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Environmental Learning Center
The Newell Creek Headwaters Restoration Project
"The whole region will benefit from a restored Environmental Learning Center and protected Newell Creek Headwaters." - Metro Councilor Carlotta Collette
In 2014, the Headwaters of Newell Creek Restoration Project, at the Environmental Learning Center on CCC’s Oregon City campus, received an $863,432 Metro grant to help fund redevelopment of the 5-acre site into a regionally significant outdoor learning laboratory.
The Environmental Learning Center is one of 27 projects benefiting from Metro’s Nature in Neighborhoods grant program. Metro awarded $5.2 million in capital improvement and conservation education grants to a variety of projects in the greater Portland area. These grants promote linking natural area conservation, stewardship and community involvement. Funded by Metro’s 2006 natural areas bond measure, the capital grant finances projects like building trails, buying land and making structural improvements.
Construction for this project will take place over the summer and fall of 2017. During this time, the site will be rebuilt into a regionally-significant outdoor learning laboratory that will showcase innovations in stormwater management, landscape design and sustainable living practices.
The Environmental Learning Center at CCC
The Environmental Learning Center is a great place for children, families and adults to explore the outdoors and learn about watersheds through hands-on environmental education.
Fed by underground springs and stormwater runoff from campus, Newell Creek bubbles to life right here. The water flowing into the Environmental Learning Center provides critical wetland habitat for wildlife and water quality improvement. Think about it! What happens at the headwaters is important to the health of the whole river, because anything that happens here will affect everything downstream.
The water in Newell Creek, flows through the 1,800-acre Newell Creek watershed, the largest intact green space in the South Metro area. From there, it connects with Abernethy Creek and then continues on into the Willamette River, the Columbia River, and ultimately into the Pacific Ocean.
Please Note that we are currently closed for construction.
After the Restoration is completed, we welcome you to visit - explore trails, discover native plants and wildlife, or just enjoy a peaceful break from a busy day! Beginning in early 2018, we will once again offer environmental education programs. The Environmental Learning Center site will be open daily from dawn to dusk. For more information, please call 503-594-3015.
History of the Environmental Learning Center
The Environmental Learning Center at Clackamas Community College represents something different to everyone. Some see it as a place to stroll and commune with nature. Some see it as an outdoor learning laboratory. And others see it as a pioneer in recycling.
The Environmental Learning Center is entering a new phase with the restoration of the headwaters of Newell Creek on the CCC Oregon City campus.
Concurrent with the restoration plans, CCC undertook an extensive community engagement initiative, the Environmental Learning Center Historical Preservation Project. Community members, students, faculty and staff were invited to share memories, hopes and dreams for the future of the site.
"The Environmental Learning Center has been a valued community resource for more than 40 years," CCC President Joanne Truesdell said. "As we move into the future, we rely on our community to help us bring this vision to reality."