Atlanta to transform 7 acres of vacant property into country's largest food forest for public

Atlanta to transform 7 acres of vacant property into country's largest food forest for public
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The Atlanta City Council has voted to approve a measure that seeks to transform nearly 7.1 acres of vacant property into a park and food forest that would be open to the public free of charge.

The vote sailed through on a unanimous vote on Monday. The move would result in the city’s first food forest and the largest of its kind in the country, according to the legislation.

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The council said in the ordinance that The Urban Food Forest would include edible trees, shrubs, vines, walking trails, community garden beds and a number of other features that would be open to the public for free.

Under the legislation, the city will pay $157,384.00 to The Conservation Fund, which currently owns the land, to acquire the property. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the environmental agency purchased the land in 2016 after a failed business development left the space abandoned. 

The move falls in line with the city’s goal to “strengthen local food economy to ensure 85 percent of the city residents are within one-half mile of fresh food access by 2021,” the ordinance says. 

The City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation will be responsible for the oversight of the property and Trees Atlanta, a nonprofit dedicated to improving Atlanta's urban forest, will be tasked with maintaining the Urban Food Forest.