June 2021 | Vol. I
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.
Seniors Village & Long-Term Care:
A New Approach to Planning

The first of many steps towards bringing high-quality seniors care and unique educational opportunities to our community.
Trent University’s vision is to develop a University-Integrated Seniors Village, anchored by a long-term care home, to advance research into aging, and support the growing needs of the seniors community in this region.

The first round of public engagement focused on the natural heritage studies that have been completed in advance of any detailed site design. A Stage 1 Site Plan was shared that showed a 50% increase in the current Total Loss Farm Nature Area, and the resulting limits of development for the Village. The Creation of Stage 1 Site Plan is a practical demonstration of the innovative and landscape-led approach to planning outlined in the Trent Lands & Nature Areas Plan.

This Stage 1 Site Plan is a new (and voluntary) step introduced by Trent to augment and strengthen the standard planning process. It has been informed by four-season environmental studies and ongoing engagement with Michi Saagiig First Nations, and puts forward a substantial natural heritage restoration and compensation strategy to foster healthy, biodiverse habitats around the future development.

About the Stage 1 Site Plan:

  • Stage 1 is focused on determining the natural areas that need to be protected, and the resulting developable limits of the site. Additional studies, public engagement, and regulatory agency approvals will be required before any development can proceed.

  • An environment-led approach to planning, beginning with detailed field studies based on western science and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, determined appropriate building sites that have the least impact to the natural environment.

  • The environmental studies and natural heritage restoration and compensation plan guiding Stage 1 are Trent's own initiatives and do not replace the legislated requirements for approval to develop - we have added steps to improve our understanding and stewardship of the land

  • This location was chosen for its proximity to the student community and campus amenities, access to City and County transit routes, readily-availability municipal services, and the surrounding environment and trails where residents can enjoy and connect with nature

  • Wetlands identified on the site have not been included in the developable areas and will be protected as part of the expanded Trent Nature Area. The studies on the wetlands have been submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources for evaluation as Provincially Significant Wetlands. Trent is working with Elders and Knowledge Holders to choose names for these wetlands that reflect this region's Michi Saagiig heritage.

  • Based on the results of the environmental studies, more than two-thirds of the site will remain natural and undeveloped.
Did you miss the Information Sessions about the Stage 1 Site Plan? You can view the recording, which provides an overview of the environmental studies which have shaped this plan.
Thank You For Your Feedback

Listening to students, faculty and staff, Michi Saagiig First Nations, and the broader community has helped shape the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan.

Here are the key themes we heard from you regarding the Seniors Village Stage 1 Site Plan:

  • Protecting wetlands, species at risk, and natural habitats: Making sure indigenous species have a healthy environment to thrive in is a clear priority for the community.

  • Trent shares this priority - these development limits were established to avoid sensitive features and ensure they are protected into the future. For example, we anticipate the Chorus Frog habitat near the intersection of Woodland Drive and Water Street will be protected as a Provincially Significant Wetland, in addition to Trent protecting it as part of the Total Loss Farm Nature Area.

  • Road planning and traffic management: Neighbours and other community members expressed the importance of keeping this area safe and accessible.

  • A traffic needs assessment must be completed before approval to develop is given. While final decisions will be at the discretion of the municipality, we anticipate a signal will be installed at the intersection of Woodland Drive and Water Street to improve traffic flow.

  • Meeting the region's seniors care and housing needs: The need to provide services that are affordable and reflect our diverse community was emphasized.

  • Trent looks forward to collaborating with the community to develop a vision for a Seniors Village and long-term care home that provides high-quality care, innovative student experiential learning opportunities, and imaginative environmental-led building solutions. In the months ahead, there will be more opportunities to share your perspective on these projects in the future.

  • Listening to First Nations: Respondents restated the importance of meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities.

  • Trent is proud of the relationship we have built with First Nations. Regular meetings with Michi Saagiig Consultation Liaisons allow us to keep communities up-to-date on planning efforts, identify areas of concern, and incorporate Indigenous Traditional Knowledge into the studies that guide projects like the Stage 1 Site Plan.

