Gwinnett Commission Chair Charlotte Nash (center) is joined by Rick Desai of BAPS Charities (left) and Anand Mehta from Indian Friends of Atlanta (right) during a proclamation honoring the 150th birth anniversary of Mohandas K. Gandhi on Tuesday, Oct. 1. TYLER ESTEP / TYLER.ESTEP@AJC.COM

Gwinnett is getting its first ‘food forest’ 

Thanks to a donation from a local nonprofit, Gwinnett County will soon have its first “food forest” — and an accompanying bust of Mohandas K. Gandhi.

Gwinnett’s Board of Commissioners accepted Tuesday the donation of 100 fruit trees from Indian Friends of Atlanta. The trees will be planted in Lilburn’s Bryson Park and, once they’re grown, will be available for picking by visitors.

Food forests, seen as a way to help provide healthy produce in areas where more traditional offerings are lacking, are a growing national trend. The city of Atlanta made headlines earlier this year with its plans to build a seven-acre food forest near the Lakewood Fairgrounds —  the largest such project in the country.

“One of the things that we’re hearing a lot about these days is community gardens and orchards and so forth,” Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash said. “So it seemed like a good idea.” 

The Indian Friends of Atlanta made the donation to mark what would’ve been the 150th birthday of Gandhi,  the Indian independence leader also known as the mahatma or “great soul.”

Accordingly, the group’s donation also features a bust of Gandhi that will be placed on a pedestal at the center of the food forest. 

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