Trent’s trails weave through forests and fields that are home to a wide array of plants and animals. As part of the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan, four season studies are underway on select parcels of Trent’s approximately 1,400 acre campus to better understand the cultural and natural heritage features that exist.
The Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan not only aims to advance understanding of campus ecosystems, it also seeks to foster a transformative learning environment. Students from Trent’s Environmental & Resource Science, Biology and Indigenous Environmental Studies programs got in touch with some of those benefits by volunteering in the data collection process in January.
“It’s usually hard to find the motivation and desire to go for early morning hikes by yourself,” said Justin Brodeur, a fourth-year Environmental & Resource Science student who helped spot animal tracks during an early morning winter mammal transect survey. “Knowing that it was with a group that had a purpose was enough to get me out of bed, but seeing wildlife you don't usually come across was a great motivator too. We got to see a barred owl, twice. And in some cedar lowlands, we followed fresh mammal tracks that lead to a porcupine up in a cedar. That was cool.”
“Based on data collection and our assessment, we’ll provide recommendations to guide the stewardship of the Nature Areas in the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan update,” explained wildlife biologist Samantha Hughes, part of the North-South Environmental team supporting the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan update. “Engaging with nature can encourage sustainable thinking and goals. Research shows that it affords huge benefits to well-being, including enhanced cognitive performance and psychological well-being that fosters a sense of purpose and place. All of that can contribute to a positive university experience.”
Learn more about the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan, including ways to get involved, at TrentLands.ca.