City Of East Point New City Agriculture Plan Is A Game Changer For Urban Ag
Atlanta nonprofit Food Well Alliance is a collaborative network of local food leaders heading up a new program they believe will be a game changer for urban agriculture in cities across metro Atlanta. The City Agriculture Plan will do exactly what its name says: bring growers, community leaders, and city officials together - guided by the planning expertise of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) - to develop city-wide plans that prioritize urban agriculture. The end goal? Thriving community gardens and urban farms providing greater access to locally grown food across the metro Atlanta Region, which translates to healthier people, environments, and communities.
After a thorough exploration process with seven metro cities earlier this year, Food Well Alliance announced today the City of East Point has been selected to pilot the new City Agriculture Plan. The plan will begin with a community engagement and asset mapping phase led by Food Well Alliance, followed by a six-month planning process undertaken with support from ARC. Once the plan is developed, Food Well Alliance will guide implementation and provide a minimum of $75,000 in funding to help bring it to life.
As the City Agriculture Planning process gets underway in East Point, six other metro Atlanta cities that rallied to pilot the program will receive funding and support to catalyze their own urban agriculture initiatives: Alpharetta, Clarkston, Hapeville, Lawrenceville, Lovejoy, and Pine Lake.
"We are thrilled the City of East Point will be joining us in this exciting new endeavor," said Food Well Alliance Executive Director Kim Karris. "We believe East Point is uniquely poised to take bold steps and become a national model for urban agriculture."
Funding for the City Agriculture Plan pilot has been made possible by The Zeist Foundation and Food Well Alliance founding benefactor, the James M. Cox Foundation.
"We are truly humbled and honored by being selected to create and implement the first City Agriculture Plan in the region," said City of East Point Mayor Deana Holiday Ingraham. "This amazing partnership with Food Well Alliance and the Atlanta Regional Commission will be impactful and transform our City."
"Local agriculture is a key part of developing healthy communities," said Sam Shenbaga, manager of ARC's Community Development Group. "ARC is proud to support community agriculture and put our resources behind initiatives that improve our region starting at the local level."
The Community Engagement phase of the City Agriculture Plan begins with a kick-off session hosted by Food Well Alliance and the City of East Point at ArtsXchange, 2148 Newnan St., East Point, GA 30344, on Thursday, August 22, 2019, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. East Point residents, community stakeholders and municipal leaders are encouraged to attend. Learn more and register at foodwellalliance.org.