Meeting topics included potential for the team to move forward with a water audit of campus buildings, ways that nitrogen runoff could be monitored, and incentives the Parking Department would have in following through with adding green infrastructure to parking projects.
Each team shared ideas of the semester and came together to propose a few joint recommendations. Suggested logistics for a water audit were mentioned, as well as nitrate runoff data from the 1990s that would be used as benchmark levels for runoff reduction. Different possible measuring techniques regarding future progress in nitrate reduction were mentioned. Ideas for greener parking lots were introduced, including replanting of trees on Lot E14.
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.
Here’s a link to Penn State Extension’s Rain to Drain Slow the Flow Youth Curriculum for stormwater: https://extension.psu.edu/downloadable/download/sample/sample_id/149/.
For general information about their youth water education programs, see: https://extension.psu.edu/youth-water-education.
We are currently looking for more members for the EPA's Campus RainWorks Challenge. We will be looking into green infrastructure projects that could be implemented on campus.
"The Campus RainWorks Challenge seeks to engage with undergraduate and graduate students to foster a dialogue about responsible stormwater management and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices."
We have a interdisciplinary team of faculty advisers. Our primary faculty adviser will be Professor Arthur Schmidt from Environmental Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering.
We are also hoping to have an interdisciplinary team, so all majors are welcome, as long as you have a passion for the project.
Eliana Brown with the Water Resources Center and Morgan Johnston with F&S Sustainability provided a two hour tour on July 13, 2017 to six Illinois high school students through the NRES Research Apprenticeship program. Sites visited include the BIF green roof, the Ikenberry Commons permeable pavement, the First Street underground stormwater detention basin, the "square pond" (six-story deep hole near Locust and Springfield), the Boneyard Creek, and the stormwater murals in the College of Engineering.
While Thor Peterson was working at Parkland College as a part-time grant-funded sustainability coordinator, he shared that "Parkland is in the scoping stage of developing a green infrastrucuture and sustainable landscape operations and maintenance certificate." He further noted, "There are a lot of questions percolating regarding a Green Infrastructure Operations and Maintenance—whether it would start as a certificate, or as a series of business training opportunities, or what."
When Thor was leaving town at the end of his appointment, he indicated that Heidi Leuszler, a Natural Sciences professor at Parkland, will be a good contact for this effort, moving forward. Thor and Professor Leuszler led a day-long workshop for Regional Planning Commission staff on green infrastructure. He said, "My hope is that the training will serve as a pilot for a more in-depth business training course that could be offered to public and private sector grounds staff charged with maintaining green infrastructure elements."
Eliana Brown, with Illinois Indiana Sea Grant, University of Illinois Extension, and Illinois Water Resources Center, is also interested in helping this program get developed. She has brought additional stakeholders into the discussions with Parkland, including Carol Hays, Exec Director of Prairie Rivers Network, and Lisa Merrifield, U of I Extension Strategic Operation Analyst.
Parking Department facility manager, Mike Wise, shared the following information. "I will be submitting the resurfacing project for lot F4 as a FY19 Project in June/July of 2018. Then an Architect will be selected and design begins. Bidding and Construction will follow. Ideas can start now though so that we can vet them and include a finalized Program with the project request."
The University pays a stormwater utility fee to both the City of Urbana and the City of Champaign. The fee is based on total impervious area that drains into city-owned storm sewers. If stormwater drains into university-owned sewers then directly discharges to a receiving stream, there is no fee assessed.
There are credits and incentives that the university can apply toward the stormwater utility fee. By maintaining compliance with the university’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES), the university receives a 5% credit from each city. Additionally, each city has their own Credit and Incentive Manual (attached) which provides an opportunity for the university to reduce their stormwater utility fee by reducing the impact of the runoff from their properties by methods such as installing sustainable storm water practices that allow stormwater to infiltrate into the ground. The manuals have specific guidelines on how to calculate the credits based on the particular stormwater practices that are employed.
We will be conducting a study regarding the ability of residential rain gardens and rain barrels to harbor mosquitoes. We are looking for households with rain gardens or rain barrels to participate in the study. The study will involve a brief survey regarding use and approximately one visit per month throughout the summer. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to participate.
Catherine Elizabeth Wangen . Department of Entomology
Tawab Hlimi is serving as faculty advisor for the 2014 EPA Campus Rainworks Challenge. The team is composed of graduate students from Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Environmental Economics, and Ecology. They have begun a green stormwater infrastructure study for the UIUC campus and have selected the channelized extent of Boneyard Creek as site for a demonstration project.
The F&S Environmental Compliance Department is always working towards enhancing environmental management and sustainable practices on campus and in the community. Community collaboration and education are important components of stormwater management practices and fulfill requirements of the University’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit (MS4).
The Office of Public Engagement awarded Environmental Compliance a grant to construct a rain garden for the Robeson Elementary School in Champaign, Illinois. This project demonstrates contemporary stormwater management practices that mitigate playground flooding. The project engages students by incorporating the rain garden into the school’s curriculum. Environmental Compliance collaborated with professors, students, landscape architects, local businesses, and Unit 4 administration to design and construct the rain garden.
The 2011 Green Infrastructure Maintenance Conference addressed native plantings, rain gardens, porous pavements, and green roofs. The event was hosted by Environmental Compliance and the Landscape Architecture Departments and sponsored by the Office of Public Engagement along with the MS4 Technical Committee.
The 2010 John Street Watershed Class was a collaboration between the University of Illinois and the City of Champaign to address neighborhood flooding. Environmental Compliance participated by lecturing and assisting in the construction of two rain gardens.