K-12 Education at the Environmental Learning Center

Please note that due to restoration projects at the Environmental Learning Center, access will be limited during construction.

The John Inskeep Environmental Learning Center (ELC) is a place where all ages can learn about the environment through hands-on, interactive activities that are both educational and fun!

Our recently restored wetland, fed by underground springs and storm water runoff from the Oregon City campus, provides critical habitat for wildlife and water quality improvement, making it the ideal location to study wetland habitat. And, as the headwaters to Newell Creek, it's also the perfect venue for watershed discussions.

Beginning spring 2018, the ELC will be offering K-12 field trips and camps designed to enrich the learning of students in the area of outdoor education. Please check back later for details on our summer camps and high school field trips, as they are currently under development.

Field trips are structured to meet specific Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that cover Ecosystems, Adaptation, Biodiversity and the Impact of Human Activity. Students will be provided opportunities to explore, interact with, measure and create within the lush outdoor surroundings of the ELC, which contains both Forest and Wetland habitat. The variety of habitat present allows us to teach about interdependent relationships in ecosystems. Some age groups will also learn about water quality and stormwater management.

We look forward to your visiting soon!

For more information about opportunities to visit, please contact Vanya North at vanya.north@clackamas.edu.

Field Trip Programs

Do coyotes eat salad? A journey into the forest ecosystem

Grades: K-3
2.5 hours
Cost: $7/student (minimum $140/group)
The forest ecosystem is a complex web of plants and animals interacting with each other every day to find food, shelter and mates. This field excursion will give your students a better understanding of forest ecology through hands on learning, interactive role playing and participation in fun education based games!

Prepare to get ducky! Exploring wetland habitats

Grades: K-3
2.5 hours
Cost: $7/student (minimum $140/group)
Wetlands make up only about 5% of the earth’s surface, yet they are crucial habitat for a wide array of plants and animals. During their visit, students will learn about wetland plant and animal identification, animal migration and the important role wetlands play in water quality.

Why is My Skin Green? Adaptations for survival

Grades: 4
2.5 hours
Cost: $7/student (minimum $140/group)
Frogs, birds, bears and even plants have adapted to improve their chances of survival in nature. Students will explore several types of adaptation in the forest/wetland ecosystem, and determine the purpose for each adaptation (growth, survival, behavior or reproduction), then join in a variety of fun, interactive games to reinforce their discoveries.

Web of Life: Food chains in the ecosystem

Grades: 5
2.5 hours
Cost: $7/student (minimum $140/group)
It may not be obvious, but all food ultimately comes from the sun. This engaging program will help your students to develop an understanding for the complex, interdependent relationships within an ecosystem. By exploring different components of the food chain, students will recognize the role of abiotic factors as well.

Ecosystem Health: Monitoring a wetland restoration

Grades: 6-8
2.5 hours
Cost: $8/student (minimum $160/group)
Wetlands function as highly efficient water filtration plants, help to control flood waters, and provide vital habitat for many plant and animal species. In this class, your students will see first-hand the results of our recent restoration project. They will learn sampling techniques, and gain hands-on experience collecting data that will be used to evaluate the real-world impacts of this wetland on biodiversity and water quality.