/Municipalities plan to take advantage of U-Links program

Municipalities plan to take advantage of U-Links program

By Chad Ingram

Published March 8 2018

A program offered by the U-Links Centre for Community-Based Research could prove useful for local municipalities.

U-Links director Sonja Addison visited Haliburton County councillors during a Feb. 28 meeting telling them about the centre’s community services learning stream.

U-Links facilitates research projects conducted by Trent University students.

“What is community service learning?” Addison said. “It’s a meaningful community service that integrates also learning strategy and experience for students.”

Typically community service learning projects are short-term ones perhaps two to three days in length.

Addison gave examples such as beautification projects or collecting traffic data or environmental data or even starting a community garden.

She said that Trent University would like to increase the number of research projects happening in Haliburton County.

“They would like to scale up what’s happening in the county as it relates to community-based research and community service learning” Addison said. “We felt one of the ways to do this might be to offer community service learning opportunities. So think about what might benefit your respective municipalities and also to the county.”

That sounded enticing to councillors.

“I was particularly interested in learning about community service learning because I think they’ll be a really big uptake on that.” said Highlands East Deputy Mayor and County Warden Suzanne Partridge who added she could think of a number of opportunities.

“I think there’s a lot of potential as well there” said Algonquin Highlands Mayor Carol Moffatt.

Moffatt wondered if the projects needed to be organized by townships before they are completed by students.

“I’m assuming then because it’s so short-term that projects have to be in place?” she asked.

Addison said that often organization of community service learning projects is done is advance but said there was potential for joint planning of projects.

This year’s U-Links Celebration of Research where students share their projects with the community will take place on Saturday March 24 at auditorium at the Minden hospital from 1 to 4 p.m.