Baltimost: Sharon Buie, founder of Recreation Chariot

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Photo courtesy of Sharon Buie

Baltimost is a Baltimore Fishbowl feature series that asks locals what they love about their city. The idea is to celebrate Baltimore and the people who make it so unique.

So what makes Baltimore the Baltimost to you? It could be a favorite place, a great meal, a memorable interaction or something else entirely. Email suggestions to Karen at [email protected]

Sharon Buie, 57, is the owner of Recreation Chariot, which provides therapy through outdoor activities like hiking, biking and more. In her words:

“When one of my foster daughters was 15, I took her to Ocean City. She had never seen the beach. She grew up in Baltimore and had never even been to the harbor. She was so amazed by the ocean, she sat outside on the balcony all night looking at the water. To this day, that is one of my most precious memories.

I strongly believe in leisure and recreation as essential to therapy. Outdoor activity is rehabilitative to just about everyone, including drug users, domestic violence victims, the elderly and young people aging out of foster care without support systems. That’s what my company, Recreation Chariot, provides.

There are not a lot of African-American women in outdoor recreation. But I’ve always been an outside person. I like water activities, like kayaking on the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River.

I have five children, ages 10 to 30. I was a foster parent for 18 years, starting in 1995. I always took in teens. I had ones who were suicidal, homicidal or schizophrenic. Caring for them came easy for me because I listened. I heard their pain and supported their journey.

When my kids were young, they didn’t watch TV. We played games, went outside. I would drive all over town to take my kids to different playgrounds. Sometimes they’d do their homework at the park and we’d cook out.

There are so many free and affordable activities in Baltimore. You can pack your lunch and go to a park. Pools in the city are $2–cheaper than a cup of coffee.

Rec and Parks has a Rides Around the Lake program. They give you a bike to take around Lake Montebello, and even give a riding lesson if you need it.

Leakin Park has a lot of great trails. One thing I love in Baltimore is the Gwynns Falls Trail. It’s 15 miles long, and you can take it from the city to Baltimore County. I like to walk to the Carrie Murray Nature Center. It’s free, and they have a lot of activities.

I just want the city kids to go outside, and the city parents to go outside. There’s so much to do in Baltimore.”



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