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.
Multiple 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 even a few hours each week exploring the great natural beauty of the UMD campus. As such, NatureRx@UMD will serve as a living laboratory for the greater UMD community to facilitate our ability to self-reflect, connect, serve and thrive.