"It is a benchmark for how consultation and environmental planning should take place where we allow the environment to govern the land more so than typical western policy-based directives."
Gary Pritchard
Owner and Senior Ecologist,
4 Directions of Conservation
Consulting Services

Engaged by Curve Lake First Nation to review the Environmental Impact Brief and Stage 1 Site Plan.
Community Impact at the Core of Trent’s Rural Aging Research Program

Rural Aging Researchers continue to build Trent's reputation as a leader in the field
Trent University is a leader in the study of aging, with world-renowned faculty contributing to this relevant field. Among them is the Rural Aging Research Program, led by Dr. Mark Skinner, Dr. Elizabeth Russell and Amber Colibaba ’10, who were recently presented with the University’s inaugural Research Impact Award. The award recognizes researchers or research teams stewarding original and impactful research that makes a significant contribution to society.

“This award is very well deserved, as evidenced through the team’s far-reaching knowledge mobilization efforts, not only in the community but in influencing policy and in working with the non-profit sector,” says Dr. Cathy Bruce, acting vice-president of Research and Innovation at Trent. “The innovative Rural Aging Research Program has enhanced our broad understanding of aging in rural communities and has added nuance and depth to this very current research field.”

Update on Cleantech Commons Research and Innovation Park

Progress continues on the site where reseachers, students, businesses, and community will collaborate to find practical solutions in leading climate and energy research
The process of bringing trails, roads, sanitation and water services to the future home of Cleantech Commons is well underway. This work will be completed this year, allowing conversations with exciting, forward-thinking potential tenants like Noblegen to progress.

The servicing of the park is an opportunity to demonstrate the sustainable and low-impact development strategies described in the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan.

All work on-site has been anchored in environmental studies, regulatory approval, and multiple layers of oversight to protect wetlands in the area. The stormwater management design will ensure post-development conditions matches pre-development conditions - neither starving the wetland, nor inundating it with more runoff than it previously would have received. 

For additional oversight, Trent has engaged a local environmental services firm to monitor the site during the construction period and has initiated long term monitoring of the adjacent wetland working with local First Nations and their advisors.

What They're Saying:

"Resources like Cleantech Commons are essential in moving Canada up the commercialization ranks, and to bolster its reputation for innovation."

Hybrid Cattail are Invading our Wetlands, and Trent Biologists Want to Learn Why

Research team hoping to “let the cat out of the bag” on what gives these hybrids an advantage
Dr. Marcel Dorken and Dr. Joanna Freeland, both Biology professors at Trent, are leading a group of students to investigate whether different types of reproduction give the invasive hybrid cattail an advantage.

“Wetlands in the Great Lakes region, including the Peterborough area, are home to two species of cattails: broad-leafed cattails (Typha latifolia) which are native to the region, and narrow-leaved cattails (Typha angustifolia) which were likely brought here from Europe several centuries ago,” explains Professor Freeland. “These two species often interbreed to form a hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca).”

Professors Dorken and Freeland have been collaborating on research relating to the underlying processes that facilitate wetland invasion by hybrid cattails for several years. With hybridization becoming increasingly common in the plant and animal world, this research provides insight into how processes such as dispersal, reproduction, hybridization, and local adaptation help a new variant to thrive in a particular environment.

Appreciate Nature in Real Time with the Trent Osprey Cam

Live stream available of feathered friends nesting on Trent’s Peterborough campus
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a bird of prey? Trent’s new Osprey Cam, allows you to catch a glimpse into the life of a pair of ospreys currently nesting in Justin Chiu Stadium.

Like most great ideas, Trent’s new Osprey Cam started with a lightbulb moment. A lightbulb high on the pole where the osprey nest is located needed to be changed, andMr. Martin Kennaley, Trent’s Facilities manager came up with the bright idea to install a camera to benefit the Trent community.

You can now check in on the growing family of ospreys living on Trent’s campus: two ospreys and their eggs.