1,000 Hours Outside Challenge
In 2010, a global movement called the 1,000 Hours Outside Challenge was initiated in response to the rising concern that children are spending too little time outside, and too much time in front of screens. In 2023, Land Trust stewardship assistant, Taylor Schmuki, and her family attempted the feat, and the following is their motivation and experience taking part in this challenge last year:
We call ourselves the Chapuki Family (Chapman/Schmuki Family), and we spend a lot of time outside. In 2023, however, we decided to tackle the 1,000 Hours Outside Challenge. It wasn’t our first attempt. We tried and fell just short of the 1,000-hour goal in 2022. But with both of us taking parental leave (our youngest was born in November 2022), we felt up to the challenge and thought this could be the year!
Our family consists of a loyal dog, a curious baby, a nature-loving toddler, and two working parents. So realistically, most of our hours would need to be achieved close to home, on Whidbey Island. Between the needs of our little humans, the cost of travel, and hours lost in travel (not to mention the carbon footprint), island adventures seemed like the best fit for us. And lucky for us, Whidbey offers an amazing variety of outdoor destinations — many of which are protected by the Whidbey Camano Land Trust.
As you might expect, our year involved a wide variety of outdoor activities and experiences. In the winter, the girls hiked Strawberry Point Preserve and biked around the Trustland Trails. Come spring, we enjoyed the view of the blooming prairie flowers at Admiralty Inlet Preserve and even helped to remove thistle at a Land Trust work party at Keystone Preserve. Of course, for our young kids “removing” thistles was more about eating snacks and looking at plants, but we were together outdoors. Summer brought beach days at Glendale Beach Preserve and berry picking at Possession Sound Preserve. And the fall included mushroom hunting in Putney Woods and exploring the Walking Ebey’s Trail System in Coupeville.
By the end of 2023, our family had visited many locations, 19 of them protected by the Land Trust. And for all our hard work and fun, our family successfully enjoyed 1,025 hours outside!
Whether you’re looking for an outdoor challenge this year, or just seeking fun and beautiful places to explore, check out the Whidbey Camano Land Trust’s interactive map. Try out volunteering at a work party or join a tour. But most of all, find an excuse to enjoy these beautiful islands this upcoming year!