Pokemon Go increases foot traffic at the Yakima Greenway and Arb - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pokemon Go increases foot traffic at the Yakima Greenway and Arboretum

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YAKIMA, WA - The new app Pokemon Go has been released for two weeks now, and people in Yakima are finding that places like the Yakima Greenway and the Arboretum are ideal places to play.

"People come out, set lures, and then hang out for hours at the Japanese Garden, sitting in the shade of the trees and having fun together," Co-Executive Director of the Arboretum Colleen Adams-Schuppe told us. 

Samantha Pauling is one of the many who go to the Arboretum to play the app, and she says the the promise of catching Pokemon isn't the only reason why she goes there to play.

"It is really good for catching Pokemon, and not only that though, but you get to interact with people that you normally wouldn't interact with, and so it kind of gets kids out of their comfort zone," Pauling said.

One of the reasons why a lot of people come to the arboretum is because there are over 20 Pokestops on the property, which provide free items that help people catch more Pokemon. Since there are so many, Adams-Schuppe says it's not surprising to see 30 or 40 people near a Pokestop in the park.

Al Brown, Executive Director at the Greenway, has seen an increase of people visiting the Greenway since the app launched. He says the concept is great, but wants people to be safe while they play.   

"I do urge caution. I did observe one young fellow, with his cellphone in front of his face, walking across the driveway as a car was coming. I don't think he ever saw the car," said Brown.

This is one reason why Adams-Schuppe recommends the Arboretum to players.

"I think one the biggest draws here is that there is no car traffic; a lot of the Pokestops are set at busy parking lots or in the street and it's kind of dangerous," said Adams-Schuppe.

And although it's important to have fun, it's just as important to be aware of your surroundings and stay safe while you play.

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