Native plantings are a natural extension of our commitment to responsive development. Our buildings are, literally, foundational to this process by conserving energy and providing maximum storm resistance in smaller footprints and overall square footage. Site development around the buildings begins with a recognition of who and where we are. Mike Miller, long the guru of native plantings on the Island, calls this “sense of place” development. Who are we ? Permanent residents of Anna Maria. Where are we ? On a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico. Sand and Sea are our native elements. Rather than change out the sand in order to accommodate “exotic” plantings, we plant natives for which the sand is the intended home. Rather than hardscapes and lawns which encourage runoff into our water bodies and, ultimately our precious Gulf and Bay, we leave sand wherever possible and create water storage for capture and re-use of rainwater. This has the practical effect of meeting and exceeding the objectives of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) while reducing the net coverage effect of our buildings from the allowable 40% to something in the range of 20%.
We are proud to stand on this principle: “Every time we add concrete, pavers, sod or asphalt to our Island we defeat the objectives of SWFWMD and undercut our own self interest by increasing the likelihood of flooding and contamination of the waters that sustain our way of life”.