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Stewardship & Sustainability at Heart of Trent Lands & Nature Areas Plan Update

Input, sharing and dialogue underway at Trent University and in community to inform and steward the future of Trent Lands

 

Published Thursday, February 7, 2019

 

With the goal of assisting Trent to achieve its vision of a “sustainable and inspiring campus community, thoughtfully integrating the natural and built environments, with vibrant spaces to learn, innovate, be active and live”, the University is inviting all members of the Trent and Peterborough communities to participate in the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan update.

The two-phase update, which builds on previous strategic plans, including the 2013 Trent Lands Plan, will start with a review and update of the 2002 Nature Areas Stewardship Plan. Public input on areas of natural and cultural significance on the campus will be gathered in public sessions, as well as through online tools and pop-up engagement stations. A Community Input Session will be held Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Hall, Champlain College. A second Input Session for Trent students, staff and faculty will be held Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. in the Great Hall. An Indigenous Sharing Meeting will take place the following week, on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., in the Gathering Space, First Peoples House of Learning.

“Trent’s approximately 1,400 acres are a significant asset to the University and the community. By undertaking a thorough review of the Nature Areas Stewardship Plan as our first step, we can better understand the campus and plan for our shared future,” said Leo Groarke, president & vice-chancellor, Trent University. “We want to learn more about how our faculty, students and community members use the campus and the nature areas. We’d like to identify areas of natural and cultural significance, opportunities for enhancements to our natural spaces, and areas for remediation or restoration. Trent’s nature areas are highly valued by the campus and local community, and the Board of Governors want to ensure the integration of the Nature Areas Stewardship Plan as a priority within our campus master plan.”

Phase 1 of this two-phase initiative is focused on understanding and mapping the natural, cultural and archaeological features and functions existing within the campus lands, such as the location, type and status of wetlands and woodlands, species, and areas of significance to First Nations. The Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan will update the 2013 Trent Lands Plan, which is built upon the 2006 Endowment Lands Master Plan and will incorporate and update the 2002 Nature Areas Stewardship Plan into one guiding strategic campus plan.

“We have spent the past year gathering feedback to design a best practice engagement, and planning processes for this important work,” said Julie Davis, vice-president, External Relations & Advancement, and executive sponsor of the Plan. “The Plan update is an opportunity to renew our relationships with the Indigenous community with a process that is inclusive, respectful and meaningful. We are committed to including Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and cultural perspectives throughout the planning process, and have been working with Elders and land consultation officers to co-design an approach guided by traditional Indigenous values.”

The Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan update began with a land blessing by Michi Saagiig Elders last fall. The planning team has already hosted a traditional knowledge workshop and met with Elders to gather their knowledge and stories of the land. The Indigenous Sharing Meeting, open to First Nation, Métis and Inuit students, faculty and staff and Indigenous community members, will focus on Indigenous ways of sharing, offering respectful dialogue among community members, Elders and knowledge holders.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, retirees and community members can participate in the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan update in the following ways:

  • Community Input Sessions
    • March 5, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

The Great Hall, Champlain College

Open to the Trent and Peterborough communities 

·

    • March 6, 2019, 2:30 p.m.

The Great Hall, Champlain College

Open to Trent students, faculty and staff  

  • Indigenous Sharing Meeting
    • March 14, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

Ernest and Florence Benedict Gathering Space, First Peoples House of Learning, Enwayaang Building

Open to all First Nation, Métis and Inuit students, faculty and staff, and all Indigenous people in Nogojiwanong 

    • Drop a pin from your smartphone or desktop to share your knowledge or ideas for enhancements to the natural spaces on campus
    • Contribute to mapping of species on the campus
  • Pop-up Stations on campus and in the local community
    • Share your views as the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan travels to strategic locations for broad input
  • Connect on Social Media
    • Visit the Trent Lands website to see the history of campus planning, view presentations and reports related to the update, and see other upcoming initiatives in the two-phase plan

Phase 1 of the planning is focused on understanding the land, gathering traditional knowledge, and gathering information on the Nature Areas. Fall and winter environmental surveys have been conducted on select parcels of land, with spring and summer surveys scheduled. A master archaeological plan is also set to commence in the coming weeks. Output from this phase will include an updated Nature Areas Stewardship Plan, a land use constraints map based on natural and cultural features, repatriation of at least 8.6 acres of land to the nature areas, priorities for enhancement or remediation of natural areas across the campus, and areas for future study by the Nature Areas Stewardship Advisory Committee such as baseline monitoring of certain areas.

Phase 2 will focus on generating a long-term vision for the campus that integrates the 2013 Trent Lands Plan with the outcomes of Phase 1. This updated vision for the future of the campus aims to achieve a synergistic relationship between ecology, Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, cultural heritage and sustainable land use. Output from this phase will include a review and possible revision to the guiding principles of the Trent Lands Plan, establishment of sustainability and design requirements for future developments, priorities for signage and commemoration on Trent lands, and opportunities to support learning on the land (e.g. Indigenous ceremony house, teaching shelters). The University has committed 60% of the land on the main Symons Campus as nature areas, buffers and corridors.

To assist with the field studies, engagement and land-use planning, the University has acquired the services of independent experts: Schollen & Company, North-South Environmental, LURA Consulting, Nbisiing Consulting and SvN Urban Design.

For more information about the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan and how to get involved, visit trentlands.ca

 

Paul Elliott

Professor

 

School of Education & Professional Learning

Trent University

Office: 1-705-748-1011, ext. 7084
paulelliott@trentu.ca

trentu.ca/education/paulelliott

 

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