Environmental Learning Center

The John Inskeep Environmental Learning Center (ELC) is a treasure trove for nature lovers. Here you can follow a meandering waterway, spot many different bird species, and listen to rustling trees and singing frogs. Located on the edge of Clackamas Community College’s Oregon City campus, the ELC is a special place for all to enjoy. 

The ELC offers many opportunities for adults and children alike to explore and learn about the outdoors through hands-on environmental education: field trips and camps for K-12 students, continuing education trainings for professionals, and workshops and special events for community members.

Our beautiful amphitheater and rustic buildings are ideal for classes, but also for weddings, business retreats and meetings. Come join us at the ELC!

What can you do at the ELC?

The Environmental Learning Center is a critical wetland

Newell Creek bubbles to life here, fed by underground springs and stormwater runoff from the campus and surrounding areas. The water in Newell Creek flows through the 1,800-acre Newell Creek watershed, the largest intact green space in the south metro area. It then connects with Abernethy Creek and continues on into the Willamette River, the Columbia River and ultimately into the Pacific Ocean.

The water flowing into the ELC provides critical wetland habitat for wildlife, but stormwater carries pollutants with it. Our functional wetland cleanses and cools this water, ensuring that what goes downstream is healthier than what entered the site. The Environmental Learning Center is open daily from dawn to dusk. Come explore trails and discover native plants and wildlife. For more information on our programs and workshops, please call 503-594-3015.

An ancestral homeland to the Clackamas people

We acknowledge that the Environmental Learning Center resides on the traditional homelands of the Clackamas, Cascades, and Tumwater bands of Chinooks, as well as the Tualatin and Pudding River bands of Kalapuya and the Northern Molalla people. They lived and prospered by maintaining strong cultural ties to the land, and through wise management of resources. As signers of the Willamette Valley Treaty of 1855, they were removed from their homelands to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation where they became members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

We thank and honor the original caretakers of this land, their lives, and their descendants that live on as Tribal members today, still carrying on the traditions and cultures of their ancestors.

A statement from the CCC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

Jun 11, 2020, 13:22 PM
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June 11, 2020

Dear CCC Community:

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee has worked hard to create a DEI Strategic Plan for the institution. However, the development of this plan will not change CCC on its own. Each and every one of us must take a stand against systemic racism and oppression, educate ourselves, and take direct action. Our Black colleagues, students, and community members are hurting, and we cannot continue to expect them to do the work of "fixing" racism. We must disrupt systems of oppression, and we must do this work now.

The ongoing murder of Black people in the United States has been supported by systemic racism and oppression since before our country began. Policies, laws, and social norms have been enacted to legitimize this violence, and continued silence allows violence and oppression to thrive. The issue of racist oppression affects us all on national, regional, and local levels. In our state, counties, cities, institutions, and neighborhoods we have allowed Black people to be dehumanized and murdered. CCC, too, has contributed to maintaining this systemic oppression from the beginning of our institution to the present moment, whether having recruitment and retention practices for both employees and students that do not enhance DEI, or our Euro-and White-centric curricula that erase the experiences and perspectives of people of color, including the Black community. We have also been complicit in our silence. Our silence says this system is just. If we want to send a different message, we must do so with powerful voices and action. It is time to stop hiding behind our fears and discomfort that serve to uphold white supremacy and instead make sacrifices and take risks to advance change. Speaking about diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice is not enough. We must walk the talk.

The DEI Committee has made a commitment to the following:

  • Educating ourselves so that we may move forward the work of DEI at CCC
  • Calling out systems of oppression in our institution and demanding change
  • Sharing information, trainings, and resources with our community so that they may join us in this work
  • Refusing to accept inaction and holding our college community, especially those in leadership, accountable to advancing the goals and values of DEI

You can amplify the message that Black lives matter and help disrupt systemic oppression by:

  • Engaging in political action by attending protests, adding your name to calls for legislative action, writing letters to demand change from those in power, and voting for anti-racist legislation and representatives
  • Educating yourself about systems of oppression and how to become an effective ally in disrupting them (see list of initial resources below and a more comprehensive list is in the attached document)
  • Supporting Black-owned businesses (For lists: MercatusPDX Directory; Oregonlive.com article)
  • Speaking out when you suspect racist oppression is occurring and uplifting the voices and experiences of Black people

The abbreviated resource list below was compiled with information from the following sources: Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources; Code Switch's List of Books, Films and Podcasts About Racism; Bustle's 10 Books About Race; Oregon Women in Higher Education's Resource List; Pacific Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers' Resource List, compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein; input from members of the Resources/Library Subcommittee of the DEI Committee; input from Jane Littlefield in the CCC Library; and Jil Freeman in the Center for Teaching and Learning.

There is also a longer version of this resources list available to download.





Films/TV Shows



Additional Tools/Resources

Directions to the ELC

Clackamas Community College is located at 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City 97045. We are located near the intersection of Hwy 213 and Beavercreek Rd, about three miles south of I-205 (Exit 10).

The Environmental Learning Center is on the northeast edge of campus. The easiest route is to use the back entrance to the campus, off of Beavercreek Road. Take a right on Douglas Loop, and then another right onto Inskeep Drive. A sign for the Environmental Learning Center can be seen at its entrance, with parking available just past the entrance.

Connect with us

Like Us On Facebook and enjoy the ever-changing seasons and happenings at the ELC!

We invite you to help preserve this gem so that the entire community can learn and have fun here for many years to come. Give to the Environmental Learning Center.

Interested in donating to the ELC?

Your donation is tax deductible, and your generosity helps us continue to offer all our programming and scholarship opportunities.

Donate to the ELC