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Clackamas Community College gets 119 plants to shade the headwaters of Newell Creek

Oregon City School District staff often send students over to Clackamas Community College to grow and flourish by earning college credits, and now the district sent over something else to grow and flourish: 119 trees.

PHOTO COURTESY: MICHAEL CLARK - Oregon City School District donated five different tree varieties to a project at Clackamas Community College's OC campus.The trees have been planted as part of the Environmental Learning Center/Newell Creek Headwaters Restoration Project on the CCC Campus. The 5-acre site is currently being rebuilt to showcase innovations in stormwater management, landscape design and sustainable living practices as visitors of all ages explore the outdoors and learn about watersheds through hands-on environmental education.

When the school district removed trees nearby to build its new Transportation and Maintenance Facility, OCSD could either pay the city a fee or plant replacement trees, a permitting process known as "tree-mitigation." Wes Rogers, OCSD director of operations, said the school district mostly planted replacement trees, including these that were donated to CCC.

"With over 300 acres of property to manage, we are always working on landscaping, trees and doing our part to keep Oregon City a Tree City USA," Rogers said. "As part of our tree-mitigation efforts in the last two years, we were able to donate 119 trees to CCC, and we are excited to watch them grow as we continue our long-standing partnerships."

The five different tree varieties donated will grow to 20-230 feet tall, providing shade to cool the water before its discharge to Newell Creek. The varieties were red alder, Western red cedar, Oregon ash, vine maple and white dogwood.

"Clackamas Community College and the ELC have a long history of being part of the community. In fact, the ELC was built on the idea of volunteerism and environmental stewardship," said Bob Cochran, CCC dean of campus services. "This generous donation from the Oregon City School District exemplifies how partnerships between public institutions like the school district and the college can benefit the community."

Both OCSD and CCC are partners with the Friends of Trees nonprofit. Officials from the two governmental entities encourage anyone in the community interested in helping to plant more trees to visit friendsoftrees.org and arborday.org/programs/treecityusa.

After completion of the ELC restoration, the college is hosting a grand opening 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7. The community is invited to explore the site and celebrate. For more information, visit clackamas.edu/ELC.

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