PETERBOROUGH (November 2, 2021)– Trent University received $ 350,000 from TD Bank Group (TD) to implement environmental improvement projects in the new University Green Network (UGN), a key part of the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan , which includes a commitment to maintain 60 percent of the Symons campus in Peterborough as natural areas and green spaces.
“The Trent Symons Campus grounds are a valuable asset, rich in natural and cultural heritage, vital to the resilience of Trent and our communities,” said Jennifer Clinesmith, Director of Campus Planning and Development at Trent University. . “We are grateful that this generous grant supports our plan to be an active steward of a valuable ecosystem while prioritizing teaching and research on the earth and encouraging all to appreciate and engage with. nature. Our goal is to demonstrate the best practices taught in the classroom through active management of our beautiful natural environment. “
The University Green Network prioritizes student participation in hands-on learning as well as collaborations with Michi Saagiig First Nations and various local community organizations.
The three-year grant will help advance environmental stewardship of UGN – a large, 868-acre connected system on the Trent campus in Peterborough that includes diverse habitats, wildlife corridors, productive landscapes and diverse green spaces that support ecological function and biodiversity. Stewardship efforts will be guided by the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan, which was approved earlier this year.
The grant will help fund an ecologist to lead the creation of the UGN systems-level plan – a best-practice planning approach to take a landscape-level view and identify the composition and relative representation of habitat types across the ‘UGN. The plan will identify priorities for the restoration and enhancement of the natural environment, as well as innovative and exploitable opportunities to introduce ecologically regenerating elements to the campus. Implementation of the plan’s recommendations at the system level will involve students, Michi Saagiig First Nations and organizations, including Camp Kawartha and Peterborough Green-Up.
Planned actions include creating habitat for prairie birds, removing invasive species, creating nesting mounds for Blanding’s Turtles (a species at risk) and creating new natural spaces on campus.
Educational signage, showcasing Western and Indigenous knowledge of flora and fauna, will be installed along the trails and walkways. Interpretive signs will also be installed throughout the UGN to promote learning of natural features, including indigenous traditional knowledge on species of interest and concern to indigenous peoples.
“At TD, we believe that creating a vibrant planet and a healthy environment is essential to building confidence in our collective future,” said Carolyn Scotchmer, CEO of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. “This is why we are committed to developing, enhancing and protecting natural spaces across Canada, including the grounds of the Trent University campus. These improvement projects will help create environmental benefits for the local Trent community, as well as social and health benefits.
Trent’s new ecologist will liaise with the Natural Area Stewardship Advisory Committee, the School of the Environment faculty, the departments of Indigenous Environmental Studies and Biology, and a variety of master’s programs to integrate the actions of the UGN management plan in the courses. The ecologist will also liaise with local First Nations to involve indigenous youth in the work.
“For the past three years, Elders, knowledge holders and liaison officers from Curve Lake have participated in the creation of the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan,” said Chief Emily Whetung of the Curve Lake First Nation. . “Through this ongoing commitment, we have ensured that Indigenous Traditional Knowledge plays an active role in guiding the University’s relationship with the land. This ongoing collaboration offers an opportunity to highlight the positive relationship between public institutions and First Nations.
About the Trent Lands and Natural Areas Plan
Approved by the Board of Governors in February 2021, the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan was a three-year effort that resulted in a framework for the evolution of the Symons campus. The plan advances the University’s mission as a learning institution, steward of the natural environment, and community anchor. The plan includes guiding principles, inspirations from around the world and emerging best practices to achieve an inspiring vision to demonstrate leadership in environmental education and stewardship and respect for Indigenous traditional knowledge. It commits the University to maintaining 60% of its land in natural spaces and green spaces and to ensuring that the new buildings meet high environmental standards. The Symons Campus in Trent is a significant portion of the City of Peterborough’s woodlands and wetlands, and many benefit from the trails and wildlife in its 11 natural areas. The plan introduces a University Green Network to connect these natural areas and green spaces across campus and provide a strong network of natural features rich and rich in biodiversity. Access the Trent Land and Nature Areas Plan at trentu.ca/trentlandsplan.
About Trent University
One of Canada’s finest universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of personal, focused and transformative interactive learning. Consistently recognized nationally for his 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 across diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, extracurricular activities and community. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical and integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent’s unique approach to personal development through supportive and collaborative community engagement is more in demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that creates a lifelong passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in the development of sustainable solutions to complex problems. The Trent’s Peterborough campus showcases 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 offers a distinct blend of programs in eastern GTA.
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