We have become so busy in our daily lives keeping up with work, school, sports and extracurricular activities that we sometimes forget to stop and smell the roses, literally. Stop to take a break in our own backyard, a forest, or local park. Or, focus time on our bodies and being active in the outdoors. Children are especially vulnerable to this and are not spending enough time outdoors. This new normal is taking a toll on the health of our community.
Berks County is fortunate to be home to an abundance of trails, parks, and open spaces that are FREE and accessible to the public. Nature is right here in front of us – and can serve as medicine. Nature is both preventative and therapeutic. We challenge Berks County to spend more time in nature – for physical and mental benefit – by participating in the Berks Nature Rx program.
Berks Nature Rx is an easy way to introduce (or re-introduce) nature into your routine weekly life. The Berks County Medical Society and Berks Nature believe that doctors, patients, and the community in general need to utilize the great outdoors to help prevent disease, and as a therapy for physical and mental challenges!
New to the Outdoors?
Use our website, berksnaturerx.com, to gather the resources you need to spend at least 120 minutes outdoors every week.
If you are a parent, you can use these tools to help your children spend at least 120 minutes outdoors every week. Let’s face it 120 minutes, or two hours each week, is an achievable goal even during our busiest times. Your 120 minutes could consist of visiting a park, walking your dog, hiking a trail, riding a bike, or simply taking a break in nature.
Every local trail (that we are aware of!) is linked to berksnaturerx.com as well. Click here to visit Greater Reading Trails.com. Now that you have the resources you need you can begin logging your minutes! Once you reach 500 minutes you can visit The Nature Place for your FREE gift, and learn about incentives to continue participating in the Nature Rx program.
10 Tips for Beginner Day hikers:
- Find a partner (someone who lives in your home or you are quarantined with) to hike with
- Hike once a week at a local park
- Learn to hydrate properly
- Carry the following essentials: map, sun protection, insulation (layers), rain protection, first aid kit, plenty of water, nutritious snacks (nuts, dried fruit or bars) and emergency contact information.
- Find comfortable hiking footwear
- Develop your layering system: Dress like an onion.
- Tell your trip plan to a trusted friend or relative
- Learn how to read a topographic map
- Learn by imitation: More experienced hikers have a lot of knowledge to share!
- Volunteer to do trail work to get more involved in the hiking community