Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Student Sustainability Hub

We’re all in this together

Explore sustainability, build community, and strengthen your skills with the Student Sustainability Hub. Our programs are designed for students who want to create positive change on campus and beyond. Choose your own adventure and thrive!

You belong! Join a club and to get in on sustainable actions across the district. Learn more about the Habitat Team, Cascade Environmental Justice Club, and more.

Man with work gloves looking at camera

Keep up with all the sustainability related events at PCC by adding our calendar to yours!

Students at farm stand

Learn about PCC’s Sustainability Focus Award or find green classes like HE264 Health, Food, and the Environment for the upcoming term.

learning garden in the spring

Come work with us! There are plenty of works study and part time jobs that involve sustainability at PCC!

Person building cob oven

Get outside and help our Learning Gardens thrive or help restore important wildlife habitat!

Person pulling english ivy in a forested area.

Learn more about sustainability related events around PCC under the Events tab below.

President Mitsui on panel at Climate Summit

Have an opportunity to add?

If you have something to add to this page, submit the information using this form.




Winter Flower Giveaway

Come join us to plant a Narcissus Paperwhite bulb in a recycled glass jar. Over winter break your bulb will delight you when it sprouts green leaves and a cluster of fragrant white flowers. Enjoy it yourself, or gift it to someone special!

We will have jars available, but please bring you own if you have one. You can bring a cleaned pasta jar, salsa jar, canning jar, etc.

*Correction: the event at Cascade Campus will be in the Cascade Hall Lobby

Winter Flower Giveaway Poster - Come join us to plant a Narcissus Paperwhite bulb in a recycled glass jar. Over winter break your bulb will delight you when it sprouts green leaves and a cluster of fragrant white flowers. Enjoy it yourself, or gift it to someone special! We will have jars available, but please bring you own if you have one. You can bring a cleaned pasta jar, salsa jar, canning jar, etc. Monday, December 5th 11am-1pm at Sylvania CC Welcome Totem Tuesday, December 6th 11am-1pm at Southeast Campus Mt Tabor Hall Wednesday, December 7th 11am-1pm at Rock Creek, room TBD Wednesday, December 7th 11am-1pm at Newberg Center, room TBD Thursday, December 8th 11am-1pm at Cascade Campus Student Union

Panther Pantry open

*All pantries are closed during finals week and during the break between terms. They will reopen on September 26.

  • Southeast: Mt. Tabor Building, Room 152, Tuesday – Thursday, 10am-6pm
  • Cascade: Cascade Hall, Room 102, Tuesday – Thursday, 10am-6pm
  • Sylvania: CC Building, Room 215, Tuesday – Thursday, 10am-6pm
  • Rock Creek: Building 5, Room 113, Tuesday – Thursday, 10am-6pm

The schedule is subject to change. Visit the Panther Pantry website for updates.



Looking to join the team of students, staff, and faculty who are dedicated to creating sustainable solutions? Opportunities for volunteering on sustainability projects at PCC pop up regularly, so check here for regular updates!

Southeast Learning Garden Volunteer Work Party – CANCELED RESCHEDULE TBD
  • PCC Southeast, Learning Garden
  • Thursday, October 20, 10am-1pm

Please join us for our fall work party at the southeast learning garden. Please come for any amount of time you can volunteer or just stop by to say hi. We will do our final harvest of the season, fall clean up, plant cover crops, and plant garlic. We will have free giveaways for students of apples and pumpkins donated by Portland Nursery.

The Southeast Learning Garden is located west of Administration Hall. For more information, please contact Jolie Donohue at jolie.donohue@pcc.edu.


Explore community engagement opportunities, track your hours, connect with community partners, and share your impact through PCC’s GivePulse site.

Whether you are taking a course with a community-based learning assignment/project or just looking to get involved, GivePulse is your one-stop shop for connecting with community here at PCC! Just a couple of the benefits of using GivePulse include becoming a part of a movement or cause that you care about and creating a community engagement transcript (for your own reporting purposes).

Check out these upcoming sustainability opportunities through GivePulse!


