The city of Atlanta, Georgia has suffered from food deserts, which is a term coined by the USDA where people have limited access to fresh fruit and vegetables. Roughly a third of the population of Atlanta lives in food deserts.
So Atlanta has come up with an innovative solution: food forests.
A former 7-acre pecan farm was originally planned to be a series of townhouses but it was instead purchased by the city's Conservation Fund for $150,000 and a team of experts and volunteers are turning it into a 'food forest.' Walking trails, streams, and native forests are lined by more than 100 fruit trees have also been planted including figs, apples, plums and peaches, alongside pre-existing walnut and pecan trees. Meanwhile the city will be upgrading and maintaining the park.
There are plans to replicate this project in other parks around Atlanta.
“The opportunity to replicate this is already coming up. The Parks Department is thinking about it,” said Stacy Funderburke, an acquistion associate the Conservation Fund.
“It’s great to fast-forward five years from now. What if there were five of these food forests sprinkled around Atlanta? There could be. There’s enough land. It’s more about showing it’s possible.”