November 2021
The Trent Symons Campus Lands are a precious asset, rich in natural and cultural heritage, vital to the resilience of Trent and our communities. Our vision is to create an inspiring, sustainable, and complete community to learn, live, innovate, and be active. In our care for and use of the land, Trent will demonstrate leadership in environmental education and stewardship, respect for Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, and thoughtful integration of the natural and built environment.
Healthier ecosystems and hands-on learning advanced at Trent University with $350,000 TD Bank Group Grant
Trent University has received $350,000 from TD Bank Group (TD) to implement environmental enhancement projects in the new University Green Network (UGN), a key component of the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan, which features a commitment to maintain 60 percent of the Symons Campus in Peterborough as nature areas and green spaces.
The UGN is a connected natural system that includes areas for habitat preservation and creation, corridors to facilitate wildlife movement, productive landscapes, and diverse green spaces that support a healthy ecosystem and biodiversity, learning on the land, hands-on research, and opportunities to interact with nature.

The grant, given over three years, will help advance environmental stewardship of the UGN – a large and connected 868-acre system on Trent’s Peterborough campus 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.
Valuing Indigenous ways of knowing
Michi Saagiig Elders & Knowledge Keepers lead cultural mapping exercise
For more than 50 years, Trent has incorporated traditional teachings and perspectives into our academic programming. Taking this a step further, the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan includes Anishnaabeg Nibwaakaawin (Wisdom) guiding principles and a commitment to meaningful engagement and collaboration with Michi Saagiig and Indigenous peoples in our care for and use of the Symons campus lands.
Incorporating Indigenous Traditional Knowledge (ITK) and protecting Indigenous cultural heritage are important considerations for Trent's stewardship of its campus lands. Building on the extensive engagement with the local Michi Saagiig Elders and community to create the Trent Lands & Nature Areas Plan, Trent recently commissioned an additional report on culturally-significant features and advice on ITK best practice, which was completed in September 2021. 

The field research for this report saw Elders and Knowledge Holders touring the grounds for three days of surveys. The exercise produced several important findings and offered an invaluable opportunity for Trent staff to learn on the land.
Sharing progress on Trent's University-Integrated Seniors Village 
Plans for the peopleCare long-term care (LTC) home on Trent’s Symons Campus are continuing, with the Stage 1 site plan submitted to the City of Peterborough. Trent and peopleCare have been meeting with key community stakeholders, including the City and County of Peterborough, as well as local First Nations, healthcare organizations, and Age-Friendly Peterborough, to discuss local needs for the LTC home and University-Integrated Seniors Village.

In this video, second deputy mayor and city councillor, Kemi Akapo shares her thoughts and excitement for the opportunities that the Seniors Village holds for Trent and the community.
Through the Trent Centre for Aging and Society (TCAS), researchers, like TCAS director, Dr. Elizabeth Russell, continue to look into how students’ perceptions of aging can change – and the important role universities can play. Read Professor Russell’s latest article in The Conversation titled “Teaching university students to be ‘age-conscious’ could help address our elder care crisis”.
To help inform the approach and components of the Seniors Village, a Trent researcher with extensive experience in geriatric care will be completing a ‘Promising Practices Report' based on consultations with experts in the field, a review of academic research and sector literature, and profiles of existing university-integrated seniors villages (also known as “campuses of care”) around the world. This report will be made available to the community to help inform our future public engagement.

Trent is also exploring opportunities for student-led environmental monitoring of the Seniors Village site. Together with Curve Lake First Nation and the City of Peterborough, Trent is finalizing the Natural Heritage Plan for the site.

Tying in with Trent’s ongoing efforts to collaborate with Michi Saagiig leaders on the Seniors Village, as well as the many opportunities for developing new best practices in Indigenous aging, TCAS and Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies recently hosted an insightful talk by Cliff Whetung titled "Decolonizing Dementia: Deconstructing a Critical Indigenous Health Inequity". Cliff is a member of Curve Lake First Nation and a PhD student in New York University's Silver School of Social Work. His presentation discussed existing research about Indigenous cognitive health and its connection to colonialist perspectives, and outlined tangible steps toward the equitable inclusion of Indigenous older adults in cognitive health research, policy, and intervention. 
Trent joins post-secondary partners in new Environmental and Related Technologies Hub
Uniting some of Ontario’s greatest minds to fuel sustainable, resilient communities locally and around the world – this is the goal of the recently announced Environmental and Related Technologies Hub (EaRTH District), a collaborative research consortium between Trent University, Centennial College, University of Toronto Scarborough, Ontario Tech University, and Durham College.
“As one of Canada’s most sought-after locations for environmental research and innovation, Trent University is an integral partner in the EaRTH District and Research Consortium,” says Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “With 11 nature areas, an experimental farm and rooftop gardens, plus 15 environmental degrees, as well as renowned researchers, labs, facilities and Cleantech Commons – Trent is home to the environmental leaders of today and tomorrow.”

EaRTH envisions shared research facilities, joint interdisciplinary research projects, and collaborations on curriculum, teaching and learning. This ties in well with the goals of Cleantech Commons at Trent University, which aims to become Canada’s premier destination for collaborative clean, green, low- and zero-carbon, and sustainable technology research, innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship.

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