Download the pdf version of this Campus Snapshot here

Submitted by Thea Kindschuh, Portland CRUX Coordinator
August 2018


The Sandy River Basin Watershed Council (SRBWC) is a collaborative natural systems stewardship organization located on the Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) campus. SRBWC has been partnering with MHCC to work toward a large-scale stormwater retrofit at a number of sites on campus. Goals of the retrofit include sustainable stormwater management, improving water quality, and improving salmon habitat at local creeks. SRBWC and MHCC broke ground on the retrofit this year. Through an external grant, SRBWC was able to hire an intern to establish baseline water, vegetative, and
species health measures. This data will be used to monitor the long-term efficacy of the retrofit.

Sandy River Basin Watershed Council Director Steve Wise describing the retrofit plan during groundbreaking.


The retrofit projects are at different sites throughout the MHCC campus.

Educational signs on MHCC campus explaining the retrofit and environmental benefits.

Implementation Partners & Funding

The Sandy River Basin Watershed Council is leading this project. SRBWC is also coordinating with Mt. Hood Community College, a nonprofit called Depave that focuses on removing pavement in urban areas to create green space, the City of Gresham, and Portland State University. The project is funded by several external grants that SRBWC and MHCC received.

Resilience Assessment Outcomes

MHCC has excellent staff and great potential for pursuing resilience projects; for example the college already had a long-standing partnership with SRBWC. However, the college noted that they would often be forced to “cut corners” in executing projects due to lack of capacity. By funding an intern position, MHCC and SRBWC will be able to collect better quality data, establish a baseline for the retrofit, and document efficacy of the project. This makes the campus better poised to advocate for continuation and expansion of the retrofit, as well as serve as a case study for other areas looking to do similar projects.

Vulnerabilities Reduced by this Project

  • Rainfall flooding
  • Invasive species
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Environmental degradation

Strengths Reinforced by this Project

  • University-Community College partnerships
  • College-City partnerships
  • Knowledge and resource sharing
  • Natural systems conservation and enhancement

Monitoring Impact

The key role of the SRBWC intern is to establish indicators for ecological health that can be used to measure efficacy of the retrofit. This includes establishing baseline data for water, vegetative, and species health indicators on campus and in the watershed. SRBWC and MHCC will then collect indicator data over time to determine the impact of the project and track how ecological health improves.

SRBWC Director Steve Wise and CRUX Coordinator Thea Kindschuh with Depave volunteers breaking ground on one of the retrofit sites.