The land was supposed to be developed into townhouses, but that never happened. So an old pecan farm sat vacant and overgrown for years inside Atlanta’s city limits, right near the Lakewood-Browns Mill community, a food desert where a third of the population lives below the poverty line. [Photo: courtesy The Conservation Fund] Now, through the efforts of the city of Atlanta, the Conservation Fund, many local nonprofits, and volunteer labor, the property has been purchased and converted in the nation’s largest edible forest. It’s a public park that’s open now and will expand in the coming years. It houses not just planter boxes for the community to grow produce like tomatoes and squash on their own, but a network of trails through a landscape designed to be eaten, including more than 100 fruit and nut trees that grow figs, apples, and plums. “It’s not some perfectly designed landscape architecture plan,” says Stacy Funderburke, Conservation Acquisition Associate at the Conservation Fund. “If you were to see the before and after photos, you’d say it’s incredible. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t say aesthetics are the main driver of this project.” [Photo: courtesy The Conservation Fund] Instead, […]

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