EEEC says grow your own
Pat Copeland | sun
Mike Miller plans to refresh and replace plants in city rights
of way and will start at the corner of Gulf Drive and
Pine Avenue at the Island Playhouse.
ANNA MARIA – The city's environmental committee is planning to develop community gardens along Pine Avenue to teach people how to grow vegetables and herbs in their yards.
"When you're in our walking district there will be community garden patches all along the street," member Jane Coleman explained. "We can show people how to turn their back yard into native and edible back yards and be a resource for them.
She said business owners that she has talked to are enthusiastic about the project.
"You need to prove to people that the integration of food into the landscape is viable," plant expert Mike Miller pointed out. "You have to go out there and do it so you can show people how to do it."
Miller said they also could have a co-op garden and a farmer's market and added, "It creates a sense of community."
Coleman said the committee should get a couple of the businesses to commit to the project.
Miller asked the committee for an annual budget so he could replace and refresh plants at city hall and in other rights of way in the city. He said he would like to start with the beds at the corner of the Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue at the Island Playhouse.
"The city has never budgeted any money for maintenance for landscaping," he explained. "Pine Avenue is happening and becoming prettier and more landscaped, and there's more attention being paid to landscape.
"My idea is to spruce up the beds on the corner and replace the plants to give it a more finished look. We can slowly upgrade around that corner and along the ditch on Pine Avenue."
He said if the could count on that money every year, he could plan ahead and shop for plants. He said plants should be stable, low maintenance and long lasting.
The committee agreed to give Miller $250 each fiscal year for plants.