Rock Creek's Environmental Studies Center is a vital and diverse grouping of habitats that occur on Portland Community College's Rock Creek Campus. While human endeavors such as farming (in addition to the construction of nearby housing, roads and parking lots) have modified parts of this habitat and hydrology; through outside grants, previously farmed and overgrazed land is being returned to a more natural state. During this process of habitat restoration, which includes invasive plants removal and plantings of native vegetation; we are monitoring the changes in the quality of the habitat before, during and after implementation of these restoration projects. Changes are being monitored through: monitoring of local fauna and flora, water quality sampling, microclimate studies, photography, and herbarium collections of plants and lichens. In addition, there are several ongoing studies occurring that are performed by PCC students and volunteers; these include microclimate studies and the surveying of wild flowers, lichens, and amphibians.
In any given years there are a number of student studies going on. Two funded projects are ongoing:
- Wetland Restoration Project-Phase I: replanting riparian zone of Rock Creek Spur is funded by the Oregon Partners for Fish and Wildlife.
- Wetland Restoration Project- Phase II: at emergent wetland is funded by the Tualatin Valley Water Quality Endowment Fund.
The photo at right shows the following:
- Tualatin Valley Water Quality Endowment Fund
- Oregon Partners for Fish and Wildlife
- Green Spots:
- Five water sampling points