How do you stimulate today’s youth to become stewards of natural areas?  Take a group of UNB Renaissance College students and have them invent a new way of placing New Brunswick’s nature preserves on the radar of young people.  The result is a program that draws on the visual arts, music and skill development to make a lasting difference to the Nature Trust of New Brunswick.

As part of their Community Problem Solving course at Renaissance College, students form partnerships with local organizations to work on projects within the community.  In addition to contributing to community success, students enhance their problem solving, project management and communication abilities. 

“The students impressed me,” said the Nature Trust Executive Director Renata Woodward.  “We discussed ideas, but they created their own unique project that made absolute sense.” 

The students quickly zeroed in on a key to building engagement:  for people to care about these unique natural places they have to physically see them and experience them.  This in turn helps build ownership of natural areas.  The program recognizes the human connection to nature and the risk of a generation growing up without that connection.

The campaign uses art, music, and skill development to engage young people.  A range of artists will conduct art workshops using different mediums on the preserves across the province.  Musicians will be invited to preserves to record take-away music videos in the natural environments for The New Brunswick Nature Sessions.  This will create an archive of online music videos and will provide exposure for musicians and the preserves.  The Skills development portion has two components: the first will expose participants to biological surveys focused on research and data collection with energetic herpetologist Greg Jongsmaa, the second involves outdoor workshops on leadership, communication and problem solving using nature as both a backdrop and a teacher. 

The team has developed a website where one can learn more about the project, upcoming events and view the Brunswick Youth in Nature Campaign promotional video.  If you would like to take part, search for the ‘New Brunswick Youth in Nature Campaign’ on Facebook or Twitter, or go to their website - www.nbync.ca.  The first event will be a workshop by artist Sarah Grass at Hyla Park on the north side of Fredericton this Saturday, February 18 (more information can be found at www.nbync.ca). 

Renaissance College students Aaron Saunders and Kelsey Wilson from Fredericton, Bethany Young  from  Quispamsis, Jennifer MacArthur from St. Stephen, Joe Crawford from Alberta, and Olivia Fogel from Toronto have been developing their fresh approach since September and are now beginning to register participants for programs that will run from now until next summer.

Further information contact

Nature Trust – Renata Woodward, Executive Director (506) 457-2398 naturetrust@ntnb.org">naturetrust@ntnb.org

Student Joe Crawford will speak for the students (506) 261-7122 c6242@unb.ca">c6242@unb.ca

All of the students can be reached by group e-mail at nbync1@gmail.com">nbync1@gmail.com .

Photo attached

Bethany Young from Quispamsis is one of six Renaissance College students developing a youth engagement program in partnership with the Nature Trust.  Bethany is featured in a promotional poster for the program which is designed to open the eyes of young people and immerse them into the natural environment through the visual arts, music and skills development.

Renaissance College is the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Interdisciplinary Leadership where students become leaders in all sectors of society through a unique experiential and collaborative learning program.   Students experience engaging   academic programs, practical skills development, and interdisciplinary thinking through problem-based learning, a Canadian Internship and an International Internship to name several.  As part of the program, they also work with community partners to address important challenges.

Nature Trust acquires and stewards a system of nature preserves representing a diversity of ecosystems in New Brunswick.  The organization promotes respect for and knowledge of New Brunswick’s natural surroundings. The nature trust manages 32 properties, totaling more than 5,000 acres of important and diverse habitat. 

Preserves are identified here.

The campaign will use preserves that run from Woodstock through Fredericton, Oromocto and Sussex to Saint John to St. Stephen.

News from Groups Archives

Upcoming Events

Smart Shift Summit
Mon, Mar 27th, 2017
Delta Beauséjour Hotel

Understanding Environmental Management and Policymaking to Better Engage and Contribute Policy course
Wed, Mar 29th, 2017
University of New Brunswick

Deadline for nominations for the Gulf of Maine Council 2017 Awards
Fri, Mar 31st, 2017

Action Alerts

ACTION ALERT: Reinstate funding to the Canadian Environmental Network

Friday, 03 February 2017
by Raissa Marks
The Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks need your help!

Historically, the Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks including the NBEN received annual core funding from the Government of Canada. This was used to facilitate networking on environmental issues across the country, coordinate national and provincial issue-based caucuses, coordinate ENGO participation in federal public consultation processes, and maintain open lines of communication between ENGOs and the federal government.

In 2011, as part of the across-the-board cuts to civil society organizations by the previous federal government, all federal funding to the RCEN and its provincial affiliate networks was cut. This left the national network and most of the affiliates with functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work.

There is hope that the current government will provide for renewed funding in its upcoming budget. This funding is crucial for the survival of the national network and many of the provincial affiliate networks. A proposal has been submitted. It now needs strong and immediate support from environmental groups and individuals across the country.

This is where you come in!

Please take a few minutes to write to Prime Minister Trudeau and your MP telling them why you value the RCEN, your provincial affiliate network, or environmental networking at the national level in general. Feel free to use the template letter provided below. You can personalize it based on your experience or simply copy and paste.

Trudeau’s email is justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca and you can find your MP’s email here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

Let’s show our federal politicians that a strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada!

Draft Template Letter:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to ask that annual core funding to the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) be reinstated.

Historically, the RCEN provided a crucial link between environmental groups across the country, both large and small. This link was vital in helping communities address environmental issues right across the country and ensuring a robust approach to the development of environmental policy in Canada.

Since funding was cut in 2011, the RCEN and most of its provincial affiliate networks have been functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work. This is not acceptable. A strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada. I urge you to reinstate core funding for this crucial work immediately.

Sincerely,

Still Time to Submit Comments - Snowmobile Trail Development up Mount Carleton

Monday, 21 November 2016
by Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - New Brunswick Chapter
You can still send in your comments until end of day Nov 21 (Monday) on the environmental assessment report about the proposed snowmobile trail at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. If you're not sure what to say, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - NB Chapter has summarized some of our key messages here: http://cpawsnb.org/images/upload/key_messages_EIA.pdf

Please send comments or questions to: lynn.white@gnb.ca or mail to: Lynn White, Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1.