Six Renaissance College students launched the Youth in Nature Campaign as part of their community problem-solving course with the goal of getting young people involved with the Nature Trust of New Brunswick.

The idea behind the campaign was to invite young people into Nature Trust nature preserves through music and art.

Cape Breton singer/songwriter, Breagh Mackinnon, was one of 13 performers or groups who recorded videos in Nature Trust preserves.

Filming a video for the Nature Trust of New Brunswick’s Youth in Nature campaign was an unforgettable experience, says Mackinnon.

“Playing music in such a beautiful location was truly surreal. I’m proud to play a part in the campaign to raise awareness for these beautiful spaces in New Brunswick, and the need to preserve them,” she said.

The video for Mackinnon’s “Bright Future” was recorded at Belding’s Reef Nature Preserve. It stretches along 5.7 hectares (14 acres) of rugged coastline on the Bay of Fundy, minutes from the village of Chance Harbour, near Saint John. The preserve has a mature coastal forest of red spruce, balsam fir, and mountain ash, rolling ocean swells breaking on reefs and red shale cliffs and spectacular views of the Bay of Fundy.

The videos were filmed and edited by Joseph Crawford, one of the Renaissance College students.

“The short music films were a way of utilizing the thriving music scene in New Brunswick and accessing a greater audience,” Crawford said. “We hoped that capturing music artists’ experiences in natural spaces would inspire others to venture out into those places.”

“Many music artists are respected and idolized individuals who have great influence over young people. If they care and have time for natural spaces, maybe their fan base will come to a similar conclusion.”

UNB’s Renaissance College’s community problem-solving course allows students and faculty to partner with community-based resource people and local organizations to identify a complex community issue that will serve as the focus for an action research project.

The Renaissance College philosophy is to help students become leaders in whatever career they choose. Recognizing the need for skilled leaders in all sectors of our society, the college fosters strong academic development, practical leadership skills and critical thinking in a unique and comprehensive program, which includes working with community organizations, like the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, to make a real and profound impact locally.

In addition, students complete international internship programs where they are given the opportunity to learn through community-based service learning projects abroad.

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