Community Education at the ELC

We invite everyone in the community to join in the fun at the Environmental Learning Center!

Whether you want to learn how to attract wildlife to your garden, practice yoga in a Zen-like setting, or gaze at the stars with Rose City Astronomers, we offer a variety of events and classes that bring the community together to enjoy what the Environmental Learning Center has to offer.

Our current offerings:

Free Wildlife and Water Friendly Garden Series

Back by popular demand this series will provide tips on how to garden with less water, manage too much stormwater and generally provide a healthier habitat for birds, pollinating insects and more. Each week, experts will share their experience, stories and best practices. There will be plenty of time for discussion, so come prepared with your garden questions!

When: Thursdays, Jan. 26-March 9

Time: Noon-1 p.m.

Cost: Free

Who: Anyone interested in home gardening for wildlife and water quality

Where: Zoom (virtual), link will be provided upon registration

Speakers and Session Descriptions: Event Details

Each session is stand-alone, so sign up for the classes that are of interest to you. Just one or two - or all seven!

  • Jan. 26: How to Grow a Sustainable Lawn
  • Feb. 2: Encouraging Beneficial Insects, Spiders, & Mini-Creatures
  • Feb. 9: Avoiding Bullies in the Garden
  • Feb. 16: Drought-Tolerant Native Plants for Pollinators
  • Feb. 23: Attracting Birds While Protecting Watershed Health
  • March 2: Ways That We Impact Watersheds in our Garden Decisions
  • March 9: Garden Design Considerations for Managing Stormwater & Erosion

Register for Free Sessions

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clackamas Water Environment Services and our community partners: Clackamas River Basin Council, Clackamas River Water Providers, Oak Lodge Water Services and North Clackamas Watersheds Council.

Join Us - Meet the World of Wetlands!

Wetlands play a vital role in the health of our natural environment, but what is it that makes them so special? Join us to learn from wetland experts about the benefits they provide and the plants that call them home.

When: Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022

Time: 10 a.m.-noon

Cost: $10

Who: All skill levels welcome

Where: Environmental Learning Center at the Oregon City campus


  • John van Staveren, PWS | president, senior scientist
    • John directs PHS's environmental and regulatory compliance activities throughout the Pacific Northwest. With over 32 years of experience, he has conducted hundreds of wetland delineations, numerous local wetland and riparian inventories, prepared dozens of biological assessments, designed and implemented freshwater and estuarine wetland mitigation plans, provided expert witness testimony, and served on four state-appointed technical advisory committees concerning wetland and waterway policy in Oregon. John is certified as a professional wetland scientist and is certified by the Oregon Department of Transportation to prepare endangered species effects assessments. He also was the lead wetland scientist involved in the restoration of the Environmental Learning Center in 2017!
  • Natalie Balkam | park ranger, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Complex
    • Natalie works to connect people with nature, and as an avid plant lover, she loves any opportunity to spend time outside among the plants. Natalie has worked various positions conducting plant monitoring in Alaska and Nevada, before spending the last three years at Tualatin River NWRC.

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Special thanks to our sponsor, the City of Oregon City Public Works department!

Register Now


Thank you to everyone who joined us June 25 for our first ever Bioblitz! It was truly a great success. We hope to do this again.

A Bioblitz is an event that takes a snapshot of the biodiversity of a specific place. Students, families, scientists and other community members joined together to find and identify as many plants and animals as possible in a 4-hour time period. Experts were on hand to take small groups out on a tour, guiding them in their discovery and identification of organisms.

Thanks again to our sponsor, Clackamas Water Environment Services!

This event was hosted by the Greater Oregon City Watershed Council and Clackamas Community College's Environmental Learning Center. We are grateful for the leadership of two AmeriCorps volunteers, Willow and Derek.

Interested in donating to the ELC?

Your donation is tax deductible, and your generosity helps us continue to offer all our programming and scholarship opportunities.

Donate to the ELC