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Projects Updates for Rainwater Management

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  1. Champaign Rainwater Report

    Associated Project(s): 


    Hi Linda,


    I just talked to Morgan White, copied. Can you send her the final version of the Rainwater Report you did for Champaign? They are closing the loop on that.


    Thank you!




    Hi Lisa,


    Of course! If anything else is needed to close the loop, happy to help. 





    Attached Files: 
  2. follow up on potential VRO project

    Dear Madhu,

    Thank you for taking the time to speak with me and here is a follow up email to our zoom conversation. The committee on natural areas at UIUC oversees research on roughly a dozen university-owned properties that include about 1,000 acres of natural lands spanning east-central Illinois. The largest of these, the Vermilion River Observatory, located about 45 miles by road east of campus, was acquired by the Dept of ECE in the 1960s to construct a radio telescope. The ~495 acre property is now managed by the CNA for various environmental research projects and there are ~105 acres of agricultural land that are leased to a tenant farmer by ECE for cash revenue that at its peak generated ~20k/year but the value of the crop has been declining recently. Due to being in the drainage of the Vermilion river, the soils of the VRO are somewhat marginal in their production value and I think there is some chance the tenant farmer will decide to leave the lease. Or it may be possible given a suitable research project to take over the lease and use the lands for research.

    The project I am interested in pursuing is a long-term, large-scale ecological and agricultural experiment evaluating trajectories of agricultural lands following agricultural abandonment. Considering the scale of the agricultural lands on the VRO, I think it could be possible to have large and well-replicated experimental treatments that include comparisons among passive revegetation, bioenergy production, and active reforestation. Potential study outcomes could include carbon sequestration/flow, biodiversity conservation, and economic and energy cost/benefit analyses comparing the costs of these different experimental treatments versus the returns on investment. By east-central Illinois standards, I think the productivity of the agricultural lands on the VRO could be considered marginal, but based on my read of the literature and our conversation, I get the impression that these marginal lands are more likely to experience agricultural abandonment in the coming years.

    Assuming ECE would be open to a change in the management strategy for the agricultural lands on the VRO, which I would be happy to discuss with ECE and the OVCRI if we decide to proceed, the CNA could provide some logistical support for a large-scale research project on the VRO, including through the use of some of our farm equipment and out buildings on the property. We also have two full-time research/management staff whose time can be budgeted into proposals. And I am eager to undertake more long-term experiments on the CNA properties using former agricultural lands, since I see this as one of the most unique and important values of these properties that can be applied to a pressing environmental challenge.

    This is something I would be excited to pursue through the support of iSEE and I would love it if it gave us a chance to collaborate, Madhu. Attached please find an aerial photo of the VRO and an older site description map. Please let me know if you think this could dovetail with other opportunities currently being pursued by iSEE and CABBI and let me know what I can do to help!




    This is the land that Brian Allan had mentioned to me





  3. Campus Rainwater Management Plan SSC Grant Application

    Hello Student Sustainability Committee. Attached is a SSC Step 1 funding application request for the campus Rainwater Management Plan. I have also included a photo of the Boneyard Creek since it is a campus waterway and the application requested one map, graphic or picture. Please contact me with any questions and thank you for considering.


  4. Status Update on Water006 Recommendation: Lot23 Monitoring

    On May 28, 2022 Meredith Moore sent an email to Arthur Schmidt regarding the status of the Water 006 recommendation:

    Hi Art!


    I hope you are well. I am reaching out to check in about the status of the Water006 recommendation: Lot23 Monitoring. This is an old recommendation that was returned back to the Water and Stormwater SWATeam in August 2019. It can be found here:  Based on the project update, a proposal for funding was to be submitted to the Student Sustainability Committee. Are you aware if this happened?


    I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!




    On November 30, 2022 Mrogan White sent the following to Arthurt Schmidt:

    Hi Art,

    Could you please answer these quick questions?

    1. Did you ever move forward with installing a monitoring system of any kind in the parking lot at Florida and Lincoln (Lot F23)?
    2. If the SSC would provide funding for such an installation, would you be able to serve as an advisor for the project and use the collected information?




    On Dec 1, 2022 Art responded:

    Hi, Morgan:

    Many years ago when this first came up we installed an instrumentation vault at the SE corner of the lot where the storm sewer pipe leaves the lot.  We never received any funding to move forward with this, so no instrumentation ever installed.


