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EPA's 10th Annual Campus Rainworks Challenge

Posted by Alec McKay on September 15, 2021


“Dear Faculty Members,

I hope you and your students are enjoying a safe start to the academic year.

EPA is pleased to launch its 10th annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a green infrastructure design competition for American colleges and universities that seeks to engage with the next generation of environmental professionals and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices. Stormwater pollution is a problem that impacts public health and water quality in communities across the country. The Campus RainWorks Challenge invites today’s students to be part of the solution.

To learn more about Campus RainWorks check out the official 2021 Campus RainWorks Challenge Competition Brief. The brief contains details on the challenge's design categories, submission requirements, and rules for participation.


Registration: September 1 – October 1, 2021

Deadline for Entries: December 10, 2021

Winners Announced: Spring 2022

Please share this announcement with college students and faculty in your networks. If you have questions about the Campus RainWorks Challenge please direct them to

I hope that you and your students will consider participating and help celebrate 10 years of Campus RainWorks.”

-Matt King


 “Good afternoon: several of you were involved in an email chain about establishing a interdisciplinary student chapter of the IAFSM, others were involved in the USEPA Campus Rainworks Challenge in previous years, others have been part of the ISEE Land & Water SWATteam.  I am writing to see if we can coordinate among our disciplines/departments and help interested students put together a team for this challenge. 

As you know, in 2017 UIUC won this design competition with a team that represented many disciplines across campus.  I strongly believe that our success in 2017 was directly related to the many disciplines/perspectives of the team.  I have forwarded the announcement for this challenge to students in my classes and already have a few that are interested.  I am hoping that this year we can help our students from our different disciplines connect for this challenge. I am willing to serve as a faculty advisor; I think it would be great if we could have advisors representing our different areas.  Please let me know your thoughts/interest in this.

Thanks for your consideration.”

-Art Schmidt


“Hey Professor Schmidt,

Thank you so much for working at this!  Sorry for not responding right away.  We are interested and I just asked the group if they would like to meet with you (web meet) next week.  I figure they will, but it’s nice to ask.  What is your availability?  Did you get much feedback from other campus sectors?  Rolph Pendall seemed very interested.”

-Brian Chaille (09/14/2021)


“Hi, Brian:

Really good to hear from you.  I would love to meet and see what can happen. I had about half dozen CEE students express interest.  Eliana Brown said that she would be happy to help.  No response yet from anyone else.  I wonder if some other groups/areas are already doing a team by themselves or more likely my email got buried in all the beginning of semester emails.  I really hope that we can get a cross-disciplinary cohort of students interested in this.  I’ve copied many of the people from the original email in case this did get lost in the shuffle.”

-Art Schmidt (09/14/2021) 


“Hi all, especially faculty/instructors:

To back up Prof. Schmidt's comments in his original email, I strongly encourage the CEE students to work together with LA and UP students on the Campus RainWorks Challenge. For obvious reasons, it makes the project stronger, the solutions better, and helps the students gain an experience of the working world and appreciation for the skills, knowledge, and talents across campus. Other disciplines would enhance the project further.

What's the easiest way for the CEE students to meet potential collaborators outside of their disciplines? Back in 2017 while guest lecturing for LA 452, I invited the CEEs to pitch the project for 5 min and they did the rest. Could be as simple as that. As Art mentions below, that team won first prize. 

I added Bridgette Moen, current LA 452 instructor, to this email. And Prof. Andrea Faber-Taylor as her students in HORT 344 Biodiversity and Aesthetics may be interested too.”

-Eliana Brown (09/15/2021)