Atlanta’s City Council has just voted in favor of transforming a vacant 7 acre property into a food forest – the state of Georgia’s first of it’s kind.
Including edible trees, shrubs and vines and various traditional community garden beds the Urban Food Forest will be free of charge. It will also feature walking trails and public gathering spaces and many other features.
“It’s just like going into a park and picking muscadines from a bush.”
Currently owned by environmental agency The Conservation Fund, the land will be sold to the city of Atlanta for $157,384.00.
The land was in the agency’s possession after a failed business venture left it abandoned.
According to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “The Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill has been in the works since November 2016 when the city accepted an $86,150 grant from the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest and Open Space Program.”
The property will be overseen by Atlanta’s Department of Parks and Recreation and Trees Atlanta will maintain the Urban Food Forest with $121,500.00 already secured in funding, planning to employ two part-time workers and a Forest Ranger and Community Workforce Educator.
Plans for the Urban Food forest conform to the city’s goal to “strengthen local food economy to ensure 85 percent of the city residents are within one-half mile of fresh food access by 2021.” According to the measure, “parks, greenspace and recreation are an integral part of the fabric of the City of Atlanta.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has noted that 36% of Atlanta was classified as a food desert in 2017 with a quarter of the residents being forced to travel more than half a mile to purchase fresh produce.
Hopefully, many major cities will be prompted to focus on the legislation and well-being of their residents after Atlanta made such an incredible move, with many Americans residing in food desert areas, it surely makes sense to further legislation like Atlanta’s Ordinance 19-O-1251 to properly utilize vacant land which lays dotted throughout America’s urban landscapes.
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