The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $20,000 grants to both Kansas State University and Mississippi State University. These grants will fund green infrastructure demonstration and training projects.

At Kansas State, faculty and students will create “living laboratories” to conduct green infrastructure monitoring at two on-campus sites. Students from different disciplines will collaborate on the monitoring program. They will record and analyze data to gauge performance. Then, they will develop communication materials, including brochures and a touch screen at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art.

At Mississippi State, students in art, landscape architecture, landscape contracting, and civil and environmental engineering will design and construct a 140-m2 rain garden. After the project is completed, students will maintain the rain garden and use it to conduct water quality tests. They also will install informational kiosks to educate others about green infrastructure.

“By supporting projects like these two, colleges and universities can advance new ideas for green infrastructure to protect water quality,” said Ken Kopocis, EPA deputy assistant administrator for water. “Kansas State and Mississippi State are showing a dedication to sustainable stormwater management by educating the next generation of scientists, designers, and engineers about green infrastructure.”

This award builds on the success of EPA’s Campus RainWorks Challenge, in which faculty and student teams design green infrastructure projects for their campuses. Both universities have had great success in the competition. In 2013, Kansas State was a first-place winner and Mississippi State was a second-place winner.