Shout out to one of the Youth Coalition’s newest members, Annabelle, for advocating for the protection of bike lanes on Westhaven Drive at the February 4 City of Oshkosh Sustainability Advisory Board meeting. The board was discussing and voting on their recommendation to the City Council whether to remove the designated bike lanes after a resident petition. Annabelle did an awesome job sharing why the bike lanes have been important for her to get to school, work, and just to enjoy Oshkosh! Check out a video of her testimony here.
In 2018, re:TH!NK updated the mission statement and logo, worked on Safe Routes to Parks audits, educated youth about healthy food choices, partnered with the Sacred Heart Neighborhood Association, conducted Festival Scans, and finally reached its goal of tobacco-free parks in Oshkosh!
Along with our updated mission statement, each team now has their very own team logo! Team members gave input on final selections from a cohesive color palate. As re:TH!NK grows and evolves, so can our teams and their logos.
Join family, friends, and neighbors as we celebrate Earth Day by picking up cigarette butts in Menominee Park and kicking off the new Oshkosh Tobacco-Free Parks Rule!
Date: Sunday April 22, 2018
Time: Come anytime between 1pm-3pm
Location: Menominee Park Oshkosh, meet near Little Oshkosh playground
In January 2018, the Oshkosh Advisory Park Board voted unanimously to support the Oshkosh Parks Director in implementing a tobacco-free parks rule for all city of Oshkosh parks. This was a great step forward for Oshkosh and for ensuring the first tobacco-free generation!
Since 2013, the re:TH!NK Youth Coalition has been educating and advocating for tobacco-free parks in Oshkosh. After completing numerous cigarette butt cleanups in the parks through FACT, a statewide, youth-led movement of teens educating their peers about the dangers of tobacco, the re:TH!NK Youth Coalition decided that a tobacco-free parks policy was the best way to protect all residents. Over the next five years, members presented to the Oshkosh City Council and Advisory Park Board to provide education about the benefits of tobacco-free parks. In addition to protecting our natural resources, tobacco-free parks ensures everyone can enjoy the outdoors and breathe clean air.
Thank you to the City of Oshkosh Parks Department and the Advisory Park Board for supporting the next tobacco-free generation! If you want more information about tobacco-free parks, contact Lynnsey Erickson, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator at lerickson @ co.winnebago.wi.us or 920-232-3008.
- Tobacco-Free Parks FAQ
- Oshkosh Northwestern: re:TH!NK Youth Coalition effort leads to smoking ban in Oshkosh city parks
- Oshkosh Independent: Oshkosh to ban smoking, tobacco products in parks
Major kudos to the re:TH!NK Youth Coalition for bringing the issue of tobacco-free parks to the Oshkosh City Council on July 25. Members Jamie Constantine (recent graduate of Oshkosh West High School) and Grace Halstead (sophomore at Oshkosh West High School) and Youth Coalition advisor and tobacco prevention specialist Lynnsey Erickson educated city council members and the public about tobacco-free parks after years of picking up cigarette butts in Oshkosh parks through FACT. Thank you to councilor Jake Krause for supporting the issue and putting the Youth Coalition on the agenda, and thank you to all of city council for listening to our presentation! Stay tuned for updates in the months to come!