Turning a Disaster Into a Green-Energy Breakthrough

Greensburg, KSWhen a massive tornado destroyed 95 percent of Greensburg’s buildings in 2007, the residents had a choice – to rebuild the town that had been, or to embrace a brighter future. Mayor Bob Dixson, now one of our Path to Positive Communities leaders, brought the town together through a Public Square process – 400 to 500 community members at a time met under a circus tent to discuss what could be done. (You can read their success story here.)
Greensburg chose transformation. The residents were motivated by the opportunity to make sense of the tragedy, and the chance to show that clean energy solutions are both the climate-friendly and economic thing to do.
As the video below explains, the town is now a model for sustainability, with a LEED Platinum Certified John Deere dealership and a 12.5 MW wind farm. Race car driver and clean-energy advocate Leilani Münter appears in the video. She was hugely inspired by the story of Greensburg, and invited several residents to be her special guests at the Kansas Speedway last year.


Greensburg, Kansas

Greensburg is not the only rural community to experience a clean-energy transformation. Discover how wind power gave Ohio’s Van Wert County an economic boost.

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