I’m writing this article to spread the word about the best kept secret at Trent.

This “best kept secret” is community-based education, and I would like to take this opportunity to share some information about C-Links, the community-based education organization in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

C-Links, the Community Links Centre for Community-Based Projects and Social Mapping, was established in 2011, but is still relatively new compared to our sister organizations that the Trent community may be more familiar with, such as the Trent Centre for Community-Based Education (TCCBE Peterborough) and U-Links Centre for Community-Based Research (U-Links Haliburton).

Our work is very similar to what the TCCBE and U-Links do, but our jurisdiction is the City of Kawartha Lakes, a single-tiered municipality that is located west of Peterborough County and southwest of Haliburton County.

Our three organizations provide students with the opportunity to obtain course credits while completing interesting and challenging research projects in our respective communities.

The C-Links office is located at the Frost Campus of Fleming College in Lindsay, the largest centre in the City of Kawartha Lakes. The City of Kawartha Lakes was formed in 2001 by the amalgamation of the 18 previous municipalities of the former Victoria County.

Communities located in the City of Kawartha Lakes include Lindsay, Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, Omemee, Pontypool, and Coboconk.

In the past two years, C-Links has worked with students in the Geography, International Development Studies, and Forensic Science departments at Trent. Projects have involved surveying trail use in neighbourhoods based on the proximity to trails of these neighbourhoods, collecting oral histories of farmers in the City of Kawartha Lakes, mapping and providing information about trails in a local forest area for the municipality’s tourism department, and a priority setting exercise about common injuries in the community to assist with injury prevention campaigns.

Projects that are available at present provide opportunities for students to conduct research for the municipality, the local conservation authority or local not-for-profits. Project descriptions can be found on the list of available projects on the TCCBE website (www.trentcentre.ca).

C-Links also works with students at Fleming College. The majority of the students we work with are those from the Lindsay Campus, which is the location of the School of Environmental and Natural and Resource Sciences, but opportunities are also available for students at the Brealey campus to take on a project in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Expanding community-based education opportunities in the City of Kawartha Lakes has been an exciting opportunity for C-Links, and we are looking forward to getting even more students involved in community-based projects based in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

If you are interested in learning more about projects in the City of Kawartha Lakes, contact Project Coordinator Shantal Ingram at [email protected] or (705) 324-9144 ext. 3092. To learn more about C-Links, please visit our website www.c-links.ca or check us out on Twitter: @CLinks_CKL.