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
Opening a World of Recreation for People with Disabilities
One of the greatest joys of my job is to watch the expression on the face of a parent or grandparent of a child or young adult with disabilities when they learn about the programs offered by the Office of Therapeutic Recreation (TR).
It’s like watching a light go off or separating the clouds to reveal a bright beam of sunshine. “I didn’t know” is often what we hear.
Specifically Designed Programs
The Department of Recreation and Parks is quite proud of the services offered through our “TR” programs. Under the superb leadership and advocacy of an exceptional staff and dedicated volunteers, TR offers a wide variety of programs designed specifically for individuals with disabilities, their family members and friends.
Imagine opening up a world of adaptive sports and fitness programming as an option in the life of an individual with disabilities. There is the Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program offered as a cooperative effort between TR and the Maryland Council for Special Equestrians. Individuals with special needs can participate in “Barn Buddies,” “Meet the Horse” field trips, and two summer camps “Ride with Pride” and “Everything Horses.”
“The Sky is the Limit” community theatre in Dundalk offers people with disabilities the chance to shine on stage and behind the scenes in various productions through the year, including a summer performing arts camp.
TR options also include arts and crafts, adaptive aquatics through the League for People with Disabilities, Inc., and adaptive water-skiing in cooperation with Baltimore Adapted Recreation and Sports at Rocky Point Park in Essex.
TR operates 10 summer day camps that run for five weeks throughout the county with swimming, nature, crafts, sports, games and field trips as only a part of the fun and well supervised programs.
Social dances, social programs, sign language classes and horticultural therapy (TALMAR – Therapeutic Alternatives of Maryland) are a part of the vast, impressive and valued services offered through TR.
Details of the TR program are readily available through the office of Therapeutic Recreation by simply calling for your copy the bi-annual newsletter “Leisure Resources” (PDF) at 410-887-5370 (410-887-5319 TTY/Deaf).
Please help us deliver the message of this service by shouting from the rooftops; TR’s a true point of pride in that Baltimore County crown; don’t let it be a secret…let this hidden jewel shine!
Baseball Field, Tot Lot Playground, Picnic Pavilion Added
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz joined community leaders to celebrate completion of the Sollers Point Multi-Purpose Center complex. A new tot lot playground, picnic pavilion and baseball field now surround the popular community center. This third phase, at a cost of $360,000, completes the complex, which serves the Turner Station-Watersedge area.
“This center truly captures the spirit of Turner Station, Watersedge and surrounding communities. Sollers Point is a place where young and old can enjoy the public library, take a class, play sports, and meet friends and neighbors for a picnic or special event. There’s even a history center that celebrates the area’s rich heritage,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
The community center complex includes a full-service library branch, gymnasium, auditorium/banquet hall, classrooms, basketball and tennis courts and the new baseball diamond, picnic pavilion and tot lot. A 28,900 square foot, environmentally friendly multi-purpose building sits on 13 landscaped acres.
Mary Harvey Commemorated
The County Executive, community and family members also unveiled a memorial plaque and stone that commemorates the community leadership of the late Mary Harvey, who served as Director of the former Baltimore County Office of Community Conservation. Ms. Harvey worked tirelessly for decades to help bring about positive changes in communities countywide, and in particular was a driving force in the creation of the Sollers Point community center.