- Mark McDowell
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Tornado-Ravaged Greensburg, KS, Rebuilding Itself as a Green Town
Three years after an EF5 tornado tore apart tiny Greensburg, KS, the town of approximately 900 is making a conscious effort to rebuild itself as a green community.
City officials, residents and business owners are leading by example, making Greensburg a national model for environmentally conscious living.
For example, a wind farm five miles south of town now provides the majority of Greensburg’s energy. Newly rebuilt houses supplement the wind power with dedicated solar panels. Streetlights use LED lighting, which cuts energy use, operating and maintenance costs by approximately 70 percent. Cisterns capture rain, which is used to water the town’s plants and trees. The construction of zero energy homes and high-performance modular homes is encouraged to further Greensburg’s quest to become a green town.
This is the nation’s first project of its kind and is a key element in developing eco-tourism, a vital element in Greensburg’s successful comeback following the tornado’s devastation. By partnering with local builders, Greensburg is providing educational opportunities to contractors and homeowners alike who can spread the message of what they have learned in going green.