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EPA contest challenges students to mitigate stormwater runoff
Jill Odom | August 12, 2016
raingardens-EPA-rainworks-2014-winner

The 2014 winner of the Demonstration Project category was the University of Maryland for its proposed bioswales and rain gardens
Photo: University of Maryland

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water is about to conduct its fifth annual Campus RainWorks Challenge for undergraduate and graduate students.

Students will have the opportunity to collaborate and design a green infrastructure project for their campus that uses natural processes to manage stormwater runoff. There are two design categories and teams may enter in both if they wish.

The Demonstration Project category focuses on creating a proof-of-concept design that shows how green infrastructure could be included at a certain site on campus.

Teams should include detailed information about the project and performance of the design, and entries should reflect a dialogue with the facility planning department to assess the feasibility of the project.

The Master Plan category is for entries that look at conceptual designs that could be incorporated on a large scale across campus. Applicants should include how the green infrastructure would enhance the long-term sustainability of the campus.

An addition to this year’s competition requires students to incorporate climate resiliency considerations into their stormwater designs. Proposals should demonstrate how the proposed changes, qualitatively and/or quantitatively, mitigate and build resiliency against climate change impacts.

Each registered team must submit one project narrative, two design boards, and a letter of support that demonstrates consultation with the university’s planning department.

Winners of first place for each category will receive a student prize of $2,000, to be divided evenly among team members, and a faculty prize of $3,000. Second-place teams will receive a total of $1,000 for team members and a faculty prize of $2,000.

Teams must complete a registration form that will be posted on Sept. 1 and submit it to [email protected] by Sept. 30. Once registered student teams have until Dec. 16 to email their entries. Winners will be announced in April 2017.

More than one team per college may enter and the team size can be as large or as small as desired. For further details on eligibility and project requirements, click .

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