Upcoming credit classes

The following classes in the Winter 2023 term include sustainability as a component of their curricula:

Automotive Service Technology
Building Construction Technology
College Success and Career Guidance
Electronic Engineering Technology
Management and Supervisory Development
Women’s and Gender Studies
Sustainability Focus Award

The Sustainability Focus award recognizes students who have completed a broad range of sustainability-related courses. The award is designed to encourage students to learn to see environmental issues from multiple perspectives and to increase their experience in this multi-disciplinary topic. The earning of this focus award can demonstrate to potential employers and transfer colleges that the student has a deep and broad understanding of sustainability issues.

Fill out this application for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Congratulations to PCC's 2022 Sustainability Focus Award Recipients


We frequently have work-study positions available at the campus and district level. Please see the PCC Work Study page for available positions or email sustainability@pcc.edu. Please note that not all positions may be available at this time.

Sustainability Department
Student Life & Leadership
Food Pantry Coordinator

Student Life and Leadership is seeking four Casual Food Pantry Coordinators to support specific food pantry functions at an assigned campus. This position will report to a Director of Student Life and Leadership.

  • Monday – Thursday
  • Various hours (a typical schedule will be 10-6pm)
  • $18 per hour. Up to 20 hours per week on-site at Rock Creek
  • Start date – immediately.


The position will start as soon as possible and work for up to nine months and not to exceed 959 hours. The workdays will generally be M-TH with work hours to be determined, up to 20 hours per week. The ability to drive a PCC van, a current driver’s license, and travel will be required. The specific work location is to be determined but will be in accordance with PCC’s campus access procedures. Casual positions at PCC are temporary, non-benefited roles. The pay range for this position will be Casual Professional Level II.

To express interest in the position, please send a completed PCC Employment Application and your resume, including a one-page cover letter describing your experience and how you meet the minimum qualifications, to leadership.ca@pcc.edu as soon as possible. If you would like to be considered for this position, please apply immediately. Applicants will be reviewed as they are received.

In this position you will:

  • Work in an assigned Panther Pantry

  • Work with the work-study staff, Program Specialists to maintain the Panther Pantry via scheduling, training, and follow-up meetings

  • Pick up food from a designated grocery store regularly

  • Attend SNAP training via partnerships with Oregon Food Bank, Partners for Hunger-Free Oregon, DHS, and other applicable agencies as required

  • Complete PCCs onboarding training

  • Provide SNAP outreach and advocacy for students

  • Attend district food pantry meetings and trainings as required

  • Partner within the community as required

  • Other duties as assigned


  • Must be able to drive a PCC vehicle (cargo van) and complete a vehicle training program.

  • Must have a valid driver’s license

  • A food handlers card is required and paid for by PCC

Cascade Learning Garden
Learning Garden Assistants (On-Campus and Remote Work)

We have hired for fall term. Please check back in February when we’ll do our spring hiring.

Full list of job duties and qualifications for Cascade Learning Garden Assistants

Must be taking 6 credits per quarter and be approved for federal work study. Please confirm your eligibility for work study before applying. Work study positions pay $14 per hour. Please email your cover letter and resume to jolie.donohue@pcc.edu.

Rock Creek Learning Garden
Southeast Learning Garden
Learning Garden Assistants (On-Campus and Remote Work)

We have hired for fall term. Please check back in February when we’ll do our spring hiring.

Full list of job duties and qualifications for Cascade Learning Garden Assistants

Must be taking 6 credits per quarter and be approved for federal work study. Please confirm your eligibility for work study before applying. Work study positions pay $14 per hour. Please email your cover letter and resume to jolie.donohue@pcc.edu.

Sylvania Environmental Center
Outreach Coordinator

As our Outreach Coordinator, you would:

Help with E-Center communications:

  • Update our sustainability outreach materials
  • Creatively design new signage
  • Work on our Newsletter around events and education

Help with sustainability projects:

  • Plan events including Upcycling and Earth Week
  • Talk with fellow students at tabling events
  • Help with sustainability activities, like learning garden work parties
  • Help with composting and recycling programs
  • Keep up and organize the Environmental Center office.

