Norman Bird Sanctuary and Newport String Project have announced the launch of an innovative musical collaboration. The two Rhode Island nonprofit organizations invite nature-lovers to put a musical twist on their walking experience.

Beginning with Earth Week on April 19 and continuing through the summer solstice on June 20, individuals will have the chance to enjoy “Musical Hikes,” a unique opportunity to listen to music before, during, or after exploring the hiking trails at Norman Bird Sanctuary. The Newport String Project has curated and recorded a playlist inspired by some of the most scenic views of Norman Bird Sanctuary’s 325-acre landscape. 

“Over the past year, the benefit of spending time outside has taken on new meaning for mental and physical health,” said Kaity Ryan, Executive Director of the Norman Bird Sanctuary in a statement. “We are delighted to collaborate with the Newport String Project to bring a new musical dimension to the experience of exploring and connecting with nature.”

“Nature and music are such powerful resources for wellbeing and inspiration, particularly right now. Our hope is that Musical Hikes will allow participants to bring these elements together in a way that is personally meaningful and restorative,” said Ealain McMullin, Director of the Newport String Project in a statement. “It was a joy to put these performances together and we are excited to see what happens when we release this music ‘into the wild’. We look forward to seeing the creative ways that people incorporate the music into their explorations of the spectacular trails at the Norman Bird Sanctuary.”

To take part in “Musical Hikes,” participants are asked to register on the Newport String Project website where they will receive instructions on how to download or stream the music and purchase Norman Bird Sanctuary trail passes. Participants are encouraged to make a suggested donation of $25 to support the Newport String Project. If listening while hiking, participants should plan to use their own earbuds. 

The Newport String Project is a nonprofit organization that offers an accessible environment for both classical and traditional music styles. Founded in 2012, the chamber music performance and youth mentoring initiative is centered around the authentic relationships between professional musicians and the broader Newport community. The Newport String Project offers year-round concerts which are hosted throughout Newport, Rhode Island. 

For over seventy years, Norman Bird Sanctuary has served as a wildlife refuge and environmental education center. Stewarding the largest contiguous open space on Aquidneck Island, Norman Bird Sanctuary provides access to nature while conserving critical wildlife habitat. Norman Bird Sanctuary’s trails are open to the public seven days a week, from 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.