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Build 2000

Draft Master Plan Outlines Long Term Strategy to Ensure Proper Development of Trentís Endowment Lands


December 2, 2005

A draft report received today by Trent's Board of Governors maps out a long term strategy for the development of the University's Endowment Lands and a coordinated approach to future land development.

"The in-depth Endowment Lands Master Plan report will serve as the guidepost for the Board and administration as we identify the best opportunities to develop our Endowment Lands," said Don O'Leary, Vice-President (Administration).

Mr. O'Leary emphasized that the Endowment Lands planning process fully considered the long term implications of many proposals that would be compatible and complimentary to the University's core campus. He stressed that any development proposal on University lands cannot compromise the University's academic mission and its unique atmosphere for teaching and research. 

"The development of Trent's Endowment Lands is a long term process that will occur over many years," said O'Leary. 

The creation of the Endowment Lands Master Plan is a follow-up to a motion passed by the Board of Governors in 1992 directing administration to finalize a plan to develop the University's Endowment Lands for the purpose of maximizing revenue to the University.

The University's land holdings are categorized into three broad land use designations. The Endowment Lands represent approximately 226 hectares of land identified for the purpose of generating new revenues for the University. In addition to Endowment Lands, the University's land holdings are categorized as Core Campus or Nature Areas.

Building on the planning framework provided in the updated Campus Master Plan (2001), the Endowment Lands Master Plan includes a key recommendation to expand the Nature Areas to create buffers to protect Nature Area zones. "This recommendation recognizes the unique value of the Nature Areas among our land holdings," said O'Leary. "The planning framework for the Endowment Lands is based on solid land use principles in which the needs of the core campus will be fully considered today and well into the future," said O'Leary.

The physical plan for the Endowment Lands identifies a number of structuring principles that guide and shape the plan. These six principles include:

  • A natural framework: The Endowment Lands shall be characterized by a series of linked Nature Areas, Waterways and Green Corridors
  • A Lattice of Pedestrian Connections: The Endowment Lands shall contain a fine "Green Lattice" of pedestrian paths and recreational trails that enhances connectivity between all corners of the University lands.
  • A Campus Greenbelt: The Endowment Lands shall form an Emerald Necklace that protects and enhances the campus setting.  Defined by the four major drumlins of the campus valley and linked by Nature Areas, hedgerows, and open spaces, this greenbelt of natural and man made features shall encircle the campus and become the backdrop of the University.
  • A Defined Campus Precinct: The Endowment Lands shall clearly define a pedestrian-oriented Campus Precinct in keeping with the intentions of Ron Thom's original plan and supported in the updated Master Plan of 2001.
  • A Campus and River Design Character: The Endowment Lands shall preserve the unique character of the campus – as defined by its rural and natural setting and by its contemporary architectural vision.
  • A Ring of University Villages: The Endowment Lands shall respond to the need for revenue generation through the development of a series of autonomous, manageable and distinct University Villages.

The next steps in the process include the development of a series of recommendations by the administration to the Board, including attaching priorities to parcels of property for immediate action.

The finalization of the Endowment Lands Master Plan report followed an extensive consultation process that included meetings with student leaders, stakeholder interviews on campus and in the community, and open houses.

A copy of the Endowment Lands report will be posted in the coming days on Trent's web site at: http://www.trentu.ca/endowmentlands/

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For more information contact:

Don O'Leary, Vice-President (Administration), (705) 748-1011, ext. 1450 or

Don Cumming, Senior Director, Public Affairs, (705) 748-1011, ext. 1224

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