Baltimore County Now
Great Resources to Help Keep Your Family Fit
Decreasing childhood obesity is on everyone’s mind these days. The rates of childhood obesity have tripled since 1980. More than one in 10 children from the age of two to five will become obese.
The good news is that this year, for the first time, obesity rates for preschool children went down, as reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Family Wellness is Key
The reality is that preventing children from becoming obese is really about family wellness. Daily physical activity, planning healthy meals and limiting screen time all create an environment that promotes healthy kids.
Many federal, state and local programs are working hard to decrease the rates of obesity with better food habits and more physical activity. Some of the interventions that have been implemented are: the Let’s Move initiative from First Lady Michelle Obama, the YWCA’s Fit and Fun Program, National Standards for Foods in Schools, ChooseMyPlate, phone apps and other devices that track fitness and calories. Prevention is the key!
Baltimore County has resources that can help your family move towards a journey to wellness! Since 2012, the County’s Health Coalition has worked with partners to promote physical activity and prevent childhood obesity. Do your part to help our children and yourself. Take advantage of the local parks and walking trails in our County. Visit them as a family and achieve your goal of wellness for your whole family!
Laura Culbertson, RN, MSN
Public Health Nurse Administrator
Baltimore County Department of Health
Nature Quest is Your Ticket to Outdoor Adventure
Interested in an adventure and a chance to find new parks in your area? You’ll love Baltimore County’s Nature Quest! Baltimore County Recreation and Parks, the Baltimore County Local Health Coalition and Wegmans grocery store have partnered to provide this fun, free adventure.
You can experience the outdoors and be active while discovering some of the best parks and trails in Baltimore County. It’s great for families, scout troops, seniors – anyone who wants to get outdoors and have fun. You can bike, hike, or canoe on designated trails and complete the Nature Quest while earning prizes.
All you have to do is finish at least five trails and you can join us on October 17 to celebrate at our Nature Quest Fest. This action- packed event will include various activities such as canoeing, fishing, live animals, crafts and more. So get your family and friends together and begin your adventure!
Complete Your Quest in Three Easy Steps!
1. Get your Passport booklet. Pick up a Nature Quest booklet from your local Wegmans store, at participating parks (Robert E. Lee Park, Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park, Oregon Ridge Nature Center, Cromwell Valley Park, Marshy Point Nature Center, Benjamin Banneker Historical Park, or Honeygo Run Regional Park), or print one online at relpnc.org/nature-quest.
2. Start hiking. Take your booklet and a pencil or crayon and head out on the trails. Record your progress by making a rubbing of the trail marker located on each of 13 trails.
3. Collect your prizes. Prizes are awarded after accumulating rubbings from at least five of the 13 trails. In addition to the prizes, questers that complete five trails or more also receive free admission to the Nature Quest Fest on October 17. Extra incentives are available to questers that complete 7 to 13 trails!
Shannon Davis, Park Ranger, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks
Another Clean Green County Initiative
At beautiful Meadowood Park in Lutherville this morning, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced to recycling advocates and recreation leaders that the County has initiated recycling collection in 12 Baltimore County parks.
“Recycling brings critical environmental benefits, both locally and globally,” Kamenetz said. “Offering our residents the opportunity to recycle conveniently in parks is another step toward a clean, green Baltimore County.”
The parks included in the program are:
- Banneker Historical Park and Museum
- Eastern Regional Park
- Honeygo Regional Park
- Marshy Point Nature Center
- Meadowood Regional Park
- Northwest Regional Park
- Reisterstown Regional Park
- Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park
- Oregon Ridge Lodge and Nature Center
- Robert E Lee Park
- Loch Raven Fishing Center (seasonal)
- Rocky Point Beach and Park
These parks were selected because they already have on-site staff who empty trash and aggregate it in dumpsters for weekly collection. Although no significant additional personnel time will be required, each of these sites will need additional equipment and fixtures to implement the program. The initial cost excluding the weekly hauling is approximately $44,000.
Either the private hauler for each area or the County’s Property Management staff will empty the dumpsters on a set schedule. Private haulers charge approximately $88 per unit per year depending upon location.
The program began in May and features a combination of blue or white recycling barrels and attractive green trash and recycle containers. Two of the green containers will be placed at each of the designated parks and the number of barrels varies according to the park’s popularity, size and anticipated amount of recyclables.
“It is important to offer residents every opportunity to recycle and I congratulate County Executive Kamenetz on his continuing commitment to protecting our environment,” said County Council Chair Cathy Bevins.
Clean Green County Facts
- Our residential recycling program continues to break records in terms of tonnage collected, and is generating approximately $2 million in net revenues per year.
- Baltimore County continues to be recognized by the national Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA for our investment in community trees, plus we are aggressively pursuing our goal of increasing the County’s overall tree canopy to 50 percent coverage.
- Our stream restoration program is nationally recognized, with seven stream restoration projects completed since 2011 and more than two dozen now in the planning and design stages.
- We are putting the Stormwater Utility Fee funding to work with projects all around the County including:
- street sweeping
- storm drain cleaning
- stormwater facility inspection, maintenance and upgrades
- shoreline stabilization
- urban canopy tree planting
- monitoring, planning and programming
- other improvements to impervious surfaces
- DPW is promoting residential recycling with billboards promoting the benefits of recycling, including environmental, jobs and landfill conservation. The three billboards can be viewed on the County’s Facebook page at: