OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. - From picking up after your dog to not exposing one's self in public, Ottawa Co. Parks & Recreation Commission are replacing 90 rules signs to make them a better place to visit.
More than 60 rules and regulations are spelled out in full and posted in every park in the county, many of which are already covered by state and local laws.
Jason Boeger, Coordinator of Park Maintenance and Operations for Ottawa Co. Parks says they may seem excessive, but the rules are there to uphold the integrity of all every park.
"There are a lot of rules and most of them are common sense," Boerger said. "The rules help us keep our maintenance cost down and keeps the public safe."
Section 11. HUNTING, FISHING & TRAPPING11.1 No person, while on Commission Park Property shall remove, hunt, trap, wound, kill, molest or in any other way harm any living thing, unless prior written permission is obtained from the Commission or its Agent
The rules were drafted in 1987 but the commission has recently updated those rules to address drones and e-cigarettes. All 90 signs throughout the parks will soon be replaced with an updated version, which will also include the department's Twitter and Facebook handles.
"So when we change our rules we don’t take it lightly because we have to print and post 90 of these signs," Boerger said.
The rules may seem overwhelming but park officials say some rules are more heavily enforced than others, like their two-hour parking limit and dog leash requirements. And if you break them, you could see a $100 fine.
"We’re not out there to try and get people, we’re offering warnings or just informative stops between the visitors and the staff," Boerger said. "I hope people do read them. Those who don't are probably following 99 percent of them without even knowing it because they're common sense."
In addition to the park rules, Ottawa County also has 20 separate rule signs for open space lands. Boerger believes these signs may be the reason Ottawa County Parks are some of the most visited in the state.