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A Food Forest Grows in Atlanta

Lakewood-Browns Mill neighbors get ready for a guided hike during the Food Forest Festival. (City of Atlanta courtesy photo)

This project was conceived as part of a larger strategy to address food deserts, or low-income areas that lack fresh whole foods due to the absence of grocery stores.

Posted by Nausheen Iqbal
Cooperative Forestry, USDA Forest Service in Forestry
May 04, 2018

Excerpt:

This community forest utilizes agroforestry–agriculture that combines trees and shrubs with agricultural uses to create more healthy and productive land. The site already has a pecan orchard, black walnut trees, muscadine grapes, and fruit-producing blackberry brambles on site. This spring, the community will honor the local heritage by adding pawpaw trees that are native to the area.

Members of the Atlanta Public Schools Farm-to-School program are eager to incorporate this asset as an educational site. Students from two area schools within walking distance of the food forest have already shared their vision for what they would like to see grown there, with blackberries and grapes being the favorites.

An innovative resource that communities can tap to learn about the benefits of urban forests and how to build out robust urban and community forestry projects is the Vibrant Cities Lab. A product of the Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry program, this innovative, multi-faceted web platform can help professionals, policymakers, planners, and the public access the best available science, understand the value of investing in urban and community forests, and take concrete steps to build better, more effective, and efficient urban and community forestry programs.

Read the complete article here.

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