Anna Maria looks beyond green buildings to entire green street

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ANNA MARIA, Fla. - When Michael Coleman moved to Anna Maria Island in 2007, he says the area was full of run down shacks. Rather than looking at the dilapidated buildings, Coleman saw potential.

He started working to make a pedestrian friendly area using sustainable, eco friendly methods.  “It is one thing building a green building, it is another thing to build a green street.”

But that is exactly what he has accomplished on Pine Avenue, dubbed the “greenest little main Street in America.”

Coleman is the operating partner of Pine Avenue Restoration and has been one of the driving forces behind the green initiatives.  “And now we are a model. We woke up one day and found ourselves on the leading edge of a world wide transition movement in which individuals, neighbors and neighborhoods take into their on hands the economic, environmental and cultural destiny of their communities and we did that by just doing stuff.”

Stuff like getting rid of asphalt and concrete sidewalks.

“We put down this sand for a reason. This sand filters water. If you have a hardscape, it echoes noise and also runs toxins out into the water which is all around us here.”

Coleman tells ABC 7 many of the business owners have installed vegetable boxes in front their businesses.

“Others in the community are now taking on boxes so we have a true community garden. People are growing their own food, they are not driving down the road to get greens, they are going out in their back yard to get greens.”

Coleman hopes all these green initiatives that they put into place on the greenest little main street in America spread from right here on Pine Ave. into the neighborhoods and throughout the community.