The Trails and Social Enterprise Research Project is looking for your input!

Are you a trail organization in Ontario or Atlantic Canada that advocates for or operates, manages or stewards trail? If so, we'd love to hear from you about your organization or groups' awareness and use of the principles of social enterprise and collective impact in the Canadian trails industry and associated sectors, and how you undertake strategic planning.


Trails and Social Enterprise Research Project

The Trails and Social Enterprise Research Project is a joint collaboration between the researchers affiliated with the Trail Research Hub and the University of Waterloo's Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.


The purpose of this study is to aid in the collecting of data regarding the awareness and use of the principles of social enterprise and collective impact in the Canadian trails industry and associated sectors. The Trails and Social Enterprise Research Project explores the attributes of resilient and adaptive community-based trail organizations with the aim of creating a governance model for trail organizations, based on the principles of collective impact and social enterprise, which will increase their resiliency, adaptability, and capacity to respond to critical stressors like the COVID-19 Pandemic, historic barriers like under-funding / under-resourcing, and future challenges, like climate change.

The results of this study will inform the development of a governance model for trail organizations, based on the principles of collective impact and social enterprise, while fostering meaningful opportunities for engagement with local, regional and national stakeholders and indigenous communities in planning for sustainable trail development, maintenance, and management. This model aims to improve the resiliency, adaptability, and capacity of, and good governance among, stakeholder organizations within the Canadian trails industry and associated sectors while contributing to the long-term viability of the trails industry in Canada.


How to Participate in the Trails and Social Enterprise Research Project

We are seeking to recruit representatives from trail organizations located in Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. As such, this study will recruit representatives (members of the Executive, senior staff members, Board Members, designated organizational representatives, and / or long-term volunteers) from trail organizations that advocate for or operate, manage or steward trail. In order to participate in the study, you must be at least 18 years of age and able to speak and understand English. Participation in this study will be voluntary and will consist of attending one focus group, lasting 60 – 90 minutes, with 3 to 5 other people from your trail organization.

Ethics Clearance

This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through a University of Waterloo Research Ethics Board (REB #43602). If you have questions for the Board, contact the Office of Research Ethics at 1-519-888-4567 ext. 36005 or reb@uwaterloo.ca.


If you are interested in participating, please reach out to Kelsey Johansen at Kelsey.Johansen @ uwaterloo.ca, using Trails and Social Enterprise Research Project in the subject heading, and provide your preferred email contact details so that she can forward you the relevant information.


Funding Acknowledgement

Funding for this project is provided in part by the Hallman Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the University of Waterloo's Faculty of Health.

The Hallman Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Health and Promotion supports undergraduate students at the University of Waterloo who wish to participate in research projects under the supervision of Faculty of Health researchers focusing on health promotion and education. This fellowship is in honour of Lyle Hallman's vision of a healthy and educated community.

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