Closer Look: ATL’s Urban Food Forest; Nonprofit Star-C; Remembering The Refugee Act of 1980

More than seven acres of land in Southeast Atlanta, off Browns Mill Road Road, will soon become the city's first community "food forest." Neighbors will be able to pick their own produce to take home, free of charge.
More than seven acres of land in Southeast Atlanta, off Browns Mill Road Road, will soon become the city's first community "food forest." Neighbors will be able to pick their own produce to take home, free of charge.
Credit Candace Wheeler

Tuesday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose gives a news brief on Georgia House Speaker David Ralston’s appointments for a new committee studying maternal mortality rates.
  • In other news, policy experts, refugee advocates and elected officials will gather at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum tomorrow to celebrate the Refugee Act of 1980. The act was signed by then-president Jimmy Carter and raised the maximum number of refugees that the United States would allow — it also changed the very definition of a refugee to a person with “well-founded fear of persecution.” We learn more about Wednesday’s event, and the plight of refugees in the US, from Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), a Jewish non-profit that protects refugees and a co-sponsor for the event.
  • 12:48: The Atlanta-based nonprofit, Star-C, aims to create safe, affordable housing for families across the city. The organization believes that by addressing affordable housing, they can also improve local school systems by giving more students safe places to live. We find out more about the organization’s model from Courtney English, the organization’s first director of community development and former Atlanta Public Schools Board Chair