Urban Food Forest, Free Produce by 2021

 

As reported by WSB- TV2.  This is a “must read!

Atlanta creates first food forest in Georgia, largest in U.S.

By: Raisa Habersham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Updated:

ATLANTA – Atlanta residents will have greater access to fresh food thanks to a public “food forest.”

City Council, on a unanimous vote, approved the transformation of 7.1 acres of property near the Lakewood Fairgrounds and Browns Mill Golf Course into a public park and garden. The food forest is the first in Georgia and the largest in the United States, Councilwoman Carla Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill has been in the works since November 2016 when the city accepted an $86,150 grant from the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest and Open Space Program. The federal agency has contributed a total of $164,000 to the project, which has additional support from non-profit groups Trees Atlanta and The Conservation Fund.

The green space, currently vacant property, will feature trees, shrubs and vines that produce fruit along with walking trails, a community garden and restored forest and stream-side areas by 2020, according to the legislation.

Smith said residents will be able to pick their produce from trees in the public park free of charge.

“It’s just like going into a park and picking muscadines from a bush,” she said.

Smith said the land was previously owned by Ruby and Willie Morgan, who later sold the property to a developer intending to build townhomes. The plan fell through and the property had sat in disarray until The Conservation Fund purchased it in 2016, she said.

The food forest is part of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ plan to ensure 85% of Atlanta residents are within one-half mile of accessible fresh food by 2021.

In 2017, 36 percent of Atlanta was classified as a food desert, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A quarter of Atlanta residents must travel more than a half-mile to get fresh fruits and vegetables, the USDA said.

The city will purchase the property from The Conservation Fund for $157,384, according to the legislation. The property will be managed by the city Department of Parks and Recreation.

Trees Atlanta, which is already conducting educational programs at the site, has contributed $121,500 to hire part-time staff, including a food forest ranger and community workforce educator. The city will also create a trust fund for outreach efforts related to the food forest.

This article was written by Raisa Habersham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

For more WSB TV2 amazing articles, visit:

Kwanzaa Celebration at Shrine of the Black Madonna

At the Shrine of the Black Madonna in West End, young people help Jumoke Ifetayo light the Kwanzaa candles for the second of seven days of celebration. 

Kwanzaa is started in 1965 by Dr. Maulana Karenga in Chicago.  It is celebrated December 26 – January 1.

The foundation of Kwanzaa are the Seven Principles, or Nguzo Saba. When Dr. Karenga created the kinaracelebration of Kwanzaa he wanted to reflect the best qualities and characteristics of the “first fruit” or harvest festivals that were celebrated throughout Africa. It was these qualities that established the Nguzo Saba, or Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. (Nguzo Saba is Kiswahili for Seven Principles).*

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“The children will carry on the traditions of the land. So we must teach them the history”, said the narrator.

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These children dance with the rattle instrument, the shekere,  as the narrator tells an African story with drums.

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Rev. Keith Slaughter (above), a WAOK talk show host is tonight’s speaker.  He gives the message entitled, “Stand Your Ground”, in celebration of Day 2, Kujichagulia, self-determination. ‘Stand not to kill people, but to claim what is rightfully ours, what we need…our fair share.  Be truthful and put on the full armour of God as you fight for justice in this world. Pray the righteous will be there for us and beware of the haters!’

Rev. Slaughter’s message was powerful, informative, passionate, on point and short!  He was definitely on his game!

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A packed crowd looks on at the Shrine of the Black Madonna during the 15th Annual Kwanzaa celebration at 960 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

There will be five more nights of Kwanzaa at the Shrine with speakers including Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore on Saturday 2pm-6pm, and Rev. Derrick Rice on a Faith Panel on Tuesday, 4pm-8pm.  For more information, call (404) 549-8676 or (404) 444-6696.

Also, the Shrine has free Black History classes every Saturday from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.  Plan to attend with your family and friends.

*From:  http://www.holidays.net/kwanzaa/principles.htm

STEM Curriculum Not Concrete!!

