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Projects Updates for Red Oak Rain Garden

  1. SSC Supports Red Oak Rain Garden 2.0

    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. Students will work alongside faculty, staff, and community members to plant specific plants that provide multi-season flooding protection. This project aims to increase awareness surrounding horticulture and natural flooding management while addressing an infrastructural issue on campus.

    The Student Sustainability Committee provides financial support to purchase plants, signage, training materials, and hardscape. The plant species are specifically chosen for maximum efficiency and learning. Likewise, the signage will allow the passerby to identify native species. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners will support the garden while students are on academic breaks and provide Red Bison, a student-led organization, with rain garden training.

    Attached Files: 
  2. Second Input session

    Associated Project(s): 

    On July 20, 2017, a second Public Input session was held for the update to the Red Oak Rain Garden.  Cameron Letterly presented two concepts for the rain garden, and groups of participants provided written and verbal feedback. 

  3. Red Oak Rain Garden Renovation Stakeholder Meetings

    Associated Project(s): 

    Specific stakeholders were invited to join a workshop on July 11, 2017 for stakeholder input to the rennovation design of the Red Oak Rain Garden.


    You’re invited to a series of two facilitated meetings seeking input from stakeholders about the Red Oak Rain Garden.

    Red Oak Rain Garden was installed 10 years ago as part of Tony Endress’ NRES classes. As of this year, the Extension Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists have an agreement in place with F&S Grounds to volunteer with the garden. Although the garden still performs well keeping water off of the pedestrian sidewalk, approximately 90% of the original plantings did not survive. We are working on a renovation plan that will enhance its aesthetics and multi-functionality. But, how exactly does the space function presently? What would be ideal?

    This is where you come in. As either a campus neighbor, student, volunteer, and/or stormwater-related professional, we seek your input that will inform the garden plan.

    Meeting 1: July 11 (Tue) 3 – 4:30 PM ACES Library, Monsanto Rm. Agenda: Provide background/history, ask questions, and present preliminary design direction options.

    Meeting 2: July 20 (Thu) 3 – 4:30 PM ACES Library, Heritage Rm. Agenda: Present refined design options based on feedback from Meeting 1 and seek preferences.

    IWRC intern/MLA Candidate Cameron Letterly will lead the sessions along with a facilitator to guide discussion.

    There will be an opportunity to provide input online for those that cannot be present.

    Please feel free to forward to invitation to others who have an interest in this garden.

    Thank you,

    C. Eliana Brown

    33 NSRC, MC-635, 1101 W. Peabody Dr., Urbana, IL 61801  217-265-0760

    Illinois Indiana Sea Grant  University of Illinois Extension  Illinois Water Resources Center

  4. Requesting approval as Master Naturalist volunteer site

    Associated Project(s): 

    The ECIMN Advisory Board meets on the third Monday of the month from 3-5 pm.  Karen Folk and Eliana Brown will present the Red Oak Rain Garden as a requested site for approval as an official volunteer location for the Master Naturalists.  Once Board approval is granted, Maddy Kangas will work to complete the MOU with F&S, similar to the Idea Garden agreement.

    The effort could be set up in three phases: 1. Assessment 2. Renovation 3. Maintenance.

  5. MAster Naturalist intern notes

    Associated Project(s): 

    "I walk by that rain garden almost every day and have been picking up trash, etc.  It would be great if we could get the original plan from Dr. Tony Endress that shows what was planted.  From my observations, the rocks need replenished, possibly removal of fabric underlayment, and, if we had the plan, we could do a census of surviving plants.  The Native Plant sale is coming up in May and if we had a plan by then, we could buy and plant replacements.  I am willing to monitor when students aren't available and work with them in whatever capacity they are anticipating.

    Karen Folk"

  6. Inquiry regarding volunteer time at Rain Garden

    Associated Project(s): 

    Community member, Karen Folk, inquired about the potential to establish the Red Oak Rain Garden as an official volunteer location for the Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners to help maintain.  Eliana Brown, currently a Water Resources Outreach Specialist, asked Superintendent of Grounds, Ryan Welch.  Ryan indicated that he would be willing to approve the volunteer program, and the first step is to define a Memo of Understanding (MOU) describing the volunteer work to be done.  He said, "I am agreeable to this, as long as the work is done strictly by volunteers and there is a MOU for the maintenance responsibilities between F&S and the Master Gardeners."

  7. Red Oak Rain Garden Project Assessment

    The major goal of this report is to quantify and qualify the impacts of Campus Red Oak Rain Garden project from University of Illinois on various metrics, including environmental, economic and educational contexts and to make suggestions for plan implementations of future projects. However, due to limited quantitative information, suggested impacts analysis is primarily based on literature reviews.

    Attached Files: 
  8. Photo in UIUC News Bureau

    Rain, rain, come this way
    The campus’s first rain garden, the Red Oak Rain Garden, southwest of Allen Hall, was dedicated April 19. The rain garden collects storm water, directing it away from sidewalks into a garden planted with native plants that soak up the water and improve the quality of groundwater. Students designed and installed the sculptures and the garden, which is a Building a Lasting University Environment (BLUE) project funded by Facilities and Services in conjunction with the Environmental Council.

    Attached Files: 
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