    I would be thrilled to help/advise with moving this forward.  I would also try to find portions of this where my Field Methods class could help install/calibrate/maintain instruments or collect samples.  I have a couple classes were we could use the data.




  5. Land & Water iCAP Meeting 11/7/2022

    On November 7th, the Land and Water iCAP team met to review the results of the Milkweed survey, make final edits to the Monarch Butterfly recommendation, and discuss new recommendations inspired by the Campus Landscape Master Plan.

    Meeting minutes are attached.

  6. Sustainability Council Meeting 11-29-21

    The Sustainability Council met on 11-29-21. The presentation is attached and the agenda was as follows:

    • Student group updates (SSC, SSLC, ISG)
    • Clean Energy Plan
    • Rainwater strategies
    • Green Labs
    • Strategic next steps (iCAP in campus strategic plan, AASHE STARS Platinum ranking)
  7. Sustainability Sub-Council Meeting 11/10/21

    The Sustainability Sub-Council met on November 10, 2021 in preparation of the Sustainability Council meeting. The primary agenda items included: 

    • iCAP 2020 process reminder
    • Energy007 Comprehensive Energy Planning Document 
    • LW002 and Rainwater Funding Issues
    • Sustainability priorities and next steps

    The slide deck is attached with meeting minutes to follow.

  8. Urbana Campus Spill Containment Exercise on Tuesday

    Associated Project(s): 

    F&S, the Division of Public Safety, and the Champaign Fire Department will conduct a spill containment exercise on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 2. Event organizers will place the dye in storm drains near the university's oil storage tanks on South Oak Street to simulate a large oil spill from the fuel farm during this year's mock scenario. The exercise is required annually by the U.S. EPA.

    November 2, 8 am • South Campus and the Embarras River Watershed

    Bill Walsh • Facilities & Services

    Urbana Campus Spill Containment Exercise on Tuesday

  9. Green Infrastructure & Erosion Control Conference

    The 2021 biennial Champaign County Stormwater Partnership Green Infrastructure and Erosion Control Conference took place on October 20th.

    The following email provides some context and resources with more information about the event.

    The program and the media post for the conference are attached below.


    From: Liggett, Betsy Jo 
    Sent: Friday, September 03, 2021 9:59 AM
    To: Stillwell, Brett
    Cc: White, Morgan; Wilcoxen, David B; Ruhter, Colleen; Liggett, Betsy Jo
    Subject: Green Infrastructure & Erosion Control Conference


    Good morning Brett!

    I wanted to share an upcoming conference opportunity with you and others in DIA. F&S Safety and Compliance is a member of the Champaign County Stormwater Partnership to help meet goals for our campus stormwater municipality permit. One of the permit Public Education and Outreach goals is to host a biennial stormwater conference. We have several speakers this year one of which is a member from Green Sports Alliance (GSA) who will speak about the GSA program and provide examples of what other organizations/universities have done to meet the program missions.  Green Sports Alliance


    Please share with others and join us October 20, 2021 for the free biennial Champaign County Stormwater Partnership Green Infrastructure and Erosion Control Conference. This year the conference will be virtual instead of at the iHotel and Conference Center, however Professional Development Hours are still available. Attendance is limited and you can register at the following link Champaign County Stormwater Conference - CHAMPAIGN COUNTY STORMWATER PARTNERSHIP (


    Thank you!


  10. Data Regarding EPA Campus Rainworks Challenge

    Yuhze Zhang, leader of the Master plan team in EPA Rainworks Challenge 2021, asked Brent Lewis, UIUC's campus landscape architect, for some data for the challenge. Data asked for includes campus storm peak runoff, existing green infrastructure, turf lawn irrigation.

    More information regarding the data can be found in the email chain attached below.


    Another participant of the EPA Rainworks Challenge, Matthew Rodriguez, also requested data.

    This email chain is attached below.


    The Water Reuse Handbook is also attached below (attachment from both email chains).


