(NBC Health News) by SHAMARD CHARLES, MD - For many patients, like Lauren Huddle, 31, a big dose of Mother Nature is exactly what she needs after a stressful day. 

“I have pretty bad anxiety and depression,” said Huddle of Bellingham, Washington. “And I don't do well with pharmaceuticals, so my husband Nate would actually tell me all the time, ‘just go outside, you'll feel so much better.’"

And that’s exactly the plan that Lauren and her doctor laid out. 

MIAMI COUNTY — There’s a new face to be found among the flora and fauna of the county’s numerous parks, but this one’s not of the four-footed variety. This newcomer makes his rounds throughout the park district, protecting natural resources and serving the many visitors who pass through to hike, fish, and enjoy other activities.

Meet Cory Reis, the newest member of the Miami County Park District’s ranger force, who was hired approximately two months ago.

There is an extremely important item up for vote in November. You will be asked to support the Miami County Park District by approving their request for a tax levy, and I urge you to vote “For” it.

TROY — As the Miami County Park District continues to welcome more visitors each year, it has seen expanded programming and more budget demands.

After operating off a 1.1-mill levy since 2001, the board in November is asking voters countywide to approve a 1.5 mill, 10-year replacement levy with the increase.

“We have been at the same millage for 15 years and have done a great job of managing those funds to get to this point,” said Scott Myers, park district executive director.

Alexa Bade, 5, of Troy, takes a leap into the hay at the Miami County Park District’s Fall Farm Fest at Lost Creek Reserve, 2645 E. State Route 41, east of Troy. Continuing through today, there is a corn maze and corn shooter, music, hayrides, games, farm animals, kiddie tractor pulls, food, a scarecrow contest, demonstrations and much more. Festival admission is free. Charges apply to corn maze, corn shooter, food, pumpkins, pony rides, food and merchandise. For more information and a complete event schedule, visit the park district website at www.MiamiCountyParks.com.

By Sam Wildow

PIQUA — Kids are already receiving hands-on learning in their second week back to school, as parks personnel and teachers teamed up to teach students how people impact an environment’s water supply.

The Miami County Parks District visited Piqua Central Intermediate School on Monday and Tuesday as part of their watershed program.

“It’s a program by the Miami County Parks,” PCIS teacher Joyce Bostick said. “Kids are learning about (how) what we do to the environment affects our water.”

Mike Ullery | Daily Call...Alexandria Williams, a fifth-grader at Piqua Central Intermediate School tries to catch an apple, one of many activities at Farm Day, sponsored by Hartzell, at Miami County Park District’s Lostcreek Reserve on Friday.

Workers from Piqua City Schools, Hartzell Air Movement, and the Miami County Park District teach Piqua Central Intermediate School students about bees and pollination, front, while another group take a hayride, during Farm Day at Lostcreek Reserve on Friday.

by Cecilia Fox...TIPP CITY — Returning to Miami County for the first time in more than 20 years, Barbara Huston was overwhelmed by memories.

“I’ve been on such a roller coaster,” she said.

Her late husband Scott was the county’s first park district director and she had not been back to the area since his memorial service.

Huston, standing at the waterfall overlook in Charleston Falls Preserve, said she was overwhelmed, but pleased to see how the parks have grown.