DeKalb County, GA –– On Monday, April 12, Super District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at transforming public spaces into regenerative, productive urban landscapes, a press release said.
The project, called Fruitful Communities, will address food insecurity, food deserts and developing policies that combat climate change at the local level. Commissioner Terry first piloted this program in Clarkston, where he previously served as Mayor, with a community-designed micro-food forest and meadow system and a first-of-its-kind urban grower training program for public works staff.
“Conventional landscaping has destroyed so many of our edible native plant species,” Terry said. “Often, the focus is on mowing, blowing, and spraying pesticides and herbicides on our public and private spaces. The bioaccumulation of these chemicals in our local environment impacts the overall health of our communities. The Fruitful Communities Initiative is an opportunity for us to move away from this inefficient and wasteful system.
“I envision a future DeKalb with communities full of urban growers tending and harvesting tens of thousands of pounds of fresh produce each year and putting much of it back into our local food system. We can reduce our carbon footprint and create localized, higher-paying green jobs.”
Fruitful Communities will kicked off with a Community Forum on April 14.
“Our philosophy at Roots Down has three main components: food, ecology, and community,” said Roots Down founder Jamie Rosenthal. “Most landscapes don’t prioritize any of these things, which is why they are underutilized and unproductive despite the millions of dollars DeKalb County spends every year to mow grass and spray synthetic chemicals. Fruitful Communities is a framework for government officials and residents to reimagine public and private spaces and get a return on their investment.”
Partners for Fruitful Communities include Compost Now, Servescape, The Audubon Society, Multiply Monarch, and Be Compostable. Goals for the Fruitful Communities initiative include installing Productive Urban Landscapes, green education for young people, and policy recommendations to help urban agriculture and edible landscaping thrive.
For updates regarding the Fruitful Communities initiative, visit https://www.rootsdownga.com/fruitful-communities