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Green Infrastructure

Campus RainWorks Challenge

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2018 Campus RainWorks Challenge!

On this page:Campus RainWorks Logo

About the 2018 Challenge

Depiction of green infrastructure design elements on the UC Berkeley campusThe Campus RainWorks Challenge is a green infrastructure design competition for American colleges and universities that seeks to engage with the next generation of environmental professionals, foster a dialogue about effective stormwater management, and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices.

“Green infrastructure” refers to a variety of practices that restore or mimic natural hydrological processes. While “gray” stormwater infrastructure is largely designed to convey stormwater away from the built environment, green infrastructure uses soils, vegetation and other media to manage rainwater where it falls through capture and evapotranspiration. By integrating natural processes into the built environment, green infrastructure provides a wide variety of community benefits, including improving water and air quality, reducing urban heat island effects, creating habitat for pollinators and other wildlife, and providing aesthetic and recreational value. See Green Infrastructure Basics

Stormwater runoff is a significant source of water pollution in communities across the United States. The Campus RainWorks Challenge invites students to create green infrastructure designs can protect public health and water quality today and in the future. Does your school have what it takes to win? Step up to the challenge.

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How to Enter

The Campus RainWorks Challenge is open to institutions of higher education across the United States and its territories. With the support of a faculty advisor, teams that compete are asked to design an innovative green infrastructure project for their campus that effectively manages stormwater pollution and also provides additional benefits to the campus community and environment. Teams that meet all of the eligibility requirements can submit entries in two design categories:

  • Demonstration Project (site specific implementation of green infrastructure):
  • Master Plan (long-term implementation of green infrastructure over a broad area of the team's campus)

Check out the official 2018 Campus RainWorks Challenge Brief to learn more the challenge's design categories, submission requirements, eligibility requirements, and other rules for participation.

To enter the 2018 Campus RainWorks Challenge, teams must complete and submit a registration form during the registration period.  REGISTRATION FOR THE 2018 CAMPUS RAINWORKS CHALLENGE IS CLOSED.

Participating teams must email their complete entries to by Friday, December 14, 2018, at 11:59 pm EST.

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  • Registration Extended: September 1 through October 12, 2018  - Register now!
  • Deadline for Entries: December 14, 2018
  • Winners Announced: Spring 2019

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For the 2018 challenge the first place team in each design category will receive a student prize of $2,000 to be divided evenly among the team and a faculty prize of $3,000. The second place team in each category will receive a student prize of $1,000 to be divided evenly among the team and a faculty prize of $2,000.

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Orientation Webcast

This webcast shares information on the requirements for competing in the 2018 Campus RainWorks Challenge and highlights last year's winners.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there any changes to this year’s competition?

In addition to the competing team's campus, college teams in the demonstration project category can also select a site to design at nearby elementary, middle, or high schools. If teams elect to pursue this alternative option, the selected site must be located within the same community as the team's academic institution, or in a community that is directly adjacent (sharing a border).

Can the proposed project be off campus?

With the exception of demonstration projects that are sited at nearby elementary, middle, or high schools, designs must be based on the competing team's campus.

Are community and technical colleges eligible to participate?

Yes, community colleges and technical colleges are eligible to compete. All students enrolled at an eligible institution as defined in the competition brief can participate.

Are graduate students eligible to participate?

Yes, all undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at an eligible institution as defined in the competition brief can participate.

Can a student team have more than one faculty advisor?

Yes, having more than one faculty advisor may lead to more multi-disciplinary teams that can offer more comprehensive green infrastructure designs. However, teams must designate a primary faculty advisor to receive the faculty prize if the team were to win.

Can a college or university have more than one team?


Is there a recommended team size?

No, teams can be as large or as small as desired and interdisciplinary teams are highly encouraged.

Where can I find examples of innovative green infrastructure projects?

Here are past winners of the Campus RainWorks Challenge:

Here are a few websites that include green infrastructure projects:

What should my team do if we don't have time to complete our entry?

 If you cannot complete your entry, please send an email informing us that your team is withdrawing from the Challege to 

How will prizes be distributed?

EPA will pay prizes via direct deposit. Student prizes will be distributed evenly among  all student team members.  Note that prizes may be subject to federal income taxes. EPA will comply with Internal Revenue Service 1099 reporting requirements. 

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Cooperating Organizations

These cooperating organizations assist EPA with judging and outreach:

American Society of Landscape Architects ExitAmerican Society of Landscape Architects Logo


American Society of Civil Engineers ExitAmerican Society of Civil Engineers Logo


Water Environment FederationExitWater Environment Federation Logo

To sign up for e-mail updates or ask a question about the Campus RainWorks Challenge, e-mail

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