Docs in the Park

Doctors across the country have recognized that spending time outdoors can help reduce stress, asthma and ADHD in children. Staying active in nature can also help prevent childhood obesity. Docs in the Park connects physicians with families in city parks to encourage spending time in nature.

Docs in the ParkBeyond the benefits of regular physical activity, spending time outside offers additional benefits for the whole family. Enjoying nature can also lead to improvements in concentration and depression, promoting healthy heart and providing outreach to those who don’t know how to connect with a primary care provider or health department to get meaningful lifestyle advice.

Many times, people don’t get seriously motivated about their wellness until a doctor has “prescribed” fitness, exercise and healthy diet.

Docs in the Parks events are sponsored by Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, and hosted in city parks, providing an opportunity for families to play and explore nature together. Our pediatricians will be available at events to interact with families and share strategies for getting outside. Learn more about your neighborhood park by visiting the next Docs in the Park event!

Finding nature can mean many things. Some people seek long hiking trails, while other are content to connect with nature in their backyards. Baltimore City Parks offer amazing opportunities to connect with the outdoors, and there are a variety of options to fit your family’s needs. Be creative and look for ways to connect with nature in your neighborhood. Maybe you will find an unexpected field, stream, or tree.  

Docs in the Park Events

Drop by one of our free family fun events to connect with our doctors and learn more. Check out the calendar here.

A Docs in the Park event is structured to highlight and demonstrate a menu of park programs—biking, hiking, fishing, paddling, swimming, bird walks, gardening/nutrition and stewardship. Three or four American Academy of Pediatrics member physicians actively participate in each event to model healthy behavior and answer questions. Other agency and non-profit providers such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the Natural History Society of Maryland, Patterson Park Audubon, Nature Art in the Park, Baltimore Bird Club and Real Food Farms deliver nature, recreation, and nutrition programs. 

By participating in a Docs in the Park event, families become familiar with the many enjoyable and healthy offerings in their nearby park. The types of DITP event activities include:

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.

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 us at [email protected] for more information!