In the fall of 2016, The Conservation Fund acquired 7.1 acres of land on Browns Mill Road in southeast Atlanta to become the city’s first Community Urban Food Forest. Atlanta’s first Food Forest will become a designed and managed public park that grows a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and mushrooms and makes them available for public consumption. Located in an area identified as a food desert, the site was a working farm as recently as 2000. Neighbors still talk about the land’s former owners, Ruby and Willie Morgan, who left excess produce from their farm on fence posts for neighbors to claim and enjoy. The City of Atlanta’s Office of Resilience and community partners are engaging in s community need-finding, brainstorming, and design exercises that help determine the eventual output of food. This is summary of the 12-month Community Vision Plan Process.
The project is funded by a grant from the U.S Forest Service’s Community Forest Program and is part of the City of Atlanta's Resilient Atlanta Strategy efforts to bring healthy food within a half mile of 75 percent of Atlanta residents by 2020. Project partners include the Lakewood-Browns Mill neighborhood residents, Council member Carla Smiths Office– District 1, Department of Parks and Recreation, The Conservation Fund, U.S Forest Service, Georgia Forestry Commission, the National Parks Service, Park Pride, Trees Atlanta, UGA Extension, Fruit Forward, Georgia Food Oasis, Outward Bound Atlanta, Greening Youth Foundation, Stand Landscape Architecture, Sustenance Design LLC, Cracks in the Sidewalk Farm, Concrete Jungle, and area schools.