Doug’s Fish Fry Helps Us Put Nature in Your Hands

by Meg Schader, Development Coordinator

From sponsoring our Run for the Woods each year to providing a coupon for a free fish sandwich for all of our new members, Doug’s Fish Fry has helped us put nature in your hands and in the hands of local children for many years.

Giving kids a chance to explore and be part of nature is a priority for Mark Teasdale-Edwards, owner of Doug’s Fish Fry. Teasdale-Edwards says, “A lot of kids don’t really know what nature is.” One of the reasons he supports Baltimore Woods Nature Center is because he wants to help provide a place for children to get outside, discover nature, and spend time with family.

Teasdale-Edwards believes it is essential to protect the environment for future generations. He says, “We are the caretakers, and this is where our kids are growing up.” This perspective helps guide Teasdale-Edwards’ business decisions—he is always trying to be conscious of the environment and thinking about how to make his business more sustainable. For instance, he recently decided to switch to a “strawless” cup lid to reduce the number of plastic straws used at Doug’s. Teasdale-Edwards buys oil for his fryers in bulk to reduce packaging and provides paper bags for take-out instead of plastic. He is currently researching alternatives for the Styrofoam cups used for soups and coleslaw.

This ethic of appreciation and stewardship of the environment was instilled in Teasdale-Edwards at a young age. Many of his fondest childhood memories are from tent camping trips with his parents and three siblings. Teasdale-Edwards says the adventures were low budget and very basic, but the important thing is that his parents made time for his family to spend together in nature.

With two teenagers of his own now, Teasdale-Edwards makes time to spend outside with his kids these days. A few years ago, he chaperoned his daughter’s field trip to Baltimore Woods, and he still likes to watch the video that he took of her tapping a maple tree. He appreciates that Baltimore Woods is so close to home, and he supports The Woods because he thinks it is a valuable resource for local families.

Support of the community was also important to Doug Clark, the “flounder” of Doug’s Fish Fry. Clark started the business in 1982, and Teasdale-Edwards bought it from him about twenty years ago. When Clark passed away last September, it was a huge personal loss for Teasdale-Edwards. Clark was a mentor and friend to Teasdale-Edwards, and he always served as the public face of Doug’s Fish Fry, attending events and doing things like blowing the horn to start the trail race at Baltimore Woods each fall.

Teasdale-Edwards strives each day to maintain the high bar of quality food and service that Clark set when he opened Doug’s thirty-eight years ago. His commitment to the community and local organizations is yet another way that Edwards honors the memory of Doug Clark.