By: The Working Forest Staff
Trent University’s demonstrated leadership in environmental education and stewardship was recognized by Otonabee Conservation as the 2022 recipient of the Environmental Excellence Award for Business.
“We are so pleased to be recognized through this award,” says Julie Davis, vice-president of External Relations & Development. “Trent is committed to excellence in environmental education and to bringing that excellence into how we manage our campus lands. This past year, in particular, we have started many exciting projects that demonstrate that philosophy in action.”
The award was announced at Otonabee Conservation’s Annual General Meeting, held virtually on January 20. The Otonabee Conservation Environmental Excellence Awards recognize outstanding people and groups who have demonstrated the advancement of watershed health through projects on the landscape and actions that contribute to a healthier environment for everyone.
“The Business Award recognizes an organization that has made a significant contribution to projects or programs advancing Otonabee Conservation’s vision of a healthy watershed,” explains Dan Marinigh, Otonabee Conservation chief administrative officer/secretary-treasurer. “The University’s focus on the watershed as a foundational element of the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan, its first-of-its-kind zero-carbon Forensic Crime Scene Facility, and the work being done on the University Green Network Stewardship Plan, are just a few reasons why Trent is a worthy recipient of this year’s Business Award.”
Trent alumna, Brianna Salmon ’10, was also recognized by Otonabee Conservation for her work as the executive director of Green Communities Canada (GCC) and as former executive director of GreenUP. Brianna received the Individual Conservationist Award, which recognizes outstanding people who have undertaken projects, demonstrated leadership, and inspired others to create a healthier watershed.
Advancing conservation inside and out of the classroom
Trent University has a longstanding reputation as a leader in environmental studies. It is home to the prestigious School of the Environment, which offers the widest variety and depth of environmental programming in Canada, including a new degree in Climate Change Science & Policy.
The University’s efforts to protect the natural environment, and particularly its campus lands also extend beyond the classroom. Trent’s Symons Campus, with 11 nature areas, represents a substantial proportion of woodlands and wetlands within the City of Peterborough. A primary goal of the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan is to protect, enhance and restore these assets, foster biological diversity, and sustain ecosystem function. Trent is committed to maintaining 60 percent of the Symons Campus lands as Nature Areas and green space, and to being an active caretaker for a valuable ecosystem.
Over the next three years, Trent will be implementing its University Green Network Stewardship Plan, with the mission of advancing environmental stewardship of 868 acres of Symons Campus lands. The project prioritizes engaging students in hands-on learning and collaborating with a variety of local community organizations as well as the Michi Saagiig First Nations.
Trent also announced that it is moving towards an active environmental and socially responsible governance (ESG) investment strategy for the University’s Endowment Fund to play its part in a more sustainable future.