Greensburg image graphic

Almost 10 years ago, a deadly tornado ripped through Greensburg, Kansas, and destroyed the city. But the terrible tragedy had a silver lining – it gave Greensburg a chance at a new beginning.

First, Greensburg mandated that all city-owned structures be LEED-platinum certified. LEED stands for “leadership in energy and environmental design” and means the buildings include things like natural lighting and energy-efficient windows.

Mayor Bob Dixson says the mandate set an example for the rest of the city.

Dixson: “And at that time we also had private enterprises and homeowners that chose to do the same thing. They might not have got their buildings or their homes certified, but they built to those standards.”

'We lost 11 lives in the tornado, which we sorely missed. But that tornado also blessed us.' Click To Tweet

Greensburg also made clean energy a priority. Wind turbines now generate enough electricity to power the city, and geothermal wells are widely used for heating and cooling.

Dixson: “We lost 11 lives in the tornado, which we sorely missed. But that tornado also blessed us with a tremendous opportunity to rebuild in a green and sustainable manner, which was the right thing to do for future generations.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy. Photos courtesy of City of Greensburg.

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