U-Links Centre for Community-Based Research is interested in joining the CBR Canada community in order to expand our network of community-minded individuals, to share ideas, strategies, and research outcomes. We are active within the Community-Campus Engage Canada (CCEC) community, as well as our home community of Haliburton County.
Established in 1999, the U-Links Centre for Community-Based Research works with community partners, faculty and students to deliver research and community service-learning services to Haliburton County. We partner local organizations with faculty and students from Trent University and Fleming College to explore important research questions and increase the capacity of organizations through community service-learning initiatives. The result is lasting relationships and tangible benefits to the social, cultural, environmental and/or economic life of Haliburton County.
This research is logged in our publicly accessible database and shared each year at our Celebration of Research Event every March. Some notable projects from this past year include an investigation into single use plastics at local farmer’s markets, a study on youth retention and out migration in a rural community, a needs assessment for a new arts centre, a species summary of eastern moose in the region, and a site assessment and plan to redesign a parking lot space. Our largest initiative over the past year has been the pilot of our Biomonitoring Program throughout Haliburton County. In the past year, we partnered with 6 lake associations and conducted benthic biomonitoring in the lakes’ near shore areas with students from both Trent University and Fleming College. We also help support the Muskoka-Haliburton-Kawartha Children’s Water Festival, including making arrangements with student volunteers from Trent, Fleming, and a high school program for Youth Leadership in Sustainability.
Future plans include expanding our biomonitoring program to include more lakes in the region, as well as expanding into terrestrial biomonitoring with local community partners, and working with more departments and programs at Trent University and Fleming College. U-Links welcomes new and returning community partners with research needs that serve the broader community.
For more information on our model and impact, please refer to the article Brokering Community-Based Research: Evaluating the Impact of U-Links Centre for Community-Based Research on a Rural Canadian County, in the Michigan Journal of Community-Service Learning (https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?cc=mjcsloa;c=mjcsl;c=mjcsloa;idno=3239521.0026.107;view=text;rgn=main;xc=1;g=mjcslg). The lead author of the piece, Emily Amon, is a past student researcher at the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as a former U-Links employee.