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Water: Green Infrastructure

2013 Challenge Winners


In 2013, the U.S. EPA held its second annual Campus RainWorks Challenge. A total of 84 student teams from 29 states submitted green infrastructure designs for the challenge. Many of the designs proposed transformative additions to the campus landscape that show how managing stormwater at its source can benefit the campus community and the environment. In April 2014, EPA announced four winners and four honorable mentions for the 2013 Campus RainWorks Challenge.

Congratulations to the Winning Teams!

First Prize Winners

Second Prize Winners

Honorable Mentions

*For submissions in the Master Plan category, EPA sought conceptual designs that examine how green infrastructure could be integrated into a broad area of the team’s campus. For submissions in the Site Design category, EPA sought proof-of-concept level designs that examine how green infrastructure could be integrated into a particular site.

First Prize Winner (Master Plan category): University of Florida

University of Florida
The design submitted by the winning team from the University of Florida addresses a 67.6 acre subwatershed in the northeast corner of campus. To engage students with the journey of water, the three-phase plan would transform two detention facilities into campus amenities and daylight the flow of stormwater into above ground pipes and vegetated bioswales. In addition to treating and retaining stormwater and improving groundwater recharge, the team’s plan would improve aesthetics and safety along a major road.

To learn more about the design in the team’s own words, view the team’s video Exit EPA Disclaimer.


Student Team:
Adam S. McCollister (Project Manager), Stephanie Z. Bou-Ghannam, Johan A. Bueno, Kristina G. Bunyi, Adrienne Campbell, Viviana Castro, Craig J. Handley, Jr., Mark A.E. Koenig, Kyle J. Passeneau, Joshua D. Roedell, Laura M. Snider, Jessica A. Soleyn, Christopher R. Stidham, Claudia F. Visconti, Theresa G. Wymer, and Jordan S. Young (Landscape Architecture); Tracy A. Fanara and Kelsie A. Timpe (Environmental Engineering); Natalie A. Nelson (Agricultural and Biological Engineering); and Mario Rodriguez (Fine Arts).

Advisors: Glenn A. Acomb, FASLA (Faculty Advisor); Bahar Armagahni (Assistant Director, Facilities Planning); Dr. Mark Clark (Soil and Water Sciences); Cynthia Barnett (Environmental Journalist); Buster Simpson (Environmental Artist); and Chuck Hogan (Coordinator, Facilities Planning).

First Prize Winner (Site Design category): Kansas State University

Kansas State University
The design submitted by the winning team from Kansas State University calls for a stormwater pocket garden in a high traffic area in front of Hale Library. Consisting of disconnected downspouts, wet meadows, rain gardens, and stormwater runnels, the system is designed to retain 100% of runoff from a 1-year storm.  The team’s plan also incorporates native prairie vegetation, allowing the site to support native songbirds and pollinators and reducing maintenance and irrigation needs.

To learn more about the design in the team’s own words, view the team’s video Exit EPA Disclaimer or read their design brief Exit EPA Disclaimer.

Student Team: Lauren Heermann, Amanda Kline, Jared Sickmann, and Benjiman Williamson (Landscape Architecture); and Noura Saadi (Civil Engineering); Student Consultants: Zakary Ratajczak (Biology); Joseph Weeks (Agronomy); Katie Burke (ENVD PhD); Stacy Hutchinson (Biological & Agricultural Engineering) and Timothy Keane (Landscape Architecture).

Advisors: Lee Skabelund and Jessica Canfield (Landscape Architecture); Ryan McGrath (Civil Engineering); and Mark Taussig (University Landscape Architect).

Second Prize Winner (Master Plan category): Michigan State University

Michigan State University
The design submitted by the winning team from Michigan State University centers on a 15 acre area in the center of campus currently dedicated largely to surface parking. To create new spaces for interaction while demonstrating sustainable stormwater controls, the team proposed the addition of several campus amenities interwoven with green infrastructure. Among the proposed green infrastructure features are an outdoor amphitheater surrounded by rain gardens, a rain garden system in the shape of a Spartan shield, and a stormwater cistern with glass viewing pyramids. The team’s plan would reduce runoff from the 10-year 24-hour storm by 30% and would restore soils and native plant communities.

To learn more about the design in the team’s own words, view the team’s video Exit EPA Disclaimer or read their design brief.

Student Team: Na Li, Yiwen Xu, and John Gundry (Landscape Architecture, Environmental Design); Gina DeYoung and Brock Downs (Landscape Architecture); Mingzhao Wang (Environmental Design); and Yuanji Li, Fangyun Zhong, Ming Li, Yang Song (Environmental Engineering).

Advisors: Dr. Jon Bryan Burley, FASLA (Landscape Architecture); Dr. Robert Schutzki (Horticulture); Susan Masten, Ph.D., P.E. (Civil Engineering); and Steve Troost (MSU Campus Planner).

