America's greenest town?

It's hard to get past the coincidental. This town is named GREENSburg, Kansas.

It's hard to get past the coincidental. This town is named GREENSburg, Kansas. Is this fate set in motion more than a century ago? Serendipity? Some hidden screenwriter have a hand in all this?

Greensburg was just another shrinking town surrounded by ever-larger, more depopulated farmlands through the past decades. Until it was nearly wiped from the map by a horrific tornado in 2007. And then, the transformation began. Greensburgers discovered their inner green. They not only vowed to rebuild, but most agreed to rebuild the town as a green, model city. Man if we could just find a way to start lover in L.A. and New York City. Thinking about Greensburg lets you realize the lost chance to really maker New Orleans a modern city after the Katrina disaster.

Kansas being Kansas, the town can't just rebuild with energy efficiency in mind. The NEW Greensburg needs to be able to withstand that next tornado. To prove a point the new green housing in Greensburg is not just efficient, it's tough. To prove that a private builder just dropped a car some sixty feet onto the roof of a new home. Do not try this at your house, or apartment building. The car didn't fare well but the new silo-eco home is just fine. The silo-eco home is prepared to stand up in 200 MPH winds, the kind that tore up the town four years ago.

From Nowheresville, Greensburg has become a place getting lots of media attention. Public buildings in town are being constructed with the latest in green technology. So are many private homes and businesses. Many of town's residents are serious about the Green in Greensburg. They have taken advantage of what was a lot of flat, empty land and twisted wreckage after the tornado. New Greensburg will not be a replica of the old.

Greensburg isn't just pushing for efficient, new buildings, then pulling all its electricity off the grid. They intend to be entirely self-sustained for electricity, and all of it from renewable sources.

The town's website motto: better, stronger, greener. The next big event in town: Sun Chips Business Incubator Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. That'll be April 24, if you happen to be in the neighborhood. Greensburg wants to be a green center, attracting green tech business. The town's website is rife with information on zero energy homes. Here's a link to one Greensburg eco-home blog. Yes, they're getting federal aid for some of the rebuilding. Plus a nice donation from Leonardo DiCaprio. But the local Greensburgers are working this very hard themselves. And they aim to be ready next time there's a tornado. Next month Greensburg will observe the second anniversay of that killer storm. Here's what the event website says about the May 2 event: "GreenTown will host supper Saturday, May 2 at 6:30 as part of the weekend of events observing the second anniversary of the tornado. Guests at our First Annual Green Initiative Awards banquet will be treated to a meal made possible by: Local Burger, a Lawrence, Kansas organic/sustainable/local foods eatery owned by Hilary Brown; Good Natured Family Farms, a consortium of over 100 family farms headed up by Diana Endicott; New Grass Bison Company, a sustainable food production and distribution company founded by Jeff Adair in 2001...."

Green and local, in Kansas...long way from Palo Alto or Princeton. How about that?