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Projects Updates for Green Infrastructure

  1. RainWorks Challenge - call for participants

    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. 

    Teams will be finalized on September 30th. If you're interested in joining or have any questions, please contact Jessica Wiegand at or Cindy Chen at

  2. High School students go on tour of Green Infrastructure at UIUC

    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.

  3. Parkland College training program being considered

    Associated Project(s): 

    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.

  4. Parking Lot F-4 potential site

    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."

  5. Stormwater Utility Fee overview

    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.

    • The current rate for the City of Champaign is $5.24/3,478 sq ft.
    • The current rate for the City of Urbana is $5.14/3,100 sq ft.

    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.

  6. Research on Stormwater

    Associated Project(s): 

    Rain gardens and barrels needed for study

    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 to participate.

    Catherine Elizabeth Wangen . Department of Entomology

  7. RainWorks Challenge

    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.

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