As a means of ending hunger and providing healthy food to all its citizens, the city of Atlanta is creating the largest public food forest in the United States.
According to a new piece of legislation that was passed last week, the food park will be located on 7 acres of vacant forested land near Lakewood Heights.
The ordinance states that the city plans to “transform these formerly vacant properties into a public park with edible trees, shrubs, vines and groundcover” with “public gathering spaces, walking trails, community garden beds and a restored forest and stream-side areas.”
Completion of the Urban Food Forest will pave the way towards the city’s goal of ensuring that 85% of their population will be within a half-mile of fresh food by 2021.
The ordinance goes on to say that the U.S. Forest Service has provided a total of $164,500 in grant funding for the establishment of the Urban Food Forest. Once completed, the city plans on creating a trust fund to ensure a steady source of financing for the park’s future maintenance.
The abandoned plot of land was originally purchased in 2016 by the Conservation Fund, a nonprofit dedicating to buying and preserving natural land across the US. According to the city ordinance, the charity will continue to work with the parks and recreation department to maintain the public space.
This will be Atlanta’s first urban food forest – and since there were reportedly about 70 designated public food forests in America in 2018, it makes their trailblazing initiative all the more impressive.
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