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Oklahoma City workshop focuses on green disaster recovery

The leader of a group that is making sustainable rebuilding efforts in tornado-ravaged Kansas and Missouri communities is speaking at a workshop Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL Published: May 15, 2012

One of the small silver linings of natural disasters that destroy communities is that their residents have a clean slate when they start to rebuild. Daniel Wallach works to help them rebuild with a sustainable future in mind.

Wallach is leading a workshop Tuesday in Oklahoma City on sustainable disaster recovery using the knowledge he's learned in Greensburg, Kan., and Joplin, Mo., in helping to rebuild those communities. Wallach hopes city and state residents will use the same techniques used there the next time a tornado hits locally.

“We all experience adversity at the micro level and at the macro level,” Wallach said. “If we can tap the resources latent within that adversity, then we grow, and we're much better off for it.”

Wallach started Greensburg GreenTown, a nonprofit group, after a tornado ravaged the town five years ago. He started GreenTown Joplin after the tornado there last year.

He and Catherine Hart live outside of Greensburg, and quickly began plans after the tornado hit that eventually turned into GreenTown. The group has helped rebuild everything from homes to businesses and the local courthouse and hospital with conservative and efficient use of resources in mind.

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