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EPA Announces Winners of Campus RainWorks Challenge
Kansas State University & City College of New York Take Home Top Prizes


The EPA has announced the winners of the 5th annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, in which student teams design green infrastructure for their campus to manage stormwater runoff.

The Campus RainWorks Challenge invites college students to design solutions for stormwater pollution using green infrastructure. Student teams who entered the challenge in 2016 proposed designs to help aid problem solving for their campus and community. With faculty members, students at colleges and universities apply green infrastructure principles and increase their use on campuses nationwide.

"Our Campus RainWorks Challenge winners are the next generation workforce of green infrastructure designers and planners," said Mike Shapiro, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Water. "All the submissions included innovative approaches to stormwater management. I want to congratulate Kansas State University and the City College of New York for their winning submissions."

EPA invited student teams to compete in two design categories: the Master Plan category, which examines how green infrastructure could be integrated into a broad area of a school's campus, and the Demonstration Project category, which examines how green infrastructure could be integrated into a particular site on the team's campus. Teams of undergraduate and graduate students, working with a faculty advisor, developed innovative green infrastructure designs in one of the categories, showing how managing stormwater at its source can benefit the campus community and the environment.

The 2016 challenge winners are:

Kansas State University (1st Place Demonstration Project Category) - The team's "Stronger Quinlan" project proposes repairing a historic campus nature area with green infrastructure elements to reduce stormwater pollution and flash flooding of Campus Creek. By installing rainwater harvesting and permeable pavement as well as planting trees and native plants, the students estimate their design could reduce stormwater runoff by 46 percent and capture 597,000 gallons of water per year for irrigation. Student team members included Erica Schmitz, bachelor's in biological systems engineering and a master's in biological and agricultural engineering concurrently; Joe Krauska, master's in entomology program; Conner Bruns, master's in landscape architecture; Joseph Weeks, doctoral student in agronomy; Kelsey McDonough, doctoral student in biological and agricultural engineering; and Tsz Wai Wong, master's in landscape architecture.

City of College of New York (1st Place Master Plan Category) - The "Castor Project" is named after the school's mascot, the Castor canadesis, more commonly known as a beaver. Taking a cue from the beaver's role as a natural water manager, the team designed a master plan for campus-wide stormwater management. The plan calls for increasing tree canopy 15 percent by adding 89 trees and reducing impervious area 38 percent by adding 23,000 square feet of permeable surface. A water storage tank could capture up to 3,000 cubic feet of stormwater for gray water uses. Student team members included Agata Bugala, environmental engineering; Uziel Crescenzi, graduate student in landscape architecture; Alexander Fenichell, environmental engineering; Deanna Greene, advertising and public relations; and Lawrence Vulis, environmental engineering.

University of Maryland (2nd Place Demonstration Project Category) - The team project, "(Un)loading Nutrients," proposes transforming a campus loading dock into a campus amenity that also manages stormwater. The plan calls for 6,660 square feet of new plantings for bioretention and reducing impervious surface by 18 percent. The students redesign of the loading dock and adjacent parking lot creates a safer pedestrian walkway between a dining hall and classroom building.

University of Cincinnati (2nd Place Master Plan Category) - Titled "ReMEDiation," the team's master plan envisions installation of green infrastructure best management practices that mitigate stormwater runoff on campus and reduce flooding and combined sewer overflows into the Ohio River. The team estimates that enhanced green spaces can reduce stormwater runoff by 25 percent and increase community benefits of urban gardens and nature trails.

The two 1st place student teams will be awarded $2,000 to be split evenly among the members. The faculty advisors will receive $3,000 for their institution. The two 2nd place student teams will be awarded $1,000 to be split evenly among the members. The faculty advisors will receive $2,000 for their institution.

EPA also recognized the teams from the University of New Mexico (Honorable Mention Demonstration Project category) and East Georgia State College (Honorable Mention Master Plan category).

Eligibility requirements for the next challenge will be announced in summer 2017 on

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October 17, 2019, 9:18 am PDT

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