The National Benefits Hub

Research that Supports Recreation

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Back to the Future?

Jul 27, 2011

About a year ago I sat down with my colleague and friend, Brenda Herchmer, to draft a strategic plan for the online National Benefits HUB (
Upon reflection, what we needed was a framework for how we might encourage our field (and others) to move beyond the research and evidence of the hard copy catalogue of 1997 to a benefits inspired “movement” supported by this evidence.

Thankfully this IS a passion for both of us. We pulled out resources from our files (closets, boxes or whatever) that might hold valuable information for this task. What ensued was a rewarding but also a rather telling process.

We combed through phenomenal resources and samples of program brochures, communication plans and “how to guides” – all of this had been created specifically to encourage the use of the benefits research in bettering our services and positioning our field. We were surprised at the current relevance of the resources; it was as if they were brand new!  We celebrated the work that was done (both personal and that of our colleagues) but it really begged the question …..

Are we going back to the future or forward to the past?

Maybe the readiness wasn’t there in the 90’s. Maybe people were not inspired to change? Maybe they didn’t see the value, or couldn’t make the time? Maybe the resources were the wrong tools for the job, or perhaps - - -  people just were not aware.  The fact is -  the Benefits Movement of the 90’s did not reach its full potential!

We change lives -  one person at a time, one program at a time, one leader at a time, one community at a time. The benefits movement is not only about what we do individually but how we use that to strengthen our collective capacity to get better. The Benefits HUB has both the platform to engage and the evidence to help us promote what we practice AND ensure that our actions reflect what we believe and are promoting.

Let’s show that we ARE and CAN BE the very best!

Please comment or drop me a line at OR share research or success stories through the link right next to the picture of Agnes Croxford on the homepage and be part of the movement for a stronger more effective sector in Canada and beyond. Thank you!

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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