Depave For Salmon

depave volunteers
volunteers remove asphalt

This project removed pavement from parking lots and installed rain gardens that filter polluted stormwater before it flows into the creeks at Mt Hood Community College.



4 MIL.





Parking lots EFGH along Kane Drive on the Mt. Hood Community College Campus. See map below for project area.


Oct. 27th, 2018 - Rain garden planting with Depave and 70 volunteers.

Aug. 6th, 2018 - Sept. 24th, 2018: Construction to install rain gardens, bioswales, drywells, and planters in parking lots E and F. Contractors include Otak, Britton Excavating and Grow Construction LLC.

May 18th, 2018 - Kickoff event with Depave. 130 volunteers removed asphalt in parking lots EFGH to get the space ready for summer construction.

Project Description

Mt. Hood Community College has become the first Salmon Safe certified community college in the nation. Beaver and Kelly Creeks flow through campus before joining the Sandy River and are home to endangered salmon. This project removed pavement from parking lots EFGH and installed rain gardens to filter polluted stormwater before it flows into the creeks. The rain gardens will treat up to 4 million gallons of polluted rainwater annually. Project design prioritizes minimal parking loss.

With the completion of this and future projects like it, MHCC becomes a healthy link in restoring endangered salmon populations and a regional leader in sustainability.


Funders include Metro, the City of Gresham, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, Spirit Mountain, and DEQ. The Salmon Safe Clean Water project is funded entirely by external grants, bringing approximately $1 million in outside investment to modernize campus drainage originally built in the 1960's.

Reserved for Salmon

Featured Story

MHCC Getting Salmon Safer

Mt. Hood Community College, the Sandy River Watershed Council and other partners are preparing to complete planned parking lot improvements as part of the Salmon Safe initiative to enhance water quality and habitat on the College’s Gresham campus. Funded entirely by local and regional grants, the series of engineered rain gardens, swales, and stormwater filtering planters will clean and capture millions of gallons of rainfall from parking lots G and H, at the north edge of the campus entrance.

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Mt Hood Community College Parking lot design


Related Culvert Replacement Projects

Other efforts happening around campus to improve conditions for salmon include the replacement of fish passage inhibiting culverts near campusCulverts allow streams to flow under a road, but often cause erosion problems that make it difficult for fish to get upstream.

  • In 2017, Multnomah County replaced the culvert on Beaver Creek at Stark St.
  • In 2018, the City of Gresham replaced the culvert on Kelly Creek at Kane Dr. that had blown out during a record breaking 100-year storm December 2015.
  • In 2019, Multnomah County will replace the culvert at the south end of campus on Beaver Creek under Cochran Rd.

New Multnomah County culvert with natural stream bottom at Stark St.

More Information