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EPA Announces Winners of 8th Annual Campus RainWorks Challenge

 Coastal Eco-Waters: Adapting for a Resilient Campus. Image: Florida International University team.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of its eighth annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a national collegiate competition that engages the next generation of environmental professionals to design innovative solutions for stormwater pollution.

“EPA’s Campus RainWorks Challenge encourages students to transform classroom knowledge into innovative and replicable solutions for stormwater management,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “I congratulate this year’s winners and applaud the hard work of all of the teams that competed.”

Stormwater runoff is a significant source of water pollution in America. Managing runoff remains a complex environmental challenge for local communities across the country. EPA’s Campus RainWorks Challenge asks students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the country to apply green infrastructure design principles, foster interdisciplinary collaboration, and increase the use of green infrastructure on the nation’s college campuses. Since 2012, more than 700 teams have participated in the challenge.

In this year’s Challenge, EPA invited student teams to compete in two design categories. The Master Plan category examines how green infrastructure can be broadly integrated across campus while the Demonstration Project category focuses on how green infrastructure can address stormwater pollution at a specific site on campus. With the help of a faculty advisor, teams of students focused their expertise, creativity and energy on the challenges of stormwater management and showcased the environmental, economic and social benefits of green infrastructure.

Participating judges included:
David Cutter, ASLA
Alex Felson
Kelly Fleming, ASLA
Chris Loftis, ASLA
Josh Sloan, ASLA
Harris Trobman

The challenge winners are:

Florida International University (1st Place Master Plan Category)—The “Coastal Eco-Waters: Adapting for a Resilient Campus” project redesigned the University’s Biscayne Bay campus to incorporate replicable green infrastructure practices that engage with the broader community to cultivate regional resiliency in an area that experiences extreme weather events. Watch the team’s video about their project.

Project Narrative | Design Board

Congratulations student team members Alain Carrazana, Student ASLA; and Rutusha Nagaraj; and lead faculty advisor, Ebru Ozer, ASLA, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental and Urban Design.

University of California at Los Angeles (1st Place Demonstration Project Category)—The team’s project, titled “Little Steps to a Sustainable Future,” redesigned a local elementary school campus to incorporate a variety of green infrastructure practices. Extensive stakeholder engagement across the school district led to a realistic design capable of managing stormwater runoff onsite and providing hands-on environmental education that will connect students to their watershed. Watch the team’s video about their project.

Project Narrative | Design Board

University of Arizona (2nd Place Master Plan Category)—The “Against the Grain” project integrated multiple green infrastructure practices into a master plan design that revitalized key transportation and pedestrian corridors. This project sought to enhance flood protection through inclusion of bioretention facilities with native plants and trees and treat stormwater runoff as a resource by incorporating cisterns for irrigation. Watch the team’s video about their project.

Project Narrative | Design Board

Congratulations to student team members Tess Wagner, Student ASLA; Jinqiao Deng, Student ASLA; Isaac Palomo; Peter Price; Mario Nuño-Whelan, Student ASLA; and lead faculty advisor, Dr. Bo Yang, ASLA, College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture.

Arizona State University (2nd Place Demonstration Project Category)—In their project titled, "Ready! Set! Activate!" this team worked with a local elementary school to reduce local flooding during Arizona's monsoon season and to create a resilient, multi-functional space that effectively manages stormwater runoff and yields educational and ecological benefits. Watch the team’s video about their project.

Project Narrative | Design Board

Congratulations to student team members Amanda Trakas; Elizabeth Ferguson; Kevin Scholfied; and faculty advisors Dr. Chingwen Cheng, ASLA; and Dr. Paul Coseo, ASLA, The Design School.

EPA is also pleased to recognize the University of California, Berkeley for honorable mention in the Demonstration Project category and Michigan State University for honorable mention in the Master Plan category.

More information here.  

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