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Healthy Parks Healthy People

January 1, 2018 - January 31, 2018

In Washington, D.C., Robert Zarr, a pediatrician, writes prescriptions for parks. He pulls out a prescription pad and scribbles instructions—which park his obese or diabetic or anxious or depressed patient should visit, on which days, and for how long—just as though he were prescribing medication, according to James Hamblin in his article The Nature Cure, which was featured in the October 15, 2015 Atlantic magazine.

Zarr is part of a small but growing group of health-care professionals who are essentially medicalizing nature. He helped create for DC Park Rx, a community-health initiative. The Washington program was one of the first in the United States; there are now at least 150 others, including Martinak and Tuckahoe State Parks.

The article goes on to say that, researchers in the United Kingdom found that when people did physical activities in natural settings instead of “synthetic environments,” they experienced less anger, fatigue, and sadness. A 2015 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that walking in a park reduced blood flow to a part of the brain that the researchers claimed was typically associated with brooding.

So make your goal for this year to get outdoors. We have plenty of activities to help you work on improving your health.


  • Nature Walk: Meet at the Lore of the Land trail for a st
    roll .Tuesdays, 8:00 AM.
  • Lake Walk: Walk the Tuckahoe Lake Trail. Tuesdays, 9:15 AM & 2:15 PM, lake pavilion
  • Senior Walk: Meet at the Tuckahoe Lake Pavilion. Tuesdays, 11:15 AM
  • First Saturdays: Discover native habitats at Adkins. $5.00 for non-members, (Free for members and Park RX holders) January 6, 10:00 AM Adkins Arboretum
  • Walk @TSP: Meet at for a walk. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 12:30 PM, Tuckahoe Office
  • Walk @MSP: Meet for a walk on Saturdays walk, 2:30 PM, Martinak Nature Center
  • Meditative Walk: Fridays, 3 PM, Martinak Nature Center
  • Kid’s Nature Walk: Meet Thursdays, 4 PM, Martinak Nature Center. (Kids under 5 must be accompanied by an adult.)
  • Walk it Out!: Challenge yourself to walk faster. Tuesdays and Thursdays, January 9, 11, 16, 18, 23 & 25 8:45 AM, Martinak Nature Center (Inclement weather meet in nature center for Walk 15.)
  • Senior Stroll: Walk and exercise on the paved fitness trail. Tuesdays and Thursdays, January 9, 11, 16, 18, 23 & 25 10:30 AM, Martinak Park Office, (Inclement weather meet in nature center for Walk 15)
  • Dog Walk: Stroll the best paths with your dog. ($5.00 for non-members, Free for members and Park RX holders) January 4, 9:00 AM, Adkins Arboretum.
  • Push Yourself Hike: Guided, 2.5-hour hike. Saturdays, 9:30 AM, Tuckahoe Park Office
  • New Year’s Day Hikes: First day hikes! 11:00 AM, Tuckahoe Park Office & 2:00 PM, Martinak Nature Center


For stretching programs, bring a mat/towel.

  • Morning Stretch: Improve flexibility, core and balance. Tuesdays & Thursdays, January 9, 11, 16, 18, 23 & 25 8:00 AM, Martinak Nature Center
  • Stretch before Hike TSP: Warm up before hiking. Thursdays & Saturdays, 12 PM & Saturdays, 9 AM, Tuckahoe Office
  • Cool Down Stretch: After walk cool down. Tuesdays, 1:30 PM, Tuckahoe Park Office
  • Stretch into the weekend: Say hello to the weekend with yoga inspired stretches. Fridays, 11 AM, Martinak Nature Center
  •  Kid’s Yoga Stretch: Kids 5+ come stretch at the Fridays, 5 PM, Martinak Nature Center.
  • Energizing Stretch: Morning stretch, Tuesdays, 10:15 AM, Tuckahoe Lake Pavilion
  • Afternoon Yoga: Afternoon yoga, Tuesdays, 3:15 PM, Tuckahoe Lake Pavilion


  • Clog Dance Basics: Learn clog steps and routines. No special shoes needed. Thursdays, Jan. 11, 18, and 25, 5:00-6:00 PM, Martinak Nature Center
  • Walk 15: Indoor walking for everyone. Wednesdays, January 10, 17, & 24, 8:30 AM, Martinak Nature Center
  • Ballet Stretch for Kids: Stretch like a ballerina! Ages 6-10, Saturdays, 3:30 PM, Martinak Nature Center
  • Basic Tap: Learn basic combinations. All ages, tap shoes NOT needed, wear hard-soled shoe. Saturdays, 4:30 PM, Martinak Nature Center
  • Kid’s Upbeat Dance: Ages 6-10, stretch and learn a fun dance, Thursdays, 7 PM, Martinak Nature Center


  • Scrapbooking: Bring pictures and scrapbooking materials. Fridays, 4 PM, Martinak Nature Center
  • Kid’s Craft: Kids 5+ make a craft at Fridays, at 6 PM, Martinak Nature Center
  • Nature Sketch: Bring materials to sketch outdoors. Thursdays, 3 PM, Martinak Nature Center
  • Make a Collage: Bring pictures/magazines to make a collage. Thursdays, at 2PM, Martinak Nature Center
  • Healthy Cooking Demonstration: Make and eat a healthy snack. Fridays, 2 PM, Martinak Nature Center


  • Earth Talk: Kids 7-12 discuss environmental issues and propose changes. Thursdays, 6 PM, Martinak Nature Center
  • Kid’s Story and Craft: Kids 3-6 listen to a story and make a craft! Thursdays, 5 PM, Martinak Nature Center


January 1, 2018
January 31, 2018