“It’s just like going into a park and picking muscadines from a bush,” she said.
Smith said the land was previously owned by Ruby and Willie Morgan, who later sold the property to a developer intending to build townhomes. The plan fell through and the property had sat in disarray until The Conservation Fund purchased it in 2016, she said.
The food forest is part of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ plan to ensure 85% of Atlanta residents are within one-half mile of accessible fresh food by 2021.
In 2017, 36 percent of Atlanta was classified as a food desert, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A quarter of Atlanta residents must travel more than a half-mile to get fresh fruits and vegetables, the USDA said.
The city will purchase the property from The Conservation Fund for $157,384, according to the legislation. The property will be managed by the city Department of Parks and Recreation.
Trees Atlanta, which is already conducting educational programs at the site, has contributed $121,500 to hire part-time staff, including a food forest ranger and community workforce educator. The city will also create a trust fund for outreach efforts related to the food forest.
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In other news:
Several district attorneys in metro Atlanta say they would not prosecute women for getting an abortion. DeKalb DA Sherry Boston: “As a woman and mother, I am concerned about the passage and attempted passage of laws such as this one in Georgia ... and other states.” Gwinnett DA Danny Porter: “As a matter of law this office will not be prosecuting any women under the new law as long as I’m district attorney.” Cobb Acting DA John Melvin: Women would “absolutely not” be prosecuted under the unlawful abortion