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Date of Issue: March 25, 2009

Eco echo: City promotes greener ways

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Mike Miller shows Bev and Chuck Liddle some native plants from Accent Trees & Nursery during the Eco Expo March 21 in Bradenton Beach. Islander Photos: Lisa Neff

Bradenton Beach’s call for greener ways echoed from Leffis Key to city hall last week.

The city, through its advisory ScenicWAVES committee, presented its annual Eco Week, a series of events designed to encourage environmental practices at home, at work and in government.

The week culminated with the Eco Expo on March 21, when people by the dozens visited the parking lot at city hall to learn about conserving water, protecting turtles, curbing climate change and growing native plants.

Mindy Torres went to the expo to pick up a dozen or so plants.

“I like to plant something every spring,” she said. “And the selection here, you can trust it is going to be right for the Island.”

Andy Torres, 6, went to the expo because he had no choice but to tag-along with his mom.

But he didn’t mind the free ice cream.

“Oh yeah, it’s good,” he said. “And we’re also going to the beach.”

Participants in the expo included the Florida Native Plant Society, Accent Trees & Nursery, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Florida Bat Conservancy, Manatee County Recycling, Around the Bend Nature Tours, Mote Marine Aquarium, Manatee Audubon Society, Bagnesia, Sarasota Green Marketplace, Bradenton Beach ScenicWAVES and Big Olaf Ice Cream.

From the expo, orange foot prints chalked on the sidewalk led people to the Bridge Street Market, which offered fresh produce and nature-inspired art.

Prior to the Eco Expo, the city hosted a seminar on using a rain barrel, participated in a journaling workshop at Leffis Key and presented, in partnership with Green Connection U.S., a day-long program on “greening your business, greening your life.”

The program, which took place March 19 at the Bradenton Beach Volunteer Fire Hall, 201 Second St. N., included discussions on sustainable business practices and policies, steps to take to finding environmentally friendly products and making eco-friendly policies at home, growing the green economy and planting native landscapes. Islander Mike Miller led the discussion on native plantings.