Second Prize Winner (Site Design category): Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University
The design submitted by the winning team from Mississippi State University centers on the 1.3 acre Union Green in the heart of campus. To create a multi-functional space that provides an educational experience, the team proposed a three-phase design. The first phase adds a 1,000 gallon above-ground cistern, an aqueduct, and bioretention to the west side of the site. The elevated aqueduct would provide visual water conveyance and irrigation, and educate passersby about stormwater management. The design would manage the 95th percentile storm, and would reduce peak flows for the 2-year 24-hour storm below the pre-development condition.

To learn more about the design in the team’s own words, view the team’s video Exit EPA Disclaimer or read their design brief Exit EPA Disclaimer.

Student Team: Anas Bdour, Jerry Hill, Zhengfei Lu, Yazan Mahadin, Juriel Rogers, and Fan Yang (Landscape Architecture); Edith L. Martinez-Guerra (Civil Engineering); and Mickenzie Robbins (Graphic Design).

Advisors: Cory Gallo (Faculty advisor) and Jeremiah Dumas (Facilities advisor).

Honorable Mention: University of Texas at Austin (Master Plan category)

University of Texas
The design submitted by the University of Texas at Austin centers on the two-mile segment of Waller Creek flowing through the center of campus. The creek is currently obscured by dense vegetation and subject to erosion and unstable banks. To reimagine the creek corridor as an asset to the campus, the team examined opportunities to enhance stormwater infiltration and filtration, create outdoor learning spaces, and enhance access to and connectivity along the creek. Based on their analysis, the team proposed enhancing infiltration of stormwater on 12.5 acres, adding 4.9 acres of vegetation along the creek, and stabilizing over 1500 feet of bank.

To learn more about the design in the team’s own words, view the team’s video Exit EPA Disclaimer.

Student Team: JJ Fleury, Rachel Duggan, William Niendorff, and Lydia Kenselaar (Landscape Architecture).

Advisors: Dr. Allan Shearer (Landscape Architecture).

Honorable Mention: Purdue University (Master Plan category)

Purdue University
The design submitted by Purdue University proposes a series of green infrastructure systems for eight key areas across campus, including residential areas, plazas, and major streets. For each area the team identified a set of design goals then proposed a system of green infrastructure practices to meet those goals. For example, for residential areas, the team proposed replacing high maintenance turf grasses with low maintenance native prairie grasses; adding street-side swales and planted canopy structures; and adding benches and gravel paths.

To learn more about the design in the team’s own words, view the team’s video Exit EPA Disclaimer.

Student Team: Yueting Wang, Mengzi Wang, and Xinyi Ye (Landscape Architecture); Xuetao Kuang (Environmental Engineering).

Advisors: Bernie L Dahl, FASLA (Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture & Coordinator of Cooperative Education Program).

Honorable Mention: Kansas State University (Site Design category)

Kansas State University Honorable
The honorable mention design submitted by Kansas State University addresses a site adjacent to the Beach Museum of Art and near a Meadow Garden experiencing significant erosion. To effectively manage stormwater, mitigate erosion in the Meadow Garden, and provide an educational experience, the team proposed a stormwater management system consisting of a drainage channel, rain garden, and cistern. The drainage channel would divert stormwater runoff that currently flows into the Meadow Garden into a rain garden. The cistern would collect stormwater runoff from the roof and would be connected to an interactive outdoor sculpture that could be viewed from inside the museum.  The system is designed to hold and infiltrate the entire volume of the 10-year storm.

To learn more about the design in the team’s own words, view the team’s video Exit EPA Disclaimer.

Student Team: Parker Ruskamp, Rebecca Liu, Taylor Allen, and Wesley Moore (Landscape Architecture); David Ecklund (Civil Engineering); Zakary Ratajczak (Biology); Joseph Weeks (Agronomy); and Katie Burke (Environmental Planning and Design).

Advisors: Lee Skabelund and Jessica Canfield (Landscape Architecture); Ryan McGrath (Civil Engineering); and Mark Taussig (Facilities Advisor).

Honorable Mention: University of Maryland (Site Design category)

University of Maryland
The design submitted by the University of Maryland centers on a .36 acre site adjacent to the Art Sociology Building. The terraced site is currently underused and allows for minimal infiltration. To create a sense of place, raise awareness of stormwater management, and enhance stormwater infiltration, filtration, and use, the team proposed a comprehensive redesign of the site. Key features of the design include a series of infiltration terraces, a formal path to improve circulation through the site, built in seating, and two stormwater cisterns.

To learn more about the design in the team’s own words, view the team’s video Exit EPA Disclaimer.

Student Team: Nancy Britt, Travis Wierengo, and Shoshanah Haberman (Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture) and Jaison Renkenberger (Civil Engineering).

Advisors: Victoria Chanse, PhD (Landscape Architecture), Karen Petroff (Arboretum/Horticultural Services; Facilities Management), and Chris Ellis (Landscape Architecture).

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