We looking for team members who have skills and experience, or wants to further develop in outreach, people skills, organization, and planning. This position is typically a work-study position and can be applied to through the work study page.

Contact Peter Ritson, Environmental Center Coordinator, peter.ritson@pcc.edu for more details.

Sylvania Learning Garden Assistant

Join us in the Sylvania Learning Garden, an oasis of beautiful plants, creatures, and veggies located next to the track. The Learning Garden Assistant will work directly with the Learning Garden Coordinator and the AmeriCorps Food Systems Outreach Coordinator on a variety of
garden projects. During the winter 2022 term, the Learning Garden assistant will be a hybrid of remote work and time in the learning garden.

The LG Assistant is expected to interact with volunteers, students, and staff in the garden as well as with the greater community that visits our garden. The Learning Garden Assistant will help implement sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the garden. The LG Assistant will also be encouraged to find inspiration in the garden and come up with creative independent


  • Be approved for Federal Work Study and available to work 5-10 hours per week
  • Work outside year-round in a variety of weather conditions
  • Ability to dig, bend, kneel and lift heavy objects up to 50 pounds
  • Experience and/or interest in gardening, food growing, and outdoor work
  • Basic understanding of and interest in waste reduction
  • A passion for sustainability, food justice, and food sovereignty
  • Committed to applying the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the learning garden
  • Self-motivated and self-directed individual
  • Demonstrated ability to think critically and problem-solve as issues arise
  • Ability to work well with others in a group setting
  • Reliably arrive on time and work the majority of scheduled shifts

Job duties (in person) may include:

  • General garden upkeep including in-ground and raised bed preparation, seeding, planting, weeding, harvesting, and delivery of food to Panther Pantry
  • Maintain a safe working environment at all times
  • Maintenance of garden tools
  • Irrigation maintenance
  • Distribution of flyers for learning garden events on campus
  • Assistance with educational and community events in the Learning Garden, including volunteer work parties and class projects
  • Learning garden ambassador at campus and district work team and committee meetings

Job Duties (remote) may include:

  • Attend and assist with weekly virtual learning garden meetings
  • Create fliers for email distribution
  • Assist with weekly ECenter newsletter
  • Create educational handouts, brochures, and videos about gardening, edible crops, cooking, and nutrition
  • Meet weekly with the learning garden coordinator and AmeriCorps member
  • Help outreach, coordinate, plan, facilitate, and evaluate virtual events with student groups, clubs, and resource centers

This is a work study position and students must be eligible for federal work study and taking 6 credits per quarter. The position is 10 hours per week and we are flexible in helping you create a work schedule that meets your education goals and our work needs. Pay is $14 per hour.

To apply, email a cover letter explaining your interest in the position and outlining any related experience. You can also include a resume and 2 references if you have them. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the winter term. Please email your inquiry and questions to Peter Ritson, Sylvania Environmental Center Coordinator, at peter.ritson@pcc.edu.


Student Sustainability Club

This is an organization of students from Portland Community College who believe that a collective effort can make a difference for a better world. Our mission is to build awareness about the issues of environmental degradation and environmental social justice, and to help the community adopt a sustainable lifestyle in their own lives and on campus. We have community outreach projects, volunteer opportunities, and outdoor activities.

Please check out our page on Panther Hub or contact Jade Menchaca at jade.menchaca@pcc.edu with questions or concerns!

Bee Campus USA Committee

Are you passionate about pollinators? Are you interested in increasing pollinator habitat on our campuses? The PCC Bee Campus USA Committee is seeking new members. Your commitment would be to participate in meetings 3-4 times per year, serve as an advisor and help educate the PCC community about the importance of pollinators and their habitat, our campus apiary, beekeeping classes, and our fundraising efforts (honey sales). If you are interested in joining, please email sustainability@pcc.edu.

Tree Campus Higher Education Committee

You have the opportunity to join forces with us to protect and promote trees, enhancing the natural environment in and around all of our campuses and centers at PCC. The PCC Tree Campus Higher Education Committee welcomes students, faculty, staff, and community members to help with this important college-wide effort.

