For second consecutive year, UF team wins EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge
Thursday, April 24, 2014
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A team of 20 University of Florida
students has won first place in a national competition for a plan on
how to dramatically reduce stormwater runoff on a 67.6-acre part of
This is the second time UF has won the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency’s Campus RainWorks Challenge. To compete in the master plan
category this year, the students fromfour colleges chose a watershed in
the northeast corner of campus.
"The team was tasked to select and design a campus site of their own
choosing, and provide analysis, design, stormwater calculations,
proposed maintenance and expected performance data,” said Glenn Acomb,
landscape architecture senior lecturer and faculty adviser. "The
submittals included a 20-page design brief and a three-minute video that
summarizes the project.”
The challenge was created to engage college and university students
in reinventing water infrastructure and developing innovative green
infrastructure systems to reduce stormwater pollution and build
resilience to climate change.
This year’s team consisted of 16 landscape architecture students, three engineering students and one fine arts student.
"The most rewarding aspect was seeing the excitement and pride of a
team of students winning such a prestigious competition and being the
best at what they do,” Acomb said. "Another unique aspect was the
decision by students to reach out to a nationally prominent sculptor in
Seattle, Buster Simpson, and raise the funds to support his four-day
visit and participation as a design critic for the project.”
The team’s design plan centers on a 67.6 acre sub-watershed in the
northeast corner of campus, which includes Yulee Pit and Jennings Creek.
To engage students with the journey of water, the three-phase plan
would transform two detention facilities into campus amenities and
highlight the flow of stormwater into above ground pipes and vegetated
bioswales. In addition to treating and retaining stormwater and
improving groundwater recharge, the team’s plan would improve aesthetics
and safety along Inner Road.
Adam McCollister, the team’s project manager and a landscape
architecture senior, said he enjoyed working on an interdisciplinary
team. "As landscape architects in the real-world, that’s what we do.
There’s not a single project where we don’t work collaboratively with a
number of allied professionals, as it opens up the doors to
The UF team members include landscape architecture students Adam S.
McCollister, Stephanie Bou-Ghannam, Johan Bueno, Kristina Bunyi,
Adrienne Campbell, Viviana Castro, Craig Handley, Mark Koenig, Kyle
Passeneau, Joshua Roedell, Laura Snider, Jessica Soleyn, Christopher
Stidham, Claudia Visconti, Theresa Wymer and Jordan Young; environmental
engineering students Tracy Fanara and Kelsie Timpe; agricultural and
biological engineering student Natalie A. Nelson; and fine arts student
The Campus RainWorks Challenge engages students and faculty at the
nation’s colleges and universities, teaching green infrastructure
principles and design, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and
increasing the use of green infrastructure on college and university