03 June 2008

Greensburg, KS

On May 4, 2007, the small Midwestern town of Greensburg, Kansas, was ravaged by a fierce tornado, resulting in a tragic loss of life and displacing more than 1,500 people. Almost every home, business, hospital, and school was decimated in the process, leaving the once-vibrant farming community shattered and in ruins. But Mayor John Janssen, who inherited the office three weeks after the tornado struck, sees one glimmer of hope amid the destruction: a clean slate for a fresh start.

Greensburg City Council has approved a resolution that all city building projects will be built to LEED Platinum level standards. This makes them the first city in the United States to do this and it shows the world "how green we are."

One of the leading firms in the Midwest and a pioneer in sustainable design, BNIM has become a national leader in design, constantly implementing the delivery of strong design-driven solutions that are respectful of context and the environment. Their main focus is on sustainability with an emphasis on heritage of place. Two of its youngest members, Stephen Hardy and Rachel Wedel are working with John Picard to help Greensburg realize their dream for rebuilding.

Tune in to Planet Green in June to watch more about Greensburg, and the town's incredible efforts to rebuild green.
The South Central Community Foundation, which covers seven counties, including Kiowa County (of which Greensburg is the county seat), has established the Greensburg Future Fund to collect donations for rebuilding the town. While the board of the SCCF has designated a committee to make specific decisions about where the money can be best spent, every dollar you contribute is earmarked only for Greensburg projects.

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