by Jenna Snelgrove, Community Environmental Sustainability (Peterborough-Haliburton) hub RA

A young woman stands in front of a tree wrapped with a pink ribbon, marking it for biomonitoring purposes.

Jenna Snelgrove conducting Biomonitoring in the Haliburton Highlands. ©Jenna Snelgrove

Working as a CFICE Research Assistant with the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust, Abbey Gardens, U-Links, and Trent University in the Community Environmental Sustainability Hub of Peterborough and Haliburton has allowed me to appreciate the importance of building lasting community partnerships while increasing civic engagement.

First, I received the chance to enjoy the natural areas of Haliburton County by completing field biomonitoring for amphibians. In addition, my main focus was creating public event packages to encourage citizens to learn more about wildlife and land stewardship in their own community. By putting my environmental sciences education to use, I have been able to provide necessary research to enable these organizations to host annual events that teach citizens how to thrive as naturalists in their own ecosystems.


My work aims to support the objectives of these two organizations simultaneously while deepening their partnership together. It is our hope that participation in these events will not only garner more donations to support their community contributions, it will also increase overall stewardship awareness in the County.

As Shelia Ziman, Past-Chair of the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust distinguishes; the resulting hope of this awareness is that “…specific information or lessons learned from these events are put into concrete practice in participants’ own backyards.” This thought is shared by Heather Reid, Operations Director at Abbey Gardens, who defines the fundamental goal of this project as “to present opportunities for people to engage with their environment and live a little more lightly.”

Ultimately my research assistantship has highlighted the significance of working together to reach the unified vision of long-term sustainability.