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Referred to as "the Beach," the grassy hill between the two buildings that comprise Gregory College House (Van Pelt Manor and Class of 1925) draws people to study and hang out on warm, sunny days. Credit: Carson Kahoe

Penn’s Office of Sustainability is trying to get students out of the library and into the sun this April.

For the first time, the Office of Sustainability will open its annual 30x30 Challenge to Penn students, in addition to Penn faculty and staff. This challenge, which began in 2014, encourages the Penn community to spend thirty minutes outside for the thirty days of the month.

“Go out and appreciate nature, learn about local ecology and the environment, and just give yourself a little break,” Penn’s Environmental Sustainability Director Dan Garofalo said to the Penn Current.

The Office of Sustainability is hosting outdoor group activities throughout the month, including a Schuykill River Trail Walk this Thursday and a Full Moon night hike on April 10. The person who signs up for the most events and uploads the best pictures will be entered to win a hand-painted S'well water bottle.

The Sustainability Office has also partnered with Campus Health and Campus Recreation to host a free afternoon yoga session on Shoemaker Green on April 9. 

As a part of this month-long challenge, the Office of Sustainability is also outlining weekly challenges. For the first week of April, the challenges include reading outside, walking or biking somewhere new, and posting a selfie of yourself in nature in the Penn 30x30 Cluster group.

“Studies show Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors," Karema Seliem, intern in the Office of Sustainability and an organizer of the challenge, told the Penn Current.  "This Challenge is a good way to get people together, get them involved with Penn sustainability, and also help with mental health and overall happiness."