 

Below is a list of APS Board members and others elected who should care about how this extra $2.4 million E-SPLOST funds are being spent.  As I mentioned, this School Board vote occurred Monday, Dec. 5.  With so much going on, the media did not do a story.
However, all metro Atlanta educators and residents should be ANGRY that for more than four years APS said they did not have funds to restore the Harper-Archer Middle School Planetarium and Theater.
Now that extra E/SPLOST funds are available, they have voted to use this $2.4 million to upgrade the building exterior (concrete), parking lot (asphalt), and windows (functional, not damaged; GA Power will fund).  Instead, these tax payer funds should be used for STEM/STEAM academic curriculum Resources for our kids…for access for all 52,000 APS students to have their Planetarium and Theater restored.
Please use, this list.  Wear it out!!  Copy and post this list on ALL your social media so people can express their outrage and DEMAND this $2.4 million be reallocated and spent on the four year old STEM/Planetarium curriculum plan that will help improve student academic achievement and test scores.
Let’s overwhelm their emails and phones all next week.  AND, do it again January 7-21 to as we honor Rev. Dr. M.L.King, Jr. We must persist for equity in education, not in concrete!!
This APS decision is NOT ACCEPTABLE!!
However, we can make it happen… WE CAN HAVE THIS DECISION REVERSED WHEN WE CONSISTENT WORK ON AND ISSUE:  Case in point…The Montgomery
Bus Boycott.
LET’S DO THIS!!
In Montgomery, they did not have social media.  We have social media.  LET’S USE IT TO HELP SAVE OUR KIDS by getting this STEM PROJECT funded!!
Thanks in Advance!!

—-

APS BOARD MEMBERS 2018-2021

Jason Esteves, Chair; At-large, 9

Jesteves@atlanta.k12.ga.us

404-802-2200 ofc      (404) 802-1204 fax

Cynthia Briscoe Brown, At-large; 8

Cbriscoe_brown@@atlanta.k12.ga.us

404-802-2297 ofc

404-376-6080 cell

Kandis Wood Jackson, At-large; 7

Kandis.woodjackson@atlanta.k12.ga.us

404-802-2296 ofc

Eshe’ Collins, District 6

Epcollins@atlantapublicschools.us

404-802-2295 ofc

770-765-3802 cell

Erika Y. Mitchell, District 5

Erika.mitchell@apsk12.org

404-802-2294 ofc vmail               404-709-5515 cell

Nancy M. Meister, vice chair; District 4

Nmeister@atlanta.k12.ga.us

404-802-2200 ofc vmail               404-488-9014 cell

Michelle D. Olympiadis, District 3

Michelle.olympiadis@apsk12.org

404-802-2292 ofc vmail               404-502-0825 cell

Byron D. Amos, District 2

Bamos@atlanta.k12.ga.us

404-802-2200 ofc vmail               404-587-6811 cell

Leslie Grant, District 1

Lgrant@atlantapublicschools.us

404-802-2255 ofc vmail               404-643-9652 cell

Dr. Meria Carstarphen, Superintendent 

Suptoffice@atlanta.k12.ga.us

404-802-2820 office

Other elected officials we can get to use their influence to get this STEM/Planetarium funded with our E-SPLOST tax dollars.  As elected officials, our tax dollars also pay their salaries:

