Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Timeline

The Learning Garden

The Learning Garden is the vibrant and dynamic place it is today because of the hard work of many students, faculty, and staff over many years. Read our timeline to learn how we put down roots.

2019
  • Completed construction of Picnic Pavilion
  • GIS student created major revision of LG map for Welcome Kiosk in 4 languages
  • Welding student fabricated a large, moveable metal frame for Dia De Los Muertos altar. 
  • Collaborated with 43 college courses
  • Engaged 509 K-12 students
  • Recorded 622 total volunteer hours in garden
  • Harvested almost 5,700 pounds of food
  • Redeemed $1139.05 in vouchers at Portlandia FarmStandia in exchange for volunteer hours worked
  • Working in partnership with PCC dining services we began selling extra produce in exchange for $5 cafe vouchers for use by student garden volunteers. In 2019, the garden earned 117 vouchers, at a value of over $575, which students can use to purchase a hot meal in the cafeteria!
2018
  • Awarded $8500 by PCC students’ grant program The Green Initiative Fund to partner with Building Construction Technology department on construction of 18’x24’ Picnic Pavilion
  • Removed 20 failing raised garden beds to double production area with in-ground bed layout
  • Collaborated with 42 college courses
  • Engaged 1294 K-12 students
  • Recorded 941 total volunteer hours in garden
  • Harvested over 5,000 pounds of food
  • Thousands of marigolds grown for Dia De Los Muertos, community visitors came from 3 counties to share in the harvest
  •  Redeemed $788.75 in vouchers at Portlandia FarmStandia in exchange for volunteer hours worked
2017
  • Constructed energy-efficient, DIY, walk-in-cooler using coolbot technology for on-site cold storage of fruits and vegetables
  • Hired a full-time, year-round, permanent Learning Garden Coordinator
  • Collaborated with 59 college courses
  • Engaged 237 K-12 students
  • Recorded 1649 total volunteer hours in garden
  • Harvested over 5,000 pounds of food
  • Redeemed $1,495 in vouchers at Portlandia FarmStandia in exchange for volunteer hours worked
2016
  • Recorded nearly 1700 total volunteer hours in the garden
  • Led 40 tours, and 13 Lunch ‘n Learn workshops
  • Collaborated with 40 college courses
  • Worked with 641 K-12 students from two school districts
  • Received certification as a Bee Campus USA, the fourth in the nation!
  • Revised our Learning Garden logo
  • Celebrated Earth Day 2016 with 36 volunteers putting in 95 hours of work in the garden
  • Harvested over 8,855 pounds of produce
  • Harvested over 180 lbs of Dutch Bucket Hydroponics cucumbers
  • Completed our information kiosk at the entryway to the garden
  • Composted over 13,500 pounds of food waste via the worm bin, worm nursery, metrobin, and geobin systems
  • Sold nearly 7,000 pounds of food
  • Redeemed $3,471 in vouchers at the Portlandia FarmStandia in exchange for volunteer hours worked
  • Donated over 1,460 pounds of fresh produce
  • Selected by New Seasons Market-Orenco Station as their Environmental/Sustainability Bag it Forward partner for August 2016-January 2017
  • Designed and installed Garden entrance signage
2015
  • Constructed two hydroponic systems: a Nutrient Film Technique system and a Dutch Bucket System
  • Built twelve raised beds in the hoop house
  • Started construction of a welcome kiosk at the front of the garden
  • Added bee hives bringing the total to eight with four swarms
  • Launched Volunteer for Veggies, a volunteer reward program in which volunteers earn $5 for each hour worked in the Garden
  • Expanded the orchard to 64 trees producing 12 varieties of fruit
  • Planted and trellised a new fruit field and berry patch
  • Built a worm nursery to ensure long-term, sustainable composting
  • Revised Learning Garden master site plan
  • Video created
2014
  • Added an apple orchard and replanted blueberries in the garden
  • Hired a permanent Sustainability Coordinator.
  • Created a Learning Garden Ambassador within the Office of International Education
  • Added two bee hives to the operation
  • Grew 5,358 pounds of produce
  • Facilitated 32 tours of our closed-loop system (Rocket Composter, worm bin, garden, and more)
  • Engaged 24 courses in the garden with over 1,000 student contact hours
  • Piloted a farm stand as another way to get fresh produce – and education about it – to the campus community
  • Flowergrams were delivered around campus, raising over $400 to advance initiatives and support students in the garden
2013
  • Hired the first Garden Coordinator food production operations
  • Developed the garden’s first formal crop plan for the cafeteria
  • Hired our first AmeriCorps member with primary responsibility for informal sustainable food and agriculture education in the garden
  • Added two work-study positions to support operations in the garden
  • Involved the campus childcare center by planting and maintaining a garden plot specifically designed for teaching children about growing food
  • Grew 2,608 pounds of produce
2012
  • Constructed additional raised beds
  • Formed a partnership with Beaverton School District in which land was provided adjacent to the Learning Garden for high school students to use with half of the food grown on this plot contributed to the Rock Creek cafeteria
  • Issued a call for art in the garden to students resulting in the purchase of several pieces of art. Student artists and several classes now have their work permanently installed on campus
  • Purchased two benches for the garden
2010
  • Developed the Learning Garden Master Plan, creating a long-term vision for the space
  • Created an accessible gathering space for students, faculty, staff, and community members
  • Installed permanent solar powered irrigation
2009
  • The first Climate Action Plan was signed by the District President, demonstrating an institutional commitment to supporting sustainability work like that happening at the garden
2006
  • Built an earthen oven made of sand, straw, and mud used for pizza parties, bread making, cookies and more
  • Served food from the garden in the cafeteria for the first time
  • Received a grant funding an AmeriCorps Service member to build a worm compost system reducing food waste on campus
  • Built a cob tool shed
  • Established an organic gardening course using the Garden as a living laboratory
2005
  • Noelle Studer was hired as the first PCC Rock Creek Sustainable Practices Coordinator. Noelle not only integrated sustainability into the culture at PCC, but also laid the groundwork for the Learning Garden.
  • Karen Cox, a Portland State University graduate student wrote her thesis on transformative learning for older generational women through horticulture, titled “Portland Community College Rock Creek Campus Organic Learning Garden: Opportunities For Transformative Learning, Healing, And Hope For The Future.” Her work helped establish the garden as an intentional space. Karen hosted work parties, secured funding to get seeds and install irrigation and lectured in classrooms.