Trent University’s vision for the future of the Symons campus was shared at a virtual town hall meeting to engage with community members on the draft Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan. The draft plan is open for public comment until January 4, 2021 and represents more than two years of study and broad engagement.
“The Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan is an inspiring vision to shape a future for the campus and for our region,” says Julie Davis, vice-president, External Relations & Advancement. “The Plan protects the vital Nature Areas that are so key to Trent’s identity, enhances our mission of teaching and research, and supports the Indigenous and local communities.”
Novel Approach to Campus Planning
The Plan takes a novel approach to campus planning and is based on studies that exceed the standards for similar planning exercises. Incorporating four-season environmental surveys, Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, research into global precedents for active landscapes and sustainable design, coupled with a robust Indigenous, campus and community engagement, the final Plan will guide informed decision making to ensure the campus is engaging, the natural environment is protected and enhanced and that clear expectations are set for sustainable development.
In addition to recognizing existing significant features, the Plan supports and encourages biodiversity across the Symons Campus and outlines novel ways in which to maintain Trent’s vision as a leader for the environment.
“We also looked at biodiversity on Campus outside of traditional areas we would consider to be natural heritage features, such as naturalized green spaces,” said Kristen Harrison, principle ecologist with North South Environmental. “Examples within the Plan that support biodiversity include pocket forests and pollinator gardens. These spaces can be integrate across campus within the built form environment with a strong benefit towards biodiversity,” she explains.
Guidance by Indigenous Leaders and Knowledge Keepers
As part of its active community engagement efforts and commitment to reconciliation, Trent University has been working closely with Elders, Knowledge Keepers and consultation officials from Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation to inform and guide the Plan update process.
For more information on the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan, and to share your comments on the draft Plan visit: https://www.trentu.ca/trentlandsplan/