  11. Weekly Resilience Meeting

    Resilience Meeting Notes 10/15/2021 for meeting between Stacy Gloss, Meredith Moore, and Morgan White

    1. We discussed ideas for the Design for America RSO project on Environmental Justice.  Stacy will set up a meeting with D for A RSO students to discuss potential project topics and request a 1/2 page - 1 page project idea back to us for approval/revisions. The project might cover an environmental justice topic and be worked on from now through May. We will request that the complete project be designed to be presented in the late Spring, and the results go beyond educational/informational and lead to an initiative of some kind.
    2. Stacy provided a progress update on Resilience iCAP objectives.
      1. Green Certifications Inventory. Stacy will present this for comment at the next resilience ICAP meeting
      2. NGICP exploration
        1. Stacy will submit SSC proposal to support a pilot program for F&S staff to receive NGICP training at Parkland. The project will evaluate the benefits and decide whether to adopt having more or all campus grounds workers take the training later.
        2. Stacy will request Heidi and Eliana present at a (future proposed) joint meeting of the land/water use and resilience committee about the NGICP program and benefits
      3. Coordinated rainwater planning
        1. Morgan said that she recently had a conversation with a director at Sanitary District who asked for campus to become more involved with watershed management through a watershed working group, which is different than MS4 compliance.  
        2. Morgan also requested that Stacy involve Eliana Brown more in coordinated rainwater planning for future meetings
        3. Stacy will attend the stormwater management organization’s conference on Oct. 20.
      4. Sustainability leadership topics – plan for Stacy to present these at next resilience ICAP meeting
      5. Vision Zero Discussion
        1. Stacy will submit a white paper on next steps for Vision Zero on Campus late next week.
        2. Stacy and Sarthak will meet with a professor who supports / advocates for Vision Zero next week. 
        3. We discussed who would need to be involved for approval and planning of a Traffic Garden, Stacy will report back to Sarthak on this subject.
  12. Updated list of student projects that need YOU!!

    This is a list of projects that need students to work on.  It will be updated periodically by sustainability staff members, the last update was 9/16/21:

    • The campus MS4 stormwater permit currently has 49 Best Management Practices (BMPs) that have to be completed annually . One of the 49 BMPs is a Public Education and Outreach requirement to broadcast or publish one stormwater Public Service Announcement (PSA) on social media, radio, television and/or internet. We currently have a couple on our website and would like to keep it up to date with new materials whenever possible. Another opportunity is for a Public Participation and Involvement BMP to discuss and provide opportunity for public input on the Storm Water Program (permit BMPs), climate change and environmental justice topics. This could be met by webinars, PSAs, posters, etc. Contact is Betsy Liggett. ~ Morgan
    • Follow through with Facility Liaisons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Huff Hall. ~ Meredith
    • Follow through with Facility Liaisons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Armory. ~ Meredith
    • Follow through with Facility Liaisons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Bevier Hall. ~ Meredith
    • CCNet Website: Work with the Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet) leadership team to redesign and publish the CCNet website (old version is online at There is a monthly brown bag sustainability networking event on the Third Thursday of each month, but the website hasn't been updated since 2016. Contact Morgan White at mbwhite at ~ Morgan
    • We are seeking a student volunteer who can do tree identification for a series of trees in the Arboretum, and work with the University Landscape Architect, Brent Lewis, and the Superintendent of Grounds, Ryan Welch, to compare the tree identification to the draft tree inventory. Contact Morgan White at mbwhite at ~ Morgan
    • Help iSEE develop a Sustainability Literacy Assessment. Contact Meredith Moore, mkm007 at ~Meredith
    • Help iSEE work with Student Sustainability Committee grant to expand small scale campus composting. Contact Meredith Moore at mkm0078 at ~ Meredith
    • This project is a collaboration with the Illinois State Section of the American Planning Association; we have been asked to create a community land use and revitalization plan for a small town in Kankakee County.  It is a rural community, predominantly people of color, originally settled by folks leaving the South during the Great Migration.  There are many layers to the story, but it is ultimately a story of environmental equity as The Nature Conservancy and Field Museum have been collaborating with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire land to create the Black Oak Savana nature preserve.  The majority of residents are opposed to this preserve, primarily because land has been purchased via tax sale and foreclosure, therefore taking land out of Black ownership.  This also further burdens remaining property owners because the nature preserve land becomes tax exempt, shifting the property taxes that are no longer paid on nature preserve property to a smaller and smaller portion of land owners.  

