The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Water held their 2nd annual Campus RainWorks Challenge for 2013 for college and university students. Once again, EPA invited 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.
In 2013, EPA introduced two design categories: A Master Plan category and a Site Design category. Winning teams in each category were 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.
For the 2013 Campus RainWorks Challenge, the EPA cooperated with the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF). These organizations assisted EPA with judging and outreach.
A team of 10 Michigan State University students from the SPDC's Landscape Architecture Program and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) won second place in this competition with their project on "Stormwater Management Master Plan for Central Campus." A total of 40 teams entered the competition. Below is a YouTube video about their winning project:
Jon Buryley, PhD and FASLA, an Associate Professor in the LA Program was the Faculty Advisor for this project. Other committee members included: Robert Schutzki, PhD, from MSU Horticulture; Susan Masten, PhD and PE, from Civil Engineering; and Steve Troost, an MSU Campus Planner with Infrastructure Planning and Facilities. The student team, calling themselves "Team Spartans," included: