As we strive towards a healthier Atlanta and region, parks and greenspace are a driving force behind our progress. Not every greenspace needs a playground, though. How about rows of blueberry bushes? Lines of blackberry brambles? Crops of fresh vegetables?
This will be reality in the southwest Atlanta BeltLine neighborhood of Adair Park thanks to our multi-acre urban agriculture farm starting right now. For those of you familiar with the intersection of Allene Avenue and Catherine Street, you might know this stretch for the Harmon Brother bus repair facility and the Benoit wooden pallet manufacturing site. If these names are not familiar to you, don’t worry – you can simply start calling it the Atlanta BeltLine Farm.
In 2011, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. and the City of Atlanta acquired this acreage adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine right of way. This site represents a great opportunity to transform a formerly contaminated site plagued by erosion and depleted soil into a model urban farm using sustainable landcare methods. This vision will turn into reality by working with the following partners:
- Atlanta BeltLine Partnership
- Environmental Protection Agency
- UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
- Trees Atlanta
- Southeastern Horticultural Society
- Atlanta Audubon Society
- Georgia Power
- Adair Park Today (neighborhood association)
- Capitol View Neighborhood Association
We love that all of these people believe in an urban farm here as much as we do!
Of course, the farm will be built according to our strict landcare with the goal of planting species of fruits, vegetables, trees, grasses, bushes and edible berries. Rain gardens, bio swales, and infiltration zones will create a drainage system that will permanently address stormwater runoff and reduce the burden on sewers and streams. Furthermore, each of these tools will serve an educational purpose as we teach others the principles of sustainable land care. Oh, and we’ll be creating a bird habitat, too.
So what’s been done so far to prep the site?
- Buildings have been demolished and underground storage tanks removed.
- Two acres of concrete and asphalt were removed along with construction debris, tons of rubbish and invasive species.
- Soil was tested and remediated with the help of a grant from the EPA Brownfield Assessment Program.
- A deep water well was established for on-site irrigation.
- Rough grading was done and a cover crop was established.
Want to lend a hand towards bringing the farm to fruition? Atlanta BeltLine Earth Day Clean-Up 2012 is focused on this spot on April 21 this year. Join our Earth Day partners as we remove invasive plants, litter, and building debris from the site to clear the way for the urban farm. Be a part of Atlanta BeltLine history – sign up on our website today!