At 9:45 pm on May 4th, 2007 an EF5 tornado leveled the rural town of Greensburg, Kansas. Just days after the storm, the community came together and decided to rebuild sustainably, striving to become a model green town for the future. Ever since this landmark commitment was made, Greensburg GreenTown -- a grassroots community-based organization -- has worked side-by-side with city and county officials, business owners and local residents to incorporate sustainable principles into their rebuilding process. We serve as an educational resource for the community, a conduit through which donations can be distributed, and a representative to those outside the community who are interested in the Green Initiative.
Greensburg GreenTown exists to:
- Make it easier for residents to ascribe to and adhere to green practices, and to make green living appealing to people.
- Engage as many residents as possible in the enthusiastic pursuit of making Greensburg a model green community.
- Establish incentives in order to maximize the participation of businesses and residents in rebuilding Greensburg as a model green community.
- Bring in resources and support from around the country to make the dreams of Greensburg as a model green community a reality.
- Make it easier for builders, building supply companies, and local businesses to do business as green as possible.
- Work to spur economic development with a green emphasis.
- Serve the residents in an unbiased consumer advocate capacity, striving to get them the best value for their money as they rebuild their homes and businesses.
Program Plan (updated June 2011)
Programs undertaken by Greensburg GreenTown are in service to the mission of providing the residents of Greensburg, Kansas and the surrounding area with the resources, information and support they need to rebuild Greensburg as a model green community. Greensburg GreenTown is a grassroots community owned organization that represents the townspeople as Greensburg rebuilds in a sustainable fashion.
Consulting by Staff and Volunteers - GreenTown provides technical assistance and support for individuals, businesses, nonprofits and government offices seeking to build and operate programs guided by green principles. This is done through a volunteer matching program as well as through staff consulting.
GreenTour Book - GreenTown staff completed the first community-wide tour book in the spring of 2011, which is available both as a hard copy and on-line on this website. The comprehensive directory summarizes each major green project in town, plus contains educational articles about various aspects of sustainable building.
GreenTour Map - Staff put together a map of the community which features the green projects and points of interest in town. This is distributed freely to visitors.
Information Resource for the Green Initiative - GreenTown staff routinely respond to requests from journalists, researchers, students, and visitors who are interested in learning about the local sustainability vision. We regularly give guided tours of the community to groups and individuals from around the world.
Library - We stock and maintain a library of materials so that people can educate themselves in the green building/living process.
Educational Materials - We write and distribute information that assists people in making their decisions easier. There is a great quantity of information already available which we sift through, making the best available to Greensburg residents.
Educational Series - We offer classes and speakers addressing issues related to sustainable building and green living. These classes are taught at locales in and around Greensburg as well as through online and telephone courses for those residents with telephone and computer access.
Website - This is a place where people find information about issues related to the Green Initiative, extensive resources for those seeking education, and links to other helpful websites.
Outreach - We interview residents as a means of gathering information about what is most important to them in the green rebuilding of their community. During the interview process we share information about how a model green town might look.
Chain of Eco-Homes - The Chain of Eco-Homes project is building a series of model homes in Greensburg. Each home will serve as a “living laboratory” featuring a variety of building techniques, prices, sizes, energy efficiency features, and green living products and services. Each will be unique, and will be available both as an informational center and as eco-lodging where people can experience green living first-hand in homes that interest them. The Silo Eco-Home had its grand opening in May of 2010, and we are currently at work on the Meadowlark House.
Planning - Greensburg GreenTown works in concert with the other parties interested in moving forward with the Green Initiative in Greensburg and the surrounding area. GreenTown serves as eyes and ears of the city and county leadership in carrying out the vision of Greensburg as a model green community.
Fundraising - GreenTown brings in funds from outside the community to support innovative programs and infuse the efforts with energy and resources.
Show and Tell Registry - In order to provide the best examples to residents of what "green" means, a registry has been established to list those in the area that already have in place the latest in sustainable or green technologies.
Energy Rater - For over a-year-and-a-half, we worked with Certified Energy Rater Brian Wendland to assist homeowners to maximize energy savings in their homes. This professional service was available to owners of both new and existing homes.