Nature Can Improve Health and Wellbeing

Nature exposure for pregnant women can promote better fetal growth and healthier birth weights. Time spend in sunlight can reduce nearsightedness and increase Vitamin D levels.

Increased Physical Activity

Access to parks and greenspace can foster a reduced risk of obesity. Free and unstructured play is essential for helping children reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones.

Outdoor Play

The average American child spends 1% of their time participating in unstructured outdoor play. Less than one-quarter of children 6 to 17 years of age participate in 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Social-Emotional Wellbeing

Learning in nature can support improved relationship skills and reduced stress, anger and aggression. Recess for children can improve their memory, attention, and concentration.

What is Berks Nature Rx?

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.

Berks Nature Rx program was initially funded in part by United Way of Berks County. We appreciate our current partners, Penn State Health and Berks County Medical Society, for helping us grow the Berks Nature Rx program.

Fun Ways to Get Outside

  • Go for a morning or evening walk every day.
  • Try gardening. From planting a vegetable and fruit garden to planting a few flowers, both activities get you outside regularly and communing with nature.
  • Fish your local streams and lakes.

New to the Outdoors?

Use our website, www.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.

Click on our Goosechase tab to join our FREE county-wide scavenger hunt!

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.