Mt. Hood Community College’s Natural Resources Technology (NRT) program will soon have a new tool to teach students with – a sawmill. Second-year NRT students will use the portable mill to transform logs into boards, posts, and other building materials
to create sheds and picnic and conference tables.
The band-saw mill, a Wood-Mizer brand, will mill logs as large as 32 inches in diameter and 21 feet long. Most importantly, however, it will encourage NRT students to build skills in communication and teamwork while also teaching them to operate a
"Using a sawmill offers a great learning opportunity," said Jason Pinkerton, a Forest Resources instructor with the NRT program. "Students are forced to make decisions and to work and talk with each other."
"Plus, there's an opportunity to create some wood products for campus and to support existing curriculum, like Fisheries Technology's building and maintenance class," he added.
Pinkerton said that the mill can use fallen trees from the Gresham campus, and the program’s students and staff can work with local property owners and businesses to transport logs to the campus to mill. NRT students will also learn about timber harvesting
and urban tree salvage – a growing industry focused on using trees and tree remnants sourced primarily from urban/suburban areas and from logging operations.
The purchase of the sawmill was made possible by a $10,000 donation from the MHCC Foundation. The donation came from a local anonymous donor who specifically wanted to contribute to the college's NRT program.
You can learn more about the NRT program at mhcc.edu/NRT