We work together to:

  • Establish policies and guidelines for planting, maintaining, and removing trees
  • Ensure that adequate funding and staff time is provided in support of the program
  • Organize activities in observance of National Arbor Day
  • Create opportunities for students to participate in tree-related service learning projects
  • Educate the community about the important ecosystem benefits that trees provide

For more information or to join the committee, contact tree-campus-group@pcc.edu.

Cascade Green Team

Are you a student at Cascade and interested in getting involved in sustainability initiatives on campus? Join students, faculty, and staff in the Cascade Green Team! We like to find ways to advance sustainability at our campus through educational events and action projects. Some projects that we have worked on recently include efforts to reduce plastic bottle consumption on campus, supporting the learning garden, and contributing to Earth Week activities. We always welcome new folks and ideas! If you are interested in learning more about the club or attending a meeting, contact Taryn Oakley at taryn.oakley@pcc.edu.

Southeast Food Justice Club

We are here to organize around personally-relevant issues of food justice, challenge systemic inequity, recreate and reclaim healthy community food ways, increase access to food-growing knowledge within the community, and build awareness among students of the many resources on and off campus that relate to these issues. For more details, please contact selearninggarden@pcc.edu.

Southeast Green Team

Are you a student at Southeast and interested in getting involved in sustainability initiatives on campus? Join students, faculty, and staff in the Southeast Green Team! We are in the process of developing a learning garden that will be a comprehensive outdoor learning space for our students to learn, our faculty to teach in, and our Southeast Campus to enjoy. This will provide opportunities for students to work outside of the standard classroom and to connect sustainability and gardening with learning and everyday life. We promote a number of other green initiatives, like the Bike Rental Program and annual Earth Week events. If you are interested in learning more about the club or attending a meeting, contact Davida Jordan at davida.jordan@pcc.edu.

Sylvania Food Justice Club

The Sylvania Food Justice Club/Cohort is comprised of food justice champions from multiple Identity Based Equity Centers (IBEC) including the Queer Resource Center, Multicultural Center, Women’s Resource Center, and Veterans Resource Center. Collectively, the cohort organizes advocacy and education around food insecurity and how to help students in need. Our mission is to tackle the root cause that continues to perpetuate the same outcome. We stand by three fundamental strategies that can address systemic hunger: teaching, connecting, and advocating. This includes policies, practices, and norms here at PCC. At PCC Sylvania, we draw strength from all who support us on campus and in our community. We hope people across the city and state will see our efforts in taking the lead in addressing hunger here in Oregon. All are welcome. If you are interested in being a part of this cohort, email Catherine Horwitz at catherine.horwitz@pcc.edu.

Sylvania Garden Virtual Hangouts

Get a glimpse of what’s happening in the Sylvania Learning Garden, bring your gardening questions, and share your garden skills and ideas with other PCC gardeners of all levels of experience. All are welcome! For more information, contact Catherine Horwitz at catherine.horwitz@pcc.edu.

Organic Garden Club

The purpose of the LAWNS club (Land Air Water Nutrients Space) is to make gardening accessible to all PCC students, staff, and faculty and open the door to promote the transformation of LAWNS into biodiverse environments that engage all plants and gardeners by bringing access to affordable, sustainable gardening and awareness to food sovereignty. To get involved, contact Peter Ritson at peter.ritson@pcc.edu.

Habitat Restoration Team at Sylvania

Would you like leadership and environmental field experiences? Come join the team! We don’t usually meet for two hours but sometimes we write grants, show movies, do a walkabout, or have a mini-work party. The Habitat Restoration Team, working with the Sylvania Grounds crew, PCC students and staff, and community members, works to remove invasive species, plant NW native plants, and help stabilize creek beds. To get involved, contact April Ann Fong at afong@pcc.edu.

Rock Creek Food Justice Club

Our main goal for this club is to bring awareness to food insecurity among college students and campuses. We want to do outreach to educate others on what the Food Justice Movement means and how they can help. As students and as human beings we have the right to fight for our right to have quality, healthy food for every meal.

