Following a long history of supporting the Trent University Nature Areas, philanthropists and environmental advocates Dr. Patricia Morton and Dr. David Morton have recently invested in upgrades to the boardwalk of the John de Pencier Walking Trail, equipment to keep the paths clear, as well as improving benches throughout the Trent Canal Nature Areas.
“We thank the Mortons for their ongoing commitment to Trent. Their gift helps us to be active stewards of the land,” says Sherry Booth ’98, associate vice president Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement. “Like so many others, David and Patricia greatly appreciate Trent’s Nature Areas and make regular use of the beautiful trails. Through their support, these opportunities will still be available to future generations.”
The Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan (TLNAP) creates a new standard in campus planning best practices and sets out a long-term vision for Trent’s Symons campus. The TLNAP has introduced the University Green Network (UGN) - a connected 868-acre system that includes diverse habitats, wildlife corridors, productive landscapes and green spaces that support ecological function and biodiversity and supports the University in achieving its commitment to maintaining 60 per cent of the Symons Campus lands as Nature Areas and green spaces. An important part of that commitment is to be an active caretaker of these lands, with actions informed by land survey and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge shared by Michi Saagiig Knowledge Keepers and Elders.
Through the UGN, Trent is training the next generation of environmental leaders to ensure a sustainable future. Here, in the University’s largest classroom, Trent students and researchers are actively engaged on the land, gaining a deeper understanding of our relationship with nature and each other. From wetlands to manicured gardens, Trent is home to a variety of habitats and green spaces. The UGN brings these natural features together into a system to be protected, explored, and appreciated.
Over the years, Patricia and David Morton have shown an outstanding commitment to supporting Trent’s vision and best practices in this area.
"We see Trent as a very special university in so many ways, including its environmentalism and wonderful public trails system, which we feel very fortunate to be able to enjoy and support,” the Mortons have said.
Professor Emerita Patricia Morton retired from Trent University in 2002 after 26 years with the History and Women's Studies departments. She has also been involved with the area community as a volunteer on many non-profit boards, including the Morton Community Healthcare Centre in Lakefield.
As retired president and CEO of Quaker Oats Company of Canada, David Morton received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Trent in 2002 and joined Trent’s Board of Governors in 2004, serving as the Chair from 2008 to 2011.
In previous years, the Mortons’ support has established and supported the maintenance of the Morton Family Trail and allowed students to identify and remove invasive species and revitalize the nature areas by sowing and planting trees in the green spaces. The Mortons have also assisted with ongoing maintenance of the trails to ensure that they remain safe for everyone to enjoy.
Learn more about investing in a more sustainable tomorrow at Trent University.