State School Superintendent 

Richard Woods

404-657-1175 ofc           404-651-8737 fax

state.superintendent@doe.k12.ga.u

State Senator Horacena Tate

Horacena.tate@senate.ga.gov

404-463-8053 ofc            404-893-2119 cell

State Senator Nan Orrock

nan.orrock@senate.ga.gov

(404) 463-8054 ofc

State Senator Nikema Williams

nikema.williams@senate.ga.gov

(404) 656-5035 ofc

State Representative Sheila Jones

sheila.jones@house.ga.gov

404-656-0126 ofc

State Representative Pat Gardner

fran.gardner@house.ga.gov

(404) 656-0265 ofc

State Representative Marie Metze

marie.metze@house.ga.gov

(404) 656-6372 ofc

State Representative David Dreyer

david.dreyer@house.ga.gov

(404) 656-0265 ofc

State Representative Park Cannon

park.cannon@house.ga.gov

(404) 656-7859 ofc

U.S. Congressman John Lewis

john.lewis@mail.house.gov

aaron.ward@mail.house.gov 

(404) 659-0116 ofc

Atlanta Mayor 

Keisha Lance Bottoms

404-330-6100 ofc

Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore

fmoore@atlantaga.gov

(404) 330-6052 ofc         (404) 739-9240 fax

Atlanta City Councilman Andre Dickens – Post 3 At-Large

Adickens@atlantaga.gov

(404) 330-6041 ofc         (404) 739-9250 fax

Atlanta City Councilman Matt Westmoreland – Post 2 Large

mwestmoreland@atlantaga.gov

(404) 330-6302 ofc         (404) 979-3682 fax

Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond – Post 1 At-Large

mbond@atlantaga.gov

(404) 330-6770 ofc         (404) 739-4852 fax

Atlanta City Councilwoman Andrea Boone

aboone@atlantaga.gov

(404) 330-6055 ofc         (404) 979-3680 fax

Fulton County Commission Chair Robb Pitts

robb.pitts@fultoncountyga.gov

(404) 613-2330

Fulton County Commissioner Emma Darnell

emma.darnell@fultoncountyga.gov

(404) 612-8222 ofc       (404) 224-3775 fax

Fulton County Commissioner Natalie Hall

natalie.hall@fultoncountyga.gov  

 404-612-8227  ofc

Homeless in the ATL

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Homeless woman on one of Atlanta’s most known streets, Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta.

Homeless in Atlanta.  The Jewel of the South.  Black Mecca.  Home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Civil Rights. How can this be? 

Atlanta is also #1 in the nation for income inequality. Lots of people with money. Lots of people without money.  Almost no one in the middle.  Affordable housing needs unmet with tens of thousands of units needed in Atlanta.  Other cities have similar needs.  But, many believe Atlanta should be doing better than other cities and should be the model . How is it that those with so much not see, care or help solve this rapidly growing social issue?

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, housing is one of humanity’s most basic needs.  So again I ask, how can this be??

It is bad to see homeless men.  It is even worse to see homeless women. Ir is even worse to know some of our homeless are veterans who have proudly served our country.  As we saw recently with a former Cosby cast member working in Trader Joe’s, almost anyone can fall on hard times.  Where is our compassion and humanity?

Across metro Atlanta, we find funds for a $23 million bridge and replace the sidewalks around it.  Meanwhile, other parts of the city have been asking for sidewalks for decades.  How can we solve this huge homeless problem??  Why not have a contest and ask for solutions from our citizens and have them present to a “Shark Tank” like panel that will get matching funds from Atlanta Housing Authority, Invest Atlanta and some local private funders??

I pray that sooner rather than later, Atlanta and cities across  our nation will find the solution to our rapidly growing homeless problem.  I pray the woman in this photo is able to get off the streets soon.

 

Council Lack Votes for Indep Auditor

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The vote was taken today and the motion for an independent auditor to review the $5 Billion proposal to develop The Gulch.  Eight “yes”votes were needed and they only had six.  Unfortunately the motion failed.  As you can see, three Council members were absent:  Young (who has been having medical treatments), Dickens and Shook.  Bond was in the Chamber earlier, but was not there during this crucial vote.

This 40 acre downtown property, with three owners, is prime real estate.   It is a 600 page detailed proposal.  Originally, the Council was asked to vote without reviewing the detailed proposal. Hmmm.

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Councilwomen Shepherd, Overstreet, and Boone (just out of the camera view) talk with Rashad Taylor, from the Mayor’s Office, before the vote.

 

If The Gulch deal is as good as the Mayor and Council members who voted  “no” say it is, would not an independent auditor come the same conclusions??

In the words of Councilwoman Ide, ‘I am an attorney and I need this audit to better understand this.  It is like going to the doctor to get a second opinion…”  Why not get a second opinion?  What’s the problem?  What’s the rush?

Taking another two to four weeks to vet a 30 year deal that has been several decades in the making is problematic for whom??

The Mayor?

Council members?

CIM Developers (who have no African Americans among its’ 26 member executive team on their website)?

The independent audit is what 95% of public speakers at today’s City Council members Support.  Does the will of the residents/voters matter?

The Atlanta City Council has shown everyone to whom they owe their allegiance.  And, voters are more informed now than ever.

What is your opinion on this??