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In this year of adventure at Ellsworth Public Library, we invite you to take part in an opportunity to learn more about the benefits of time outdoors, to become more mindful about the time you spend outdoors and to become more intentional with that time.

Quick Facts About 1000 Hours Outside

What is 1000 Hours Outside?

  • a movement started by Virginia Yurich to match screen time with green time
  • an aspirational goal to spend 1000 Hours Outside in a year

Who can participate?

  • individuals
  • families
  • couples
  • teens
  • nature lovers
  • indoors lovers
  • anyone who wants to get outside to improve their mental health or for better self-care

When to participate?

  • Anytime! For a month, a year or a season.

Where to participate?

  • Anywhere in the outdoors – parks, porches, backyards, fields, forests, rivers, lakes, in a tree.

Why participate?

The reasons will be different for everyone:

  • mental health
  • exercise
  • add play into your routine
  • family time
  • connecting with nature for calming and self care

How to participate?

Set your own goal(s) and start date. Pick up a tracker at the library, use an app, record in your own journal or calendar.

1000 Hours Outside IS…an invitation.

1000 Hours Outside IS NOT…

  • for everyone
  • another expectation
  • pressure to do one more thing
  • about perfection 


American children spend 4-7 minutes on average per day in unstructured outdoor play.

The average American child spends 5-8 hours a day in front of a screen.

1000 Hours Outside is a global movement started by Virginia Yurich to match screen time with green time.

Throughout the year, Ellsworth Public Library will:

  • provide program opportunities to spend time outdoors, will share additional community opportunities to get outside and ideas for activities and ways to build outdoor time into your already busy days.
  • provide opportunities to learn more about the physical, emotional and social benefits of time outdoors.
  • pair this challenge with our Adventures in Reading challenges and Summer Library Program.

Ways to participate:

  • 1000 hours could feel overwhelming. This is an aspirational goal and not for everyone. Set your own goal. How much time do you spend outdoors now? What might be the right goal for your family to challenge yourself to spend a bit more time outside?
  • Try it for a couple of months, track your time and record how you feel after time outdoors.
  • The 1000 hours can be done 10-15 minutes at a time – in your own backyard – in your own neighborhood.
  • The 1000 hours doesn’t have to be active – read outside in a tree or hammock, watch the stars, gaze at the moon, ride your bike around the block, walk to school, church or the library.