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St. Cloud Group Wants Barden Park to be Smoke-Free

Daniel Barry, Getty Images

ST. CLOUD (AP) – St. Cloud State University has been tobacco-free for almost a year, but the decision has had unpleasant consequences for a nearby historical site.

Smokers have recently begun converging on Barden Park. The land is surrounded on two sides by university property.

A city report says the park now gets hundreds of visits per week from smokers, and hundreds of cigarette butts litter the ground.

So the St. Cloud Neighborhood Coalition wants officials to make Barden Park the city’s first smoke-free park. A public hearing with the Park & Recreation Board is scheduled for Tuesday.

The coalition opposes simply adding trash receptacles for cigarette butts. It says that’s not in the master plan for the park.

The university has been tobacco-free since August 2012.

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