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Water: Green Infrastructure

Campus RainWorks Challenge


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About the Challenge

The USEPA's Office of Water is pleased to announce the 2nd annual Campus RainWorks Challenge for college and university students. Once again, EPA is inviting student teams to design an innovative green infrastructure project for their campus showing how managing stormwater at its source can benefit the campus community and the environment. 
This year, EPA is pleased to introduce two design categories: a Master Plan category and a Site Design category. Winning teams in each category will be awarded cash prizes, and winning teams in the Site Design category may also be invited to apply for grant funding to help carry out a demonstration project based on their submission.
Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater and create healthier urban environments. While single-purpose "gray" stormwater infrastructure (e.g. catch basins, pipes, and ponds) is largely designed to move urban stormwater away from the built environment, green infrastructure uses vegetation and soil to manage rainwater where it falls. By weaving natural processes into the built environment, green infrastructure can provide not only stormwater management, but also heat island mitigation, air quality management, community amenities, and much more.  

Download the competition brief (PDF) (15 pp, 392K, About PDF) for a complete description of the design challenge and instructions on how to compete.

Rainwater Cistern


  • September 9, 2013 - Registration Opens
  • November 1, 2013 - Registration Closes  (extended from October 7)
  • December 23, 2013 - Entries Due  (extended from December 13)
  • March 2014 - New Date! Site Design Winners and Master Plan Winners Announced


EPA will award a total of $6,000 in prizes to first and second place teams in the Master Plan and Site Design categories. Winning teams will earn a cash prize to be distributed evenly among student team members. First place teams will receive a prize of $2,000 and second place teams will receive a prize of $1,000.  

Subject to the availabilityof funds and the nature and quality of the projects proposed, EPA hopes to invite selected colleges and universities in the Site Design category to compete for grant funding. Colleges and universities associated with the winners and honorable mentions in the Site Design category would be invited to apply for a simplified grant competition. Through this simplified grant competition, EPA hopes to award 2 to 4 schools $25,000 each to help carry out demonstration projects based on the student design submissions.

Cooperating Organizations

For the 2013 Campus RainWorks Challenge, EPA is cooperating with the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Exit EPA Disclaimer and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Exit EPA Disclaimer.  These organizations will assist EPA with judging and outreach.

                                  WEF asla_logo


To sign up for e-mail updates or ask a question about the Campus RainWorks Challenge, please e-mail RainWorks@epa.gov.

To join GreenStream, an EPA listserv featuring updates on green infrastructure publications, training, and funding opportunities, send an email to join-greenstream@lists.epa.gov.

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