A park in southeast Atlanta is set to become the nation’s largest food forest.
What We Know:
- The Food Forest at Browns Mill occupies a seven-acre plot where husband and wife, Willie and Ruby Morgan, once kept a farm. The plot was sold to developers in 2006 with the intent to build townhouses, but the plan fell through due to the recession.
- In 2016, The Atlanta City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to use grant money from the U.S. Forest Service to purchase the land from The Conservation Fund for a food forest.
- Atlanta’s Department of Parks and Recreation will oversee the property and the nonprofit Trees Atlanta will maintain it. The forest will be a place where volunteers can tend to gardens containing fruits, vegetables, nuts, and herbs, much of which is available to the public for free. The space will also have trails.
- “When you transform that [property] into a lighthouse of nutrition, you have now created the greatest asset in the community out of the greatest liability,” said Mario Cambardella, Urban Agriculture Director for the city of Atlanta.
The goal of the project is to ensure that 85 percent of citizens live within a half-mile of access to fresh, healthy food by 2022.