Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Area
The Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Area is Trent University's largest and oldest Nature Area. Located in the southeast corner of Symons Campus, this Nature Area includes many types of ecosystems and a robust trail network. In August 2019 wetlands that cross this Nature Area were identified as Provincially Significant by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. View the full report here (PDF).
A) Satellite Imagery
1. Created in ArcGIS Pro (click to view full size). The red outline in centre of figure delineates the nature area boundary, and is split into two regions, the west (left) section includes trails while the right side does not. This large area includes substantial wetlands (including some now deemed provincially significant by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment), forested areas (including some deciduous and some cedar areas), and fields.
2. Via Google Maps (shows latest satellite image available via Google Maps; will not show boundary).
Location and Use
The Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the southeast corner of Symons Campus, between University Road, Pioneer Road, and Douro 9th Line, this Nature Area includes many types of ecosystems and a robust trail network.
Trails, Access, and Points of Interest
This Nature Area offers an extensive trail system, using colours to identify different trail routes. Trails traverse the western half of the Wildlife Sanctuary only. The main access is off of University Road, where a short driveway leads to a parking lot. When the Nature Area is busy, visitors sometimes also park on the side of University Road (be careful, as the road is busy at times).
The trail system includes a read, yellow, and blue trail system. The blue system is longest, at 3.7 km, while the read is 1.9 km. As of mid-2019 there is a second access point, off the south side of Pioneer Road, across from the new baseball field. Walk south to meet up with the longer blue trail.
Some of this Nature Area is still being used for agriculture (east side). Other areas of the Wildlife Sanctuary were clearly used for agriculture in the past, with evidence of rail and stone fencing, and regenerating fields scattered throughout. Deciduous swamps are fed in part by the Otonabee College Wetland Nature Area to the north, on the other side of Pioneer Road. An intermittent outflow crosses University Road into the Canal Nature Area, and eventually flows into the Trent Canal.
Ecosystems and Species
The Wildlife Sanctuary offers a wide variety of ecosystems, including three main wetlands, regenerating agricultural fields, areas of cedars, and some young deciduous forest.
One of the larger wetlands in the Wildlife Sanctuary is fed by water flowing from the Otonabee Wetland Nature Area north of Pioneer Road, which is adjacent to agricultural land on which the Cleantech Commons is to be built. Water quality is being monitored in the Otonabee Wetland NA as construction proceeds, as a way to provide notice should construction adversely affect the wetland.
University Road can come close to flooding in spring from flow volumes outflowing from the Nature Area. As well, traffic and maintenance of University Road may be impacting species close to the road.
The invasive shrub European Buckthorn is present throughout the area, and may be starting to displace native species as it becomes more dominant.
Nature Area History
The Wildlife Sanctuary is Trent University's oldest Nature Area, established in 1974-5. Originally the eastern half of the Wildlife Sanctuary was called Wildlife Sanctuary East, but in 2001 the two parts were merged into one large Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Area.
Over the years there have been many groups, some international, that have contributed to building boardwalks and helping to maintain the trail system.
Alternatives For Injured Wildlife
Although this Nature Area is named "Wildlife Sanctuary", Trent University does not actually offer any wildlife rehabilitation services. The "Wildlife Sanctuary" name refers to the area being a preservation area, protecting the habitats of native wildlife.
If you encounter wildlife in the Peterborough region that is injured and want to help the wildlife, you might try some of these service providers:
More Updates To Come!
We are working on posting maps and physical descriptions of all the Nature Areas. Feel free to return and see our progress!