Volunteers from Livable Buckhead and the city of Atlanta’s Office of Sustainability spent April 28 installing a community garden along PATH400.
Construction crews building the pedestrian and bike friendly path between Sidney Marcus Road and Miami Circle in Buckhead noticed residents of the Atlanta Housing Authority’s nearby Marian Road highrise were growing vegetables on a tucked-away piece of land.
This discovery inspired PATH400 officials to create a community garden on the trail. The residents “took an unused space and turned it into something worthwhile,” said Denise Starling, the executive director of Livable Buckhead, a non-profit spearheading the 5.2 mile PATH400 project.
“We love that spirit, and we wanted to bring it into the project in a way that engages the local community and creates a unique amenity for this area,” Starling said.
More than 30 people from Livable Buckhead, the City of Atlanta’s Office of Sustainability, Atlanta Housing Authority and various companies helped install 13 planter beds that spell out PATH400. The beds were filled with vegetable plants and dedicated to to the residents of the Marian Road highrise who will tend to them.
“The outcome is beautiful, but more important for the Marian Road highrise residents, the gardens represent access to healthy produce and an opportunity to get outdoors for exercise as part of AHA’s aging well strategy,” Catherine Buell, the president and CEO of the Atlanta Housing Authority, said.
The planter beds were built by an Athens designer, Chris McDowell, who uses reclaimed wood to create garden art.
“These beds are a great example of why urban agriculture is so beneficial and why the Office of Sustainability wants to encourage it citywide,” Mario Cambardella, urban agriculture director for the Office of Sustainability, said.