RORG Past, Present, and Future

Established in 2006, the Red Oak Rain Garden (aka “RORG”) is the first example of green infrastructure on the UIUC campus. Originally a “classic” rain garden design, it is time for a renovation to improve both aesthetics and functionality. The RORG Team is managing the design-build of the project, which is expected to happen spring and fall of 2019. RORG is supported by SSC and is part of the Illinois Climate Action Plan.

Located between Allen Hall and McKinley Health Center, RORG provides flood protection and improves water quality. Prior to the garden, rainstorms limited sidewalk use and harmed the red oak tree. The updated design will enhance the garden’s ability to soak up stormwater runoff and provide other ecosystem services.

Below you can see a sketch of the redesign plan as well as a 3D rendering of what the finalized design will look like. Please click on the images for a closer look!

This renovation includes a wide range of mostly native plants. You can view or download the RORG planting list.

Meet the RORG Team

The RORG team is an Illinois Extension team based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This dedicated, multidisciplinary team works on a range of water quality projects like the RORG renovation.

Eliana Brown

Stormwater Specialist

Eliana Brown is the stormwater specialist with IISG and Illinois Extension ANR. She is involved with the implementation of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. Her areas of expertise are the regulatory aspects of wastewater and stormwater programs and green infrastructure. She has a Master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois where she worked as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (or MS4) coordinator. She is also a LEED AP and a certified Master Gardener. 

Kate Gardiner

Social Media

Kate Gardiner has a Bachelor’s degree in Earth, Society, and Environmental Sustainability from the University of Illinois. She assists in the implementation of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. In addition to her work with the state’s nutrient strategy, she is a social media expert and regularly shares project updates and green infrastructure ideas via the RORG social media pages.

Layne Knoche

Landscape Designer

Layne Knoche is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture. Aside from his work in landscape design, he is also interested in the conservation, preservation, and restoration of large and small-scale environmental systems and the integration of social, aesthetic, and educational aspects within them.

Kayla Myers

Landscape Architect Master’s Student

Kayla Myers is a Master’s candidate in Landscape Architecture with a strong interest in ecosystem service design as well as design focused on biodiversity enrichment. She has experience with native plantings with a focus on wildlife and is excited to combine this knowledge with green infrastructure.

Irenka Carney

Graphic Design and Education

Irenka Carney is an Artist and Designer with a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Illinois. Irenka has a range of education and outreach experience focused on environmental education with a focus on rain gardens and storm water quality. One of her stormwater projects is a mural on the UIUC campus outside Talbot Laboratory showcasing the ecology of Boneyard Creek.