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PSU Faculty and Students Honored by Metro Regional Parks for Community Service at Annual Banquet
Author: Erin Malecha, Office of Marketing and Communications (503-725-8794)
Posted: January 31, 2005

Three groups of Portland State University faculty members and students were honored for outstanding volunteer service at the Metro Regional Parks and Greenspaces Department's annual awards banquet on January 30, 2005.

The PSU faculty and students received the "Chinook Award," presented annually to volunteer groups that have made a significant contribution to Metro Regional Parks and Greenspaces in the previous year, including donating at least 500 hours of service. During 2004, Metro worked with three different PSU programs on two projects: a feasibility study for the Sullivan's Gulch Trail and vegetation monitoring at the Smith and Bybee Lakes Wildlife Area.

"Portland State's involvement is an excellent example of how Metro's volunteer program achieves mutual benefits," said Metro Council President David Bragdon. "Students apply their classroom knowledge while giving back to the community and helping to plan for livable places. At the same time, their contributions go a long way towards helping the Metro Council achieve its goal of creating a vibrant region with natural surroundings close by. The energy and leadership demonstrated by Portland State is to be commended."

2004 Chinook Award winners from Portland State:
Profs. Deborah Howe and Ethan Seltzer led Master of Urban and Regional Planning program students Morgan Will, Michael Hoffman, Darren Muldoon and Joseph Schaefer in creating a feasibility study for a proposed Sullivan Gulch Trail in Northeast Portland. Their work-over 550 cumulative hours-will support the master planning process for the trail corridor. The study also provides Metro the necessary information needed to apply for a federal transportation grant funding to continue the trail planning.

In addition, Prof. Robert Bertini and 10 PSU undergraduate students in the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science produced engineering drawings and documents of how the Sullivan's Gulch Trail could physically be built in the narrow I-84 corridor between I-5 and I-205. The group volunteered approximately 1,200 hours on this project from start to finish. This technical information will serve as baseline data for master planning the trail corridor.

Prof. Alan Yeakley and master's student Noah Jenkins, in PSU's Environmental Sciences and Resources Program, are documenting the effectiveness of Metro's wetland restoration efforts at Smith and Bybee Lakes. This study is critical for Metro to learn how well the new water control structure is functioning at the lakes and to point out adaptive management opportunities in the habitat restoration effort. Together, Yeakley, Jenkins and two additional volunteers put in more than 500 hours on this project in 2004.

Each year the Metro Regional Parks and Greenspaces Department recognizes outstanding volunteer service at its annual awards banquet. Those individuals and groups who meet specified criteria are recognized in the following award categories: Chinook Award for outstanding volunteer group; Osprey Award for outstanding new volunteer; Douglas Fir Award for outstanding leadership; Black Bear award for outstanding contribution to department goals; and the Directors Award to staff who excel in working with volunteers. In all, 1,501 volunteers provided 32,000 hours of service to Metro parks and greenspaces programs and activities in 2004.

Portland State University, Oregon's only urban university, is the largest and most diverse in the state system. The University's position in Oregon's economic and cultural center allows for deep community engagement and the creation of partnerships with hundreds of organizations throughout the region - partnerships that give PSU students valuable learning opportunities as they solve real-world problems of business and community. Portland State offers more than 100 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees, as well as graduate certificates and continuing education programs. PSU serves more students and confers more master's degrees annually than any other Oregon university.

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Source: Ron Klein, Metro Regional Parks and Greenspaces (503-797-1774)

For Immediate Release (#05-012)