.

The board also added several single-track trails to the list of those where bicycles are allowed. The new trails are:

The Park District’s police department reviews and updates its bylaws, known as Ordinance 38, biannually. Changes are suggested by staff and the public, and are reviewed by the Board Operations Committee, the Operations-Public Safety Liaison Group, the Assistant General Managers Group, District Counsel and the Park Advisory Committee.

For more information about Ordinance 38, please visit: Ordinance 38 - Rules and Regulations (Online)

The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 120,000 acres in 65 parks including over 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.

Contact:
Carolyn Jones, Public Information Supervisor
(510) 544-2217
cjones@ebparks.org