Eco Social Justice Grant
About Eco Social Justice Grant (formerly TGIF)
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Issues of environmental degradation, inequality, and economic disparity impact us all. Here at PCC we value our students, staff, and faculty and their commitment to sustainability as well as their advocacy and efforts towards creating more equitable, diverse and inclusive spaces across the district.
We are supporting and fostering a culture of collaborative, innovative problem solving using environmental sustainability and social justice initiatives to accomplish these goals. From our learning gardens, water bottle fill stations, our great bike programs and farm stand, to our annual #EcoSocialJusticeEvent, we have been working together to address our community’s most pressing ecological and social challenges with fresh ideas. We also feel that it is important to both celebrate and give thanks and acknowledgement to the amount of time, money, and effort that students have put towards making Portland Community College a nationally and globally recognized higher education institution and leader in the sustainability movement.
So, how did we get her and also find a way to support these ongoing efforts?
In 2008 the Associated Students of Portland Community College (ASPCC) District Student Council approved a ten cent addition to the student activity fee, creating The Green Initiative Fund. At the beginning of 2018, the ASPCC District Student Council unanimously agreed to change the name of this fund to the Eco Social Justice Grant (ESJG), this name change better reflects the broader scope of what these grants have been and will be dedicated to. This fund exists so that students, staff, and faculty can participate in our culture of innovation and contribute meaningful advances to sustainable practices. At PCC, our goal is to achieve sustainable excellence in all operations, to live our commitment to social justice, and to meet our targeted greenhouse gas reductions as detailed in the Climate Action Plan. If you have an idea for a project that moves PCC towards these outcomes, we want to hear from you!
Previous Eco Social Justice Grant Projects
Over the years, TGIF and student leaders have supported the development of countless sustainability initiatives throughout the district, including but not limited to:
The Eco Social Justice Grant has funded much of the Rock Creek learning garden, as well as enhancements at the Sylvania learning garden, phase I of the Newberg learning garden, a master plan and now completed Southeast learning garden, and most recently, the Cascade Campus just got approved for design and installation of a Learning Garden as well!
Water Bottle Filling Stations
Water bottle filling stations have been added all around the district, greatly reducing the consumption of plastic water bottles.
The Bike Programs at Cascade and Southeast are both Eco Social Justice Grant funded and student-managed.
Located on the Rock Creek Campus, the OZZI reduces our carbon footprint and diverts waste with reusable to-go food containers.
The Digital Signage (televisions that display ads and save paper) were added all around the district.
Current Eco Social Justice Grant Projects
Cascade Learning Garden
The Cascade Learning Garden is the most recent large scale grant approved. It received funding for two phases and we are in the process of completing phase I which is the design phase. There is plans in the works to have a ribbon cutting ceremony at the 2018 Earth (Extended) Week to celebrate this project. Design and ribbon cutting pictures to come…
Mobile Farm Stand
This project will provide fresh produce as part of the canteen food pantry offerings; it increases informal education on sustainable food and agriculture; it reduces the number of miles students, faculty, and staff drive to get their food; and it provides a revenue stream for the long-term sustainability of the Learning Garden.
Trees and Bees
This project will provide additional fruit trees to finish the orchard as well as raspberries and grans. Class and community members will be able to learn about small scale orcharding and cane fruit production. This project will also provide bee colonies for the beehives currently in the Learning Garden.
Welcome Kiosk RC Learning Garden
The Welcome Kiosk will serve as a bulletin board for new visitors, volunteers, community bed stewards, classes, and the community. This will offer the latest event information, photos, handouts, volunteer engagement information and general education about the LG. There will also be an area where community bed stewards and our LG staff can leave extra food from the days harvest to share.
Winter Food Production
Installation of hydroponic systems for growing greens and vegetables in an existing heated greenhouse.
Charging stations Solar Umbrellas
Solar powered outdoor charging station umbrellas will be added to our outdoor tables.
PCC Rainwater Harvesting Tank
To promote rainwater harvesting as a water, a water tank has been purchased by the ESJG to collect sufficient rainwater to cover 15% of the anticipated usage by LAT Department for resulting in 23,300 gallons per year.
Newberg Learning Garden
The development of the Learning Garden at PCC Newberg Center has been with the goal to provide space needed to offer new classes and continue the connection with the surrounding community. In the Learning Garden master plan we have included areas designated to implement environmental science, horticulture, landscape technology, building technology, psychology, physical education, health education, and various lab science classes. The Learning Garden has the potential for covered classroom areas, areas for accommodating a video projector, garden beds, an amphitheater, and a greenhouse. All these areas would be utilized to nurture learning for both students and staff. The next phase of the garden will include installation of the eight to ten raised beds for food production, two rain gardens, a drought-tolerant desert planting, finishing the cob tool shed with rainwater catchment system, an earthen oven, a rocket stove, the amphitheater, the greenhouse dome, and an herb spiral. Currently the fruit trees include persimmon, pawpaw, and berries. Later installations will include public art pieces, arbors, trellises, and benches. Food will be grown for use on-campus and for donation to food pantries. The mission of the Newberg PCC Learning Garden is to promote health, community, a space for lab science classes at PCC Newberg Center, interdisciplinary academic collaboration, student leadership development, and sustainable food systems education and experiences for Portland Community College students, faculty, staff and community members.