American Honda Motors has donated a 2007 Honda Civic natural gas vehicle to GreenTown that we will soon be putting up for auction, most likely on e-Bay. (This car is in addition to the vehicle we received from Scholfield Honda of Wichita a year ago.) We will be conducting this on-line auction with the help of Entercom Communications Corporation, the 4th largest broadcasting company in the country, with 104 stations. Two executives from Entercom’s Wichita division were in town last week to meet with us about the auction. General Manager/V.P. Jackie Wise and Business Development Director Jeff Pickering spent the morning touring Greensburg and visiting with staff about the Green Initiative and Greensburg’s rebuilding. They represent 3 stations in Wichita and are eager to help not only with this project through their nationwide network, but also with increasing awareness about our work among their 200,000 listeners. We are deeply grateful to Roger Scholfield for connecting us with Entercom.
Compressed natural gas is an extremely clean-burning fuel. The EPA certified this model of Honda as "the cleanest internal combustion engine in the world". Not only is it clean, it is less expensive to operate than a traditional gasoline engine. Today, natural gas costs about half of the price of gasoline. And, by and large, natural gas is a U.S. product. Kansas actually exports twice as much natural gas as it uses. This car will be a great buy for a lucky bidder, who will simultaneously be supporting the Green Initiative with their purchase. Details about the auction will be forthcoming soon.
In the past couple of weeks there has been a flurry of media coverage of the community. The Good Housekeeping magazine crew was in town for two days, taking photos and interviewing residents for an in-depth article which will appear in their April edition. Teen Vogue magazine, with a readership of 1.5 million, interviewed three of The Green Club girls for its May issue on Green Teens. The Yahoo! Travel site on the internet featured an article entitled “Must-See Green American Landmarks”. Recommended attractions in San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, and New York City were joined by the local 5.4.7 Arts Center, the first LEED Platinum building in the State of Kansas. Speaking of the 5.4.7, we congratulate its Executive Director, Stacy Barnes, for making the cover of The Legend. This quarterly Dodge City-based publication highlights life in Southwest Kansas. The GreenTown office has a stock of these magazines for interested readers.
Anna Bromberg, shown with members of the Green Club.
The City of Greensburg recently completed a project whereby all street lights in town - 303 of them - are LED. The project was formally acknowledged with a community ceremony on January 20. According to the company in charge of this project, Greensburg is the first U.S. city to have 100% LED street lighting.
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. Most people are familiar with LEDs as the red and green lights on the faces of alarm clocks and electronic devices. In recent years, this technology has exploded and its applications have significantly expanded. There are many advantages to using LEDs over more traditional lights.
We are delighted to officially announce the donation by the University of Colorado (CU) of their winning home from the 2005 Solar Decathlon to GreenTown and the community of Greensburg. The Decathlon is a competititon sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy which challenges 20 universities from around the world to build the most state-of-the-art, sustainably designed residence. This year will mark the fourth such competition since the project was launched in 2002.
Overland Park, Kansas corporation Stallard Technologies recently gifted GreenTown with ten complete Dell computer systems. Chief Marketing Officer, Phil Poje, had contacted us with in the fall with the good news that they wanted to make a donation. What is especially noteworthy about this gift is that Stallard is truly a green company, as they deal in reclaimed and reconditioned IT products. They purchase equipment from businesses that have outgrown their computers and sell them at reasonable prices on the market. GreenTown staff are already using several of these units in our offices. We'll be distributing the remaining computer systems to other deserving organizations in town. To read more about Stallard and check out their products, visit their website at www.stikc.com
KSU Studio 108 architecture student James O'Mara presents his model Four Square home to the community.
At a gathering on December 14, students from Kansas State University's College of Architecture, Planning & Design returned to town with eight hand-built models of affordable, sustainable homes that they designed for people who are seeking to build in a green fashion. An advisory group composed of Kiowa County residents was on hand to receive this most generous gift and to thank the students for the amazing work they did on this project. The plans for these homes are available locally at the GreenTown Visitors Center behind the Kwik Shop. Area residents may either borrow a hard copy of the booklet, Greening Greensburg: Affordable and Sustainable Home Designs, featuring the architectural renderings and plans, or they can take home a free CD that includes the book and additional information about the homes and the concepts behind them.
GreenTown is pleased to announce a new blog where readers can get the latest on GreenTown's Chain of Eco-Homes project. The blog will be regularly updated by Project Managers Mason Earles, Emily Schlickman, and John Wickland. Check it out at www.thechainofecohomes.org! The Eco-Homes Project has a full head of steam and will eventually feature as many as a dozen unique green homes that will serve as "living science museums" by day and eco-lodging by night.
Left to right: Mayor Bob Dixson, City Administrator Steve Hewitt, property donor Kim Gamble, GreenTown Board Chair Jackie Robertson, GreenTown staff Mason Earles, Executive Director Daniel Wallach, Program Director Catherine Hart, GreenTown staff John Wickland, GreenTown staff Emily Schlickman, AT&T Director for External Affairs Richard Shank, and Armour Homes General Manager David Moffitt
Last Thursday’s groundbreaking for the first Eco-Home was a very special event for GreenTown. We were happy to see so many friends and supporters come by to hear about the project, meet the builders, and watch the ceremonial turning of the soil. The ceremony got underway as T.J. Lawson, Pastor of Greensburg’s First Christian Church, opened with a prayer. Daniel Wallach, GreenTown’s Director, welcomed guests and introduced the people who have made this project possible: the funders, builders, staff and board. Daniel singled out the efforts of City Administrator Steve Hewitt in keeping the vision and momentum going. He acknowledged that the entire town worked together like a “symphony orchestra” to give vitality to the recovery and the Green Initiative. Board Chair Jackie Robertson thanked the staff and talked about the importance of the Green Initiative and GreenTown’s role in it. Mayor Bob Dixson welcomed people and spoke of the import of the town’s direction related to sustainability. And David Moffitt, General Manager of Armour Homes, described how his company feels privileged to be a part of this project.