At the beginning of the summer, the EPA’s Office of Water announced that it will be welcoming both graduate and undergraduate students to participate in the EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge during this upcoming fall. “Student teams are invited to create an innovative green infrastructure design for a site on their campus showing how managing storm water at its source can benefit the campus community and the environment.” Green infrastructure is defined as “storm water management techniques used to maintain or enhance the natural hydrology and habitat of a site”. This change from “gray” stormwater infrastructure – such as pipes, drainage systems, catch basins, and man made ponds – makes for a much healthier urban environment. Gray infrastructure is single-purpose and is usually designed to move water away from the built environment. Green infrastructure is designed to use natural processes and manage storm water on site.
To participate in the challenge, students must be enrolled in a degree program at “a college or university eligible to participate in EPA’s Campus RainWorks Challenge (participating institution)” as of August 31, 2012. Teams are encouraged to encompass all different majors associated with environmentalism, biology, and/or landscape architecture. A board of EPA staff with green infrastructure expertise will judge the project submissions based on a point system and several different criteria, including value to campus, likelihood of implementation, and integrated water management. The first place winner will receive a $2,500 cash prize and $11,000 in grants for their faculty advisor to conduct research on green infrastructure. The second place winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize and $8,000 in research grants.
Registration opens September 4, 2012, and closes October 5, 2012. The registration form will be posted to their web page. For more information visit http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/crw_challenge.cfm.
Greensulate encourages people to get involved and spread the word! This is a great way to learn about urban restoration through green infrastructure.
- Christian Hill