      Students interested in this project could assist with GIS analysis and help identify opportunities to balance environmental sustainability goals and land preservation with social and economic sustainability goals and to identify economic opportunities that accomplish all three.  Contact Lacey Rains Lowe at lacey.rains <at>

    • Expand on existing statistical analysis with ArcGIS and spreadsheets of potential race/income disparities in provision of street trees, sidewalks, urban heat, parks, bus stops, etc.  Data sets provided. Contact is Scott Tess at srtess <at>

    • LIVESTOCK FACILITY DECOMMISSIONING at the Imported Swine Research Laboratory - The push to expand the UI Research Park will require decommissioning of the waste lagoons associated with the Imported Swine Research Laboratory (ISRL). This presents an nice opportunity for a class to develop and design a decommissioning plan with associated costs and timeline. Colleen Ruhter is the point of contact, cruhter <at>

    If you have a project idea, please contact us at, or submit it through the iCAP Portal Suggestions page.

  13. Mahomet Lots (Lot F-4) Permeable Pavement Proposal to SSC

  14. Water006 Lot F23 Monitoring - Returned

    Following the completion of iWG assessment for Water006 Lot F23 Monitoring, the recommendation was returned back to the Water SWATeam so that a proposal for funding this project may be submitted to the Student Sustainability Committee.

    See iWG assessment of Water006 Lot F23 Monitoring attached.

    See SWATeam Recommendation Water006 Lot F23 Monitoring here.

    Attached Files: 
  15. Water006 Lot F23 Monitoring - Submittal

    The WSW SWATeam submitted a recommendation to the iWG, stating: 

    "The Water/Stormwater SWATTeam recommends that instrumentation to monitor the quality and quantity of runoff from parking lot F23 should be installed in the storm sewer carrying runoff from the lot. An instrumentation vault was installed at the southeast corner of the lot (where the storm sewer leaves the lot) several years ago, but no instrumentation installed. In order to demonstrate the impact of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI), this instrumentation should be installed and operational for at least one year before GSI is installed on the lot to provide a baseline to compare the post -installation runoff quality and quantity. We suggest a pressure transducer to record continuous water level (providing the flow rate using a calibrated stage-flow rating), a water-quality multiprobe with sensors for: turbidity, nitrate, pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, specific conductivity, fluorescent dye (which will be used to develop the stage-flow rating). The location would also need a data logger to record the measurements, and auxiliary components such as power supply and shelter."

    See attached the SWATeam recommendation Water006 Lot F23 Monitoring complete with comments from WSW SWATeam members.

    An iCAP Working Group assessment of this recommendation began on June 7, 2019.

  16. CEE student works with Dr. Schmidt and F&S

    Junren Wang, an undergraduate student in Civil and Environmental Engineering, working under the guidance of Dr. Art Schmidt, researched the impacts of existing green infrastructure on campus property and the relationship to potential cost reductions from City Stormwater Utility Fees.  She provided the following update and attached files.

    Dear All:

    This is an update for the GI project:

    ECE Permeable Pavement(U08032): All the necessary calculations have been completed. We may get 0.22% credit for this parcel.

    Design Center Detention(U16015):All the necessary calculations have been completed. We may get 0.307% credit for this parcel.

    FPC Detention(U17018): All the necessary calculations have been completed. We cannot get credits from this infrastructure. But we may get $250/10yr incentives.

    IGB Detention: More information need for the pump as mentioned last time. But it seems that we cannot get credit from this infrastucture.

    Waiting for your suggestion this Thursday!



  17. note about measuring quality of water in campus watershed

    The SWATeam asked County Engineer, Jeff Blue, who owns the bridge running across the Embarras on Airport Road (1100N) just west of the intersection of Race Street (1350E), in the hopes of adding a monitoring station.  Mr. Blue replied, "That bridge is under the jurisdiction of Philo Township. I know he is doing some substantial work on the ditch on the north side of Airport Road this summer which leads to this bridge. I doubt if the township would object, but it would be best to wait until the work on the ditch is complete. Please let me know what type of monitoring device would be used and how it would be attached to the bridge. I should be your contact on this project, as we are the bridge inspectors on behalf on the township."

  18. Water004 GSI Standards Parking Lots recommendation - Assessment started

    The iCAP Working Group (iWG) met on May 10, 2018, to discuss and start the assessment of Water004 GSI Standards Parking Lots recommendation. The iWG's draft assessment was:

    "F&S should include the minimum requirements of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) in the Facilities Standards, as described in the Campus Master Plan."

    See SWATeam recommendtion Water004 GSI Standards Parking Lots here.