Girl Scout Troop No. 4383 of Rockaway Meadows, troop leaders and the Morris County Smoke-Free Parks Coalition was set to make a presentation to the Parsippany-Troy Hills township council in December, but weather postponed it.
On Tuesday, the girl scouts got another chance and appeared in front of the council with Troop Leaders Jennifer Lorencovitz and Jennifer Lepre.
“We’ve identified the need to have smoke-free parks in Parsippany-Troy Hills because we care about the environment,” said the junior girl scouts. Their presentation is part of their process in obtaining the bronze award, which is the highest honor for a junior girl scout.
The girls then listed off common statistics on the negative effects of tobacco and smoking.
“Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy has an abundance of information available on it and we provided some assistance to the troop when working on this project,” said Cara Ann Murphy of the Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy organization, adding that the girl scouts "will likely be before the council again in February."
The troop leaders added that Madison just made their parks smoke-free.
Councilman Michael dePierro thanked the girl scouts.
“They did an excellent job,” he said. “The council would need to discuss this and see what parameters we want to put on this. The Knoll Country Club would have to be excluded. If patrons couldn’t go outside onto the patio, you would lose” business.
After discussions, if they agree to move forward, it would be drafted and then introduced at a council meeting. DePierro added that when it’s introduced, an invitation would go out to the troop to come back for that council meeting.
Cindy Meakem from the Center for Prevention and Counseling and Coordinator of Tobacco Free for Northern New Jersey was there to support the troop along with Lucille Talbot, also from the Northern New Jersey coalition.
“We’re here in support of the girls and I want to commend them and I’m so proud,” said Meakem. “This is something you might want to take into consideration.”
“It was (the girl scouts’) idea and they reached out to the coalition,” added Talbot.
Talbot resides in Denville, but has a home in Parsippany, which makes her “very interested in smoke-free parks” for the township.”
“I think it’s really important for all of New Jersey to adopt smoke-free parks,” said Talbot, adding that the tie between cancer and smoking is another reason why municipalities should consider this initiative.
“Every town council has to determine what works best for them and we understand that,” said Talbot.