Docs in the Park
THE PARK PRESCRIPTION MOVEMENT
Docs in the Park is a local program involved in the national movement of encouraging children and families to connect with nature through doctors prescribing physical activity in local parks to their patients.
Docs in the Park is an alliance of professionals across sectors of recreation, health, education, and environmental advocacy. Our mission is to promote the health of children by connecting families with local healthy foods and increasing opportunities for active outdoor play in nature.
Docs in the Park Events
Stop by any of our free, family friendly Doc in the Park events to engage with our five key components: recreational activities, healthy/local foods, stewardship, wildlife & nature, and a health care professional (typically a pediatrician).
Walking, Hiking, Playing—Park Friends volunteers or BCRP staff lead gentle walks and nature hikes, as well as setting up a demo nature play space of tree stumps, vines and branches for exploring, balancing, building and imaginative play.
Wildlife Awareness–Carrie Murray Nature Center provides a live exhibit of raptors and amphibians, and interactive educational exhibits. The Natural History Society of Maryland and the Patuxent Research refuge share animal and insect specimens from their collections.
Healthy Games—BCRP recreation center programmers or partner volunteers demonstrate fun games such as jumping rope, Hula hooping, hopscotch and others. Children construct their own Hula hoops using flexible tubing, connectors and colorful adhesive tape.
Healthy Eating–Local urban farms or community gardens bring produce for families to taste and take home.
Canoeing and Kayaking—Available at Middle Branch Park and Patterson Park, families can learn to paddle kayaks and canoes. Boats, life vest and instruction provided.
Biking–Bikes and helmets are provided for all ages.
BENEFITS OF BEING ACTIVE IN NATURE
Doctors across the country have recognized that spending time outdoors can help improve physical and mental health and well-being. Staying active in nature can also help prevent childhood obesity. Walking in a park is a simple way to gain the benefits of being active in nature!
ACTIVITIES IN BALTIMORE CITY PARKS
Baltimore City is proud to feature approximately 6,000 acres of parkland and public space. Walking, playing, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, gardening, and bird watching are just some of the activities you can participate in!
Interested in Docs in the Park?
Whether you are a pediatrician looking to be a Docs in the Park advocate, or a city resident wanting to become more connected with your local park, contact Mary Hardcastle for more information!
Host an event
While the department of Recreation & Parks hosts several Docs in the Park events annually, we also encourage community members to get involved and host their own event. The resources below will help guide you as you bring awareness for a more healthy and active lifestyle to your community. If you have any questions about hosting an event, please email [email protected]
Information for Medical Professionals
Docs in the Park would not be successful without the support of local medical professionals. You can use the "Parkscription" pad below, or any of our other promotional materials, to encourage your patients to be active outdoors. You can also use the recruitement memo to raise awareness of our program among your collegues. If you are interested in volunteering for an upcoming Docs in the Park event, please email Mary Hardcastle. Your help is greatly appreciated.
We are currently in the process of developing a park locator map to show what park features and amenties are easily accesible for your patients - check back soon to see if this feature is available!