Monday, February 8, 2021, Peterborough
Taking the lead in best-practice campus planning, the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan – a long-term vision for how the Symons Campus will develop new spaces for learning and living while at the same time preserving 60% of its lands as natural and green spaces – has been approved by Trent University’s Board of Governors.
“The approval of the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan marks an important milestone in our campus planning process,” says Armand La Barge, chair of Trent’s Board of Governors. “It sets out an inspiring long-term vision with the environment at its core, sustaining the land for future generations, while supporting the current and future needs of our students, local and Indigenous communities.”
Key Features of the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan
The groundbreaking Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan is built on environmental and ecological data, Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, campus and community input, and precedent-setting examples to guide the University in the short-, medium-, and long-term.
The Board’s approval of the Plan follows an extensive community engagement process that started in 2018. The final plan is informed by more than 100 meetings with various groups during three phases of engagement – gathering information and insight on the natural environment, identifying campus and community priorities, and a final phase to review and provide input on the draft plan.
The Plan seeks to address some of the biggest challenges in our region – housing, employment, climate change and food security.
“At a time when most of us are talking about recovery, this Plan is about renewal and regeneration,” says Julie Davis, vice president of External Relations and Advancement at Trent. “It is a timely framework to guide post-pandemic economic recovery within the region.”
The plan introduces University Districts as spaces for experiential learning, bringing research to action, creating employment, and supporting the long-term sustainability of the University. A University-integrated seniors village, for example, becomes a place where students learn how to design age friendly communities, develop an interest in geriatric care, while meeting urgent needs for seniors housing.
Plan rooted in a deep understanding of the land
The ambitious Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan articulates a vision that is rooted in a deep understanding of the land.
“To achieve the vision set out in the Lands Plan, we needed to understand the land in ways we hadn’t before,” says Ms. Davis. “We conducted field studies, completed an archaeological study across the campus, and received traditional knowledge from First Nation elders and knowledge keepers.”
Trent’s Symons Campus sits on approximately 1,440 acres of land situated on the banks of the Otonabee River, with a substantial proportion of woodlands and wetlands, and over 30 kilometres of nature trails. As a leader in environmental education and stewardship, Trent University is committed to protecting its rich natural landscape and sensitive natural features and habitats. The Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan reiterates the University’s commitment to maintain 60% of its lands as Nature Areas and green spaces, and introduces the University Green Network to create a connected natural system for habitat preservation and creation, wildlife movement, and a healthy hydrologic system.
A new standard for Indigenous engagement
Trent University is located in the traditional and treaty territory of the Michi Saagiig Anishnaabeg, and has prioritized fostering mutually beneficial and respectful relationships with the local Michi Saagiig communities throughout the Trent Lands Plan process.
“We designed a process that actively engaged Indigenous voices, specifically the Michi Saagiig, guided by local Elders and Knowledge Keepers. It was important that engagement included Indigenous perspectives and incorporated Indigenous Traditional Knowledge alongside western science throughout the Lands Plan,” explains Ms. Davis. “The Plan also includes a protocol for ongoing collaboration and engagement with the Michi Saagiig and Indigenous Peoples as we move towards project implementation.”
An Implementation Plan is now in development that will provide clarity and focus on next steps for the Trent Lands. For more information, and to review the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan, visit trentu.ca/trentlandsplan.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
For more information contact:
Cara Walsh, communications & media relations officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or firstname.lastname@example.org