Mayor of town that rebuilt ‘green’ after tornado to speak

By: 
Enterprise Staff

A Thursday presentation will demonstrate how a small town destroyed by a tornado rebuilt itself better and stronger. 

Bob Dixson, the mayor of Greensburg, Kansas will be in Livingston as the keynote speaker for the annual meeting of the Yellowstone Bend Citizens  Council, a local organization that promotes renewable energy. YBCC is a Northern Plains Resource Council affiliate Greensburg, Kansas, with a population of about 1,400, was essentially flattened by a tornado in 2007. Dixson will share the story of how his small community rebounded after the tornado destroyed 95 percent of its town to become an award-winning green town and renewable energy leader. 

In rebuilding its town, Greensburg went with as much sustainable and green building practices as possible. 

In a 2015 Youtube video interview conducted by Wayne Meador, Dixson explains the decision to go green wasn’t about political ideology, but about being good stewards of the land, as the town’s pioneering ancestors had been. 

To people in the Midwest “green” conjured up images of long-haired hippies in tie-dye, Dixson said. But doing things “sustainably” was just what those pioneering families did naturally. 

“They lived on what they could produce,” he says in the video. 

Pioneers establishing a community first dug a well for water and then a root cellar to store their food, Dixson said.

“We’re talking environmental stewardship ,leaving the land better than you found it,” Dixson said in the video “Take care of the land and it will take care of you.” 

The free program starts at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Shane Lalani Center for the Arts in Livingston. 

Food and drinks will be provided. There will be live music by the White Buffalo Project. 

A silent auction will be held for a painting by renowned Montana artist Freeman Butts. 

For more information, contact Sydney Ausen by phone at (406) 248-1154 or email sydney@northernplains.org.

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