Trinity has announced a public vote on a plan to increase biodiversity on campus. The vote, which opened today asks staff, students and the public whether they would like for the grass area on College Green to be transformed into a wildflower meadow space.
If successful, this area would be added to the 1000 m2 of campus land which Trinity has already converted into meadows. The location, which lies directly outside the College Front Gate, would be planted with wildflowers and then left untouched over winter months.
By not mowing or treating the lawn the college hopes to increase food and habitat space for important pollinators (like bees and dragonflies), while increasing biodiversity in the city centre. According to the College’s biodiversity objectives, Trinity aims to increase biodiversity rich campus spaces by 5%, while increasing total green areas and trees by 10%. This increase attempts to address the estimated 1 million plant and animal species which are at risk of extinction due to human driven habitat loss (such as deforestation, poaching, climate change, etc).
The decision to open the vote to the public acknowledges the very public location of the potential meadows, situated between statues of Oliver Goldsmith and Edmund Burke. 1000s of people (students, teachers, tourists and residents) pass by the Front Gate each day. In an email from John Parnell, Chair of the Grounds and Gardens Advisory Committee, he acknowledges that the area “may, on occasion, look less tidy” but that proponents of the initiative hope it is the most visually appealing manner in which to transition to a more biodiverse campus.
The vote will remain open until March 10.