Laine Smith


Bachelor of Commerce, Operations Manager Major, 2nd Year

Course: AREC 173 (Fall 2021) with Instructor Dr. Brent Swallow 

Who was your community partner and can you describe the project objectives? 

The community partner I worked with was BAM - Bennett Centre, Argyll Centre, and Metro Continuing Education. BAM is part of Edmonton Public School (EPS) and offers alternative programming for students. Our project's objective was to map greenspaces within 2km of Edmonton Public Schools and to take photos of the greenspaces we found. The goal of this work was to find green spaces within walking distance of schools, as Covid prohibited the use of school buses for field trips.

What was your biggest takeaway from your CSL placement? 

The biggest takeaway I had from this project was the difference in quality and quantity of community and school greenspaces across the city. This was an observation that many of my project group members had as well.  This experience really made me reflect upon the importance of equitable access to urban greenspaces and how they positively impact my well being.

How can you apply any newly gained knowledge/skills to your future endeavours (courses/employment/volunteering)?

One new skill I learned from this project was how to manage large amounts of data. I mapped green spaces within 2 km of 20 different public schools, which meant I had large amounts of photo and map data to compile and assess. 

What are some of the ways that COVID-19 has affected your community partner or your placement? 

COVID-19 was a driving influence behind our project as EPS had to adjust to teaching in a pandemic environment where physical distancing was necessary. Specifically for this project, EPS wanted to find new field trip opportunities and places for students to have walking distance access to outdoor, land based, learning opportunities. COVID-19 did not affect my personal role in this project, as my work was primarily solitary in nature and took place outdoors, mapping and photographing greenspaces.