On June 30, 2012 the Kansas Explorers Club had a group adventure in Greensburg. What follows is a synopsis of our day.

Prior to May 4, 2007, this was the visitor center above the Big Well. The tornado ripped everything, including this idyllic tourism icon building, but it couldn't hurt the well.

The Big Well, one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas, re-opened under a new museum building in late May 2012. A sturdy new spiral staircase allows visitors to go to the (near) bottom of the 32' x 109' 1887 well.

The spiral staircase fits well in the round building. Interpretive displays fill the walls and cases.

The Big Well, 315 S. Sycamore, is open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 1-6 p.m. 620.723.4102.

Would Greensburg rebuild -- and how? They decided to go green. Here are some of the amazing things we learned and saw on our tour.

This is a picture behind the new school. Thanks to RuthAnn for these facts:
  • Native grasses were used in the landscaping.
  • Native limestone was used to create an area for an outdoor classroom.
  • The windows on the south allow the sun to warm the room in the winter time and provide natural lighting all year long.
  • The cypress wood is reclaimed wood from Hurricane Katrina.
  • The tank is one of 5 that collects water from the roof of the school. The school has a 221,000 gallon storage capacity for harvesting rain water.
  • 1" of rain harvested from the roof will fill the storage tanks.
  • The trough serves as a gutter to capture the water coming out of the rain spouts that then feeds into a rock bed that flows into the storage tank.
  • Outdoor seating for lunch time to enjoy the outdoors.

This is the roof of the Kiowa County Commons building!

There are 4 green roofs- 5.4.7. Arts Center, Commons, City Hall and Silo Eco Home

  • Those are solar panel in the background.
  • Green roofs reduce the amount of storm water runoff and also delay the time at which runoff occurs, resulting in decreased stress on sewer systems at peak flow periods.
  • They act as natural filters for any water that happens to run off.
  • The greater insulation offered by green roofs can reduce the amount of energy needed to moderate the temperature of a building, as roofs are the sight of the greatest heat loss in the winter and the hottest temperatures in the summer.
  • Green roofs can serve as community hubs, increasing social cohesion, sense of community, and public safety.
  • Green roofs have excellent noise attenuation, especially for low frequency sounds.
  • The plants on green roofs can capture airborne pollutants.
  • These plants are sedums and are native to Kansas and can stand the warm temperatures

This building is the GreenTown office, a silo eco house that also houses a bed-and-breakfast. Make sure to stop here to get information.

Check this out! See the top of the toilet? It's a sink! So the water used in the sink is the water used for flushing purposes. Brilliant!

To top off the day, our group stopped at the Kiowa County Historical Museum soda fountain!

Ellen anticipated the first bite -- and she wasn't disappointed.

Greensburg, we all anticipated this tour and you delivered with your impressive comeback story.

You make us all proud.

Stacy of the Big Well and Ruth Ann of Greensburg Green Town are glad to welcome people to town.

There is much more to see in Greensburg than the few examples shown in this blog. The 5.4.7 art center, the hospital, the downtown, and many more buildings are part of this amazing story. Visit to see for yourself!