MHCC International Students Mark 10 Years of Community Service
Posted: February 21, 2012
Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) SEED students will mark an outstanding milestone this month – 10 years of community service focused on conserving and improving water quality and wildlife habitat in the Beaver Creek watershed.
The students are enrolled in a program called SEED (Scholarships for Education and Economic Development) which brings international scholars to MHCC for rigorous study in Natural Resources and Environmental Technology. Formerly known as CASS, the program welcomes young leaders from the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.
“Students return to their countries with skills to become key players in local economic and social development, with experiences that can help make them future leaders in technology, education and democratic government,” says Nikki Gillis, who has served in a leadership role in MHCC’s SEED program since 2002. “Students gain an understanding of and connection to the U.S. at the person-to-person level.”
Over the past decade, international students from Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC)
have planted more than 10,000 trees and shrubs in the Beaver Creek watershed.
Connect With the Community
As part of the community service component of their education at MHCC, SEED students are committed to giving back to their host community in a number of ways, one of which has been to preserve the Beaver Creek watershed. The creek is located on 60-acres managed by Metro regional government, and runs through the College’s Gresham Campus.
Over the past 10 years, SEED students have put in more than 10,000 hours to improve stream health through riparian area restoration, removal of invasive species, planting of 10,000 native trees and shrubs and increased awareness of the Beaver Creek natural area and its function in the community.
“Beaver Creek provides valuable habitat for 12 species of native fish including coho, steelhead and chum, as well as a wildlife corridor connecting the uplands to the Sandy and Columbia Rivers,” notes Kate Holleran, natural resources scientist with Metro regional government. “MHCC’s SEED program has made a significant contribution to the area.”
Over the years, SEED students have been joined in this effort by dedicated community partners, including MHCC’s Natural Resources Technology program, Metro, City of Troutdale, Friends of Trees, ReTree International and Lions Clubs International.