Metro Grant Supports ELC Restoration

Article by: Janet Paulson

OREGON CITY - The Environmental Learning Center is one of 27 projects that will benefit from Metro's Nature in Neighborhoods grant program. Metro recently awarded an $868,342 grant to fund site restoration at the Clackamas Community College's ELC on the Oregon City campus.

Metro awarded $5.2 million in capital improvement and conservation education grants to a variety of projects in the greater Portland region that reward innovation in linking natural area conservation, stewardship and community involvement. Funded by Metro's 2006 natural areas bond measure, the capital grants finance projects like building trails, buying land or making structural improvements.

The John Inskeep Environmental Learning Center is a five-acre site on the CCC campus at the headwaters of Newell Creek, which flows to the Willamette River through the 1800-acre Newell Creek Watershed, the largest intact green space in the Metro area. The ELC offers environmental education classes for schools, along with activities for families and children.

The primary goal of the project is to redevelop the ELC site into a regionally important outdoor learning laboratory, demonstration project location, and natural area that showcases innovations in stormwater management, landscape design and sustainable living practices. The terms of the grant include $1.7 million matching funds, which the CCC Foundation is expected to raise.

Groundbreaking is expected on the College's 50th Anniversary in May 2016, with completion in 2017.

In 2011, CCC received a $10,000 Metro planning grant to develop the vision for the educational program and to create the conceptural plan to redevelop the ELC site into a natural, flood-water mitigation and treatment system. Approximately 50 percent of campus storm water and Oregon City High School storm water pass through the ELC site. The new concept incorporates principles of bio filtration to cleanse impurities, along with plantings to shade and cool the water prior to release into Newell Creek.

The ELC project Metro funded will implement the recommendations in the plan. The project was planned in partnership with The Greater Oregon City Watershed Council, Clackamas Water Environment Services, Clackamas River Water Providers, OSU Extension, Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District, Oregon City, and the Clackamas County Office of Sustainability.

For more information, contact Greg Fitzgerald, executive director of the CCC Foundation, at 503-594-3132.

Contact the Public Affairs Office

Oregon City - 19600 Molalla Avenue, Oregon City, Oregon 97045

Email us: publicaffairs@clackamas.edu

Call us: 503-594-6000

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