Campus RainWorks Challenge
Announcing the 2018 Campus RainWorks Challenge!
On this page:
What is the Campus RainWorks Challenge?
Stormwater runoff is a significant source of water pollution in communities across the United States. The Campus RainWorks Challenge seeks to engage with undergraduate and graduate students to foster a dialogue about stormwater management and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices.
Student teams design an innovative green infrastructure project for their campus that effectively manages stormwater pollution while benefitting the campus community and the environment.
- Two design categories:
- Master Plan
- Demonstration Project
- College teams in the demonstration project category can select to design a site at a nearby elementary, middle, or high school campus
- Teams are required to get creative with a video pitch that makes the case for their green infrastructure design
Who Can Enter?
The Campus RainWorks Challenge is open to institutions of higher education across the United States and its territories. College students form interdisciplinary teams with the support and guidance of a faculty sponsor. Teams must meet all of the eligibility requirements in the 2018 Campus RainWorks Challenge Brief.
What is Green Infrastructure?
“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. Green infrastructure solutions may also be cheaper to install and maintain than traditional gray infrastructure.
- Registration: September 2018
- Deadline for Entries: December 14, 2018
- Winners Announced: Spring 2019
To enter the 2018 Campus RainWorks Challenge, teams must complete and submit a registration form during the registration period. REGISTRATION FOR THE 2018 CHALLENGE WILL BE OPEN FROM SEPTEMBER 1-30, 2018.
Participating teams must email their complete entries to RainWorks@epa.gov by Friday, December 14, 2018, at 11:59 pm, EST. For complete submission requirements, see the 2018 Campus RainWorks Challenge Competition Brief.
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.
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 a 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:
- 2017 Campus RainWorks Winners
- 2016 Campus RainWorks Winners
- 2015 Campus RainWorks Winners
- 2014 Campus RainWorks Winners
- 2013 Campus RainWorks Winners
- 2012 Campus RainWorks Winners
Here are a few websites that include green infrastructure projects:
- ASLA's Sustainable Landscapes Case Studies Exit
- The Sustainable Site Initiative's Certified Projects Exit
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 RainWorks@epa.gov.
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.
These cooperating organizations assist EPA with judging and outreach:
To sign up for e-mail updates or ask a question about the Campus RainWorks Challenge, e-mail RainWorks@epa.gov.