Stauss and her son, Forrest Mickey, 14, an eighth grader at the Greenmount School in Remington, went to Druid Hill Park on April 17, after Mickey got out of school, and tried out the passport and map.
"We really liked that there are drawing, counting, reading, smelling, listening and poetry activities and the treasure hunt quality of it," Stauss said.
Also a fan of the new passport is Tom Orth, of Bolton Hill, a member and past president of Friends of Druid Hill Park.
"The passport supports the message that Druid Hill Park is the place to be," said Orth, who conducts night hikes and historic walking tours of the park. "My participants are amazed at the size of the park, its rich history and many activities that are here to enjoy," he said, citing as examples festivals, the zoo, running and biking trails, baseball leagues and a swimming pool.
Kickstarting public interest
Felsten raised $12,800 for the passport, mostly from 215 donors on the fundraising website http://www.kickstarter.com and a Partnership for Parks grant through the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, administered by the Wyman Park-based Parks and People Foundation. She has printed 5,000 passports.
On the Kickstarter site is a video that explains the passport project and gives a brief tour of the Druid Hill Park and its attractions.
"There is much more to see. The passport will lead you on," Felsten says in the video, which was produced by Chris Hartlove, of Roland Park.
Felsten said she would like to do passports and maps for other city parks, too.
But she said she started with Druid Hill Park because, "It's the central park of the city. It's got so much historic resonance. It's got something for everyone."