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Red Oak Rain Garden (In Progress)

Project History

  • 11/27/2017

    Red Oak Rain Garden 2.0 restores the original Red Oak Rain Garden that was established 10 years ago to address the flooding issue between McKinley Health Center and Allen Hall.

  • 11/6/2017

    Eliana Brown with the Water Resources Center presented the attached file to a Landscape Architecture class, called "Natural Precedent in Planting" taught by Dept of Landscape Architecture's Designer in Residence Katy Kraszewska.


The Red Oak Rain Garden is the first rain garden on campus!  This garden is beautiful and smart. It addresses flooding in an innovative way – by planting an attractive landscape feature that captures and filters stormwater.

Prior to the garden, the area south of Allen Hall flooded during storms, impacting pedestrian walkways and threatening the red oak tree's vitality. The rain garden directs stormwater away from the oak tree and sidewalks. It uses water as a resource instead of allowing it to rush into storm sewers and flood downstream. The garden plants, which are native to Illinois, have extensive root systems that are excellent at soaking up water and improving its quality. 


Prof. Tony Endress' Restoration Ecology classes designed and installed the rain garden with assistance from Facilities & Services and the City of Urbana and in cooperation with Housing Services.  For additional visual interest, art student Jennifer Astwood designed the “Prairie Fire” sculpures under the guidance of Prof. Alex Fekete.

The Red Oak Rain Garden is a BLUE Illinois Faculty/StudentProject funded by Facilities & Services in conjunction with the Environmental Council, with additional funding support from University Housing.

Red Oak Rain Garden

Project Team

  • Primary Contact:

    Eliana Brown

    Project Leader:

    Cameron Letterly

    Team Members:

    • Ryan Welch
    • Tony Endress
    • Cameron Letterly
    • Karen Folk
    • Morgan White


Project Location(s)

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