magnolia tree

30x30 Challenge

Penn's Month-long Outdoors Program

It's time to get outside! The 30x30 Challenge is an effort to encourage the Penn community to get outside, learn about local ecology, and appreciate the beauty of nature. Join Penn's 30x30 Challenge and challenge yourself to spend at least 30 minutes outdoors in nature each day for all 30 days of April. The Challenge runs from April 1 - 30. 

Did you know that Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, according to the EPA? Over the last decade, researchers have been documenting what many of us know intuitively- that nature is good for our health and well-being. Regularly immersing yourself in a natural setting-like a park, forest, or field- can reduce stress while boosting immunity, energy levels, and creativity.



By participating in various activities, you'll have the opportunity to win a hand-painted S'well Bottle! Participants will receive other give-aways throughout the month by attending events. 30x30 is open to all Penn students, staff and faculty.


The registration link will be posted in March 2018. Questions? Email


See past events here:

30x30 2017 Group Activities

Apri 3 
Kick-Off Picnic
College Green, by Peace statue
April 6
Schuylkill River Trail Walk
Register HERE
Meet in front of the Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 
April 9

Relax with Free Yoga - Hosted by Campus Rec and Campus Health

Register HERE


Shoemaker Green

April 10

Outdoor Adventure's Full Moon Night Hike

Register HERE

April 14 Student Sustainability Association at Penn (SSAP) Green Fest Time TBD
Locust Walk/College Green
April 16  Penn Hillel Passover Hike and Picnic at Wissahickon Park TBD

April 18

Lemonade & Cookies Stand

College Green, in front of Peace statue

April 22


Earth Day!

(Check out the Schuylkill Center's Naturepalooza)

April 26

Campus Ecology Tour

Register HERE


Shoemaker Green, in front of the Palestra

April 27 Penn Relays Franklin Field
April 28

Outdoor Adventure's Rock Climbing at Ralph Stover State Park

Register HERE



April 28   Human Resources Wellness Walk


Starts College Green in front of the Ben Franklin statue

More events to come! Stay tuned.


Download Our Poster

Click on the image to download a PDF.















Where can I find nearby nature?
Nature isn’t a destination—it’s literally in your backyard. Green space is as close as your neighbourhood park or garden. Community gardens, trails, parks, and open, natural areas are often a short diversion from your daily route. Birds, bees and other critters are always nearby. You just have to take time to watch and listen.

What counts as “time in nature”?
Good question! It’s simple: time in nature is about getting outside and taking time to notice and connect with the non-human life around you.

Time in nature is not always the same as being outside — most busy city thoroughfares aren’t very green or calming. But the good news for urban dwellers is that even small green spaces are beneficial if you relax and pay attention to nature when you’re there. We recommend putting your electronic devices away so you can use all your senses to listen for bird song, breathe fresh air and watch for local wildlife.

Can you give me some ideas for spending 30 minutes in nature during the workday?

  • Walk or bike to work
  • Eat your lunch outside
  • Explore a neighborhood park
  • Hold a meeting outdoors
  • Go for a run outside instead of at the gym
  • For more ideas, check out our weekly challenges, below. 

I missed a day – can I still participate in the Challenge?
Of course! The Challenge isn’t about being perfect. We want to encourage the Penn community to get outside and enjoy nature more often. Little by little, you can cultivate the nature habit.


Weekly Challenges

Week 1:

Take your reading outside--find your favorite shady (or sunny!) spot and enjoy the outdoors as you enjoy the newspaper or some literature.

Take a #natureselfie! Post it to the 30x30 Cluster group, or use the hashtags #30x30 and #natureselfie. Or just send the picture to friends and family. 

Bike or walk somewhere you've never been before. Explore your own neighborhood or one you've been wanting to check out.

Week 2:

Take a photo that captures the detail of a plant or other natural object.

Find a cool bug or plant, and try to identify it's species using online field guides.

Take a pencil and paper outside with you. Sketch what you see, write a poem, or just reflect on the day.

Go for a walk at night. Look and listen for animals and critters that you normally wouldn't see or hear during the day.

Week 3:

Listen. Take some time to sit outside, close your eyes, and use your ears to take in your surroundings.

Suggest a walking meeting or outdoor meeting.

Skip the gym. Go on a run or bike ride instead.

Get your hands dirty in a garden. 

Week 4:

Eat lunch outside- bring your coworkers to a new park, or find a big tree to sit underneath.

Go on a hike this weekend. There are lots of short, beautiful day hikes in the Philadelphia region.

Walk a dog. Volunteer to take a friend's or neighbor's dog on a walk for them, if you don't have your own. 

Make a barbeque dinner and eat outside with your family.

And check out more tips from the David Suzuki Foundation!

UPenn Green Campus Logo

Penn Sustainability

3101 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Facebook Icon   Twitter Icon   Youtube Icon   Flickr Icon   Instagram