Our main goals are:

  • Collaborate with local non-profits
  • Collaborate with resource centers that are stationed on the Rock Creek campus
  • Do service projects on and off campus
  • Create one event on campus to do outreach and promote resources that college students can use

To get involved, contact Kathryn Lopez at kathryn.lopez@pcc.edu.

Get involved with the garden and learn more about organic gardening, composting, and greenhouse production. Help host work parties and events in the Learning Garden. Now’s the time to get growing! For more information email Miriam Latzer at miriam.latzer@pcc.edu.

Rock Creek Green Team

Comprised of staff, students, and faculty, this group of dedicated people is the champion of sustainability at the Rock Creek Campus. Functionally serving as an advisory committee to the Sustainability Office, this group has a strategic influence on department-level sustainable practices, information dissemination, and Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP), as well as serving as contacts for campus-wide initiatives and education. It is this group of sustainability promoters that keeps us going! We always welcome interested folks! We usually meet once per quarter over lunch. The Green Team always has something going on. Please contact Jade Menchaca at jade.menchaca@pcc.edu to learn more.

Thinking of starting a club?

First contact the district sustainability department, which can connect you with people and resources that you will need to know. Who knows – maybe there’s already a club that exists, waiting for someone like you to step into a leadership role!


Eco Social Justice Grant

Eco Social Justice GrantIssues 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 toward 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 acknowledgment 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.

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!

Learn more and apply for the Eco Social Justice Grant!

Get Current: Monthly Energy Newsletter

Subscribe to this monthly newsletter to learn about PCC energy conservation and how to conserve energy at home. Email jack.rasmuson@pcc.edu for more information.

Sylvania Environmental Center

The PCC Sylvania Environmental Center promotes sustainability, education, and action. We invite students to protect and sustain our local and global community. We are located in the Science Technology building, ST 213. Our office hours are Monday and Wednesday 8:30am – 5pm, Tuesday and Thursday 8:30am-2:30pm, Friday 9am – 3pm. Email peter.ritson@pcc.edu if you have any questions.

Rock Creek Garden Community Plots

Calling all gardeners! Interested in caring for a plot in the community beds at the Rock Creek Campus Learning Garden? Sign-up info coming soon.

Climate Research Guides

An updated climate change research guide is now live on the PCC Library website. This updated guide has a tab highlighting the PCC Climate Action Plan. One of the best ways to support students experiencing eco-anxiety and climate grief is to help them connect with a community doing meaningful climate justice work.

Also, there are two more guides in production focused on integrating climate change into classroom curriculum: Teaching Climate Change in the Community College and Climate Change Curriculum. Would you be able to contribute some PCC-specific content to help complete these additional guides?

Specifically, the guides would benefit from:

  • assignments and curriculum related to climate change created by PCC instructors
  • PCC instructors and staff willing to advise or support colleagues wanting to add a climate component to their courses

Please reach out to Roberta Richards at rrichard@pcc.edu if you have assignments to share or are willing to be listed as a support person.

Panther Pantries

We know that keeping students fed is imperative to equitable student success, that diverting food waste lowers PCC’s carbon impact, and that projects like the Learning Garden and Food Forests build community resilience to the impacts of Climate Change.

Panther Pantries are on all four comprehensive campuses and provide food for students in need: Cascade (Cascade Hall, Room 102); Rock Creek (Building 5, Room 113); Southeast (Mt. Tabor Building, Room 152); and Sylvania (CC Building, Room 215).

Visit the food pantry website for current schedule updates.

The Menstrual Project

Cascade Women’s Resource Center is providing more free reusable menstrual products through the Eco Social Justice Grant to help students and PCC reduce their waste and lower the amount of money used on menstrual products.

Go to our Instagram at @cascadewrc to find more information on the products!

You can directly request products at any time via The Menstrual Project. Request products by filling out this form.

GPSEN College Network of Environmentalists

GPSEN logo
Stay in the loop of networking events in Portland, discuss goals and ideas for the future, and more!

Want to learn how to be more sustainable on the day-to-day?

Take the Sustainable Choices Pledge.

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