It’s Green Day in Bradenton Beach

BRADENTON BEACH — Two days after St. Patrick’s Day, this island city will go green again.

The Scenic Waves committee, with the help of Green Connections US, will host a Green Day in Bradenton Beach today starting with a presentation at 9 a.m. on “Greening Your Business,” and followed with a talk on “Greening Your Life” at 11 a.m.

Both events will be at the Bradenton Beach Volunteer Fire Hall, 201 Second St. N., with urban planner Mary Anne Bowie speaking at 9 a.m. on how to make your business more attractive to the environmentally conscious consumer while using sustainable policies and practices.

At 11 a.m., Bowie will give a presentation on how individuals can take the right steps to lead a green life.

Green Day is part of a week of environment-oriented events the city sponsored, which culminates with the Fifth Annual Eco Expo and Native Plant Sale from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. Saturday at City Hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.

Lisa Marie Phillips, projects and program manager for the city, said she was excited about Bowie presenting today.

“Mary Anne (Bowie) is very impressive,” said Phillips, who organized the Eco Expo when she was a city commissioner with the former city director of public works, Dottie Poindexter. “All the things I’ve dreamed of, she’s doing.”

Bowie said she has been an urban planner for more than 35 years but became involved with sustainable living after attending the World Women’s Conference for a Healthy Planet in 1991.

“It ignited my passion about mainstream sustainable planning and economic solutions,” she said in a telephone interview Wednesday. Bowie said after the conference she would practice sustainable planning, but did not know how to move the issues forward.

She would speak at national conferences but not until she had a bout with cancer in 2002 did she realize she had to bring the message local.

To facilitate her passion, Bowie started the Sarasota Green Marketplace, a retail outlet of eco-friendly products, and the Sarasota Green Connections, a directory of more than 200 local green vendors.

To cap off Green Day, the first Green World Cafe ever to be held in Manatee County will be from 6-8 p.m. at the fire hall, with local landscape designer Michael Miller speaking on the “Aesthetic Motive for Landscaping with Native Plants.”

Nancy Sloan, executive director of Green Connections US, said a Green World Cafe has been held monthly in Sarasota for more than six years.

“Speakers share their passion for what they do and relate it to the Earth Charter,” Sloan said.

The Earth Charter is a international document established in 2000 that outlines principles to develop an sustainable world.

The Greening Your Business presentation costs $35, and the Greening Your Life talk is $10. If you attend both, the charge is $40.

The Green World Cafe event is free of charge. For more information, call Sloan at (941) 780-4342 or visit the Web site at