It has been brought my attention concerns of the new development plans on Trent campus set forth by the Board of Governors in conjunction with the City of Peterborough, namely the Twin Pad Arena Complex and the new Cleantech Commons industrial park. I am shocked and saddened that these developments have been approved without adequate consultation of students, faculty, community members, or indigenous groups. The Arena Complex development project is encroaching on previously protected Wildlife Sanctuary lands. These lands are an invaluable resource for teaching, learning and engaging with nature, and are what sets Trent University apart from so many concrete campuses in Ontario.

As I understand, environmental protocols are being followed to a bare minimum or are completely ignored, such as adequate buffer zones separating nature areas from soon-to-be parking lots. Recommended evaluations of the wetlands directly affected by new developments have not taken place, nor have there been environmental assessments on the impact of Trent’s wildlife species, some of which are already threatened or at risk.

The designated construction area for the new twin-pad arena in Peterborough. Image via Trent University.

Not only are these developments not in keeping with Trent’s reputation as an environmentally-progressive university, but the misinformed and shadowy manner in which these approvals have been made is truly undemocratic. In my opinion, this unsustainable trajectory of development does not represent the best interests of students, that is, the few who are aware of the current situation, and instead only serves the interests of higher powers.

I implore you to properly evaluate the significance of Trent University wetlands with the Ministry of the Environment of Ontario, and that greater efforts be put forth to engage community groups in decisions that so greatly affect our campus, our city, and our environment.

Sincerely,

Emily Stysma