Dr. Jennifer D. Roberts is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of NatureRx@UMD, an initiative that emphasizes the natural environmental benefits interspersed throughout and around the University of Maryland College Park (UMD) campus.
Born out of Park Rx America, “a non-profit organization whose mission is to decrease the burden of chronic disease, increase health and happiness, and foster environmental stewardship”, NatureRx@UMD is based on the premise that time spent in nature is therapeutic and contributes to personal contentment. Physicians and other health care providers in a number of U.S. and Canadian cities have now introduced this Park Rx approach to treating patients with an array of conditions.
Research studies have concluded that spending even a few hours each week in nature can improve mood, cognitive ability, alertness, ability to concentrate, social connection and overall sense of well-being. Everyone can benefit from spending a few hours each week exploring the great natural beauty of the UMD campus. NatureRx@UMD will serve as a living laboratory for the greater UMD community of students, faculty and staff, to facilitate our ability to self-reflect, connect, serve and thrive.
NatureRx@UMD is a new and burgeoning movement, represented by numerous individuals and units within the UMD community, who have come together with a shared passion for the many ways in which the landscape of our campus arboretum and other recreation spaces can heal and preserve the health and well-being of every person. Also recognized as healing spaces are the extensive network of trails throughout Maryland, as well as other natural areas within the Mid-Atlantic, including the Chesapeake Bay.
Roberts JD., Ada M., and Jette SL. (2021). NatureRx@UMD: A Review for Pursuing Green Space as a Health and Wellness Resource for the Body, Mind and Soul. American Journal of Health Promotion. doi.org/ 10.1177/0890117120970334d.
“'The Health of the Country Depends Upon the Health of the Negro': Nature of Pandemics and Protests in the 20th and 21st Centuries”. Invited Co-Presenter to Spring 2021 Nature and Health Symposium. Nature and Health at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, April 28, 2021.
“The Color of Greenspace: Optimizing the Value of Nature and Open Space for Everyone”. Invited Speaker to 2021 Land Conservation Conference Webinar Series. Forever Maryland Foundation. Forest Hill, Maryland, March 31, 2021
“NatureRx@UMD: Origination, Launch, Roadblocks and Goals”. Invited Speaker to Campus Nature Rx Symposium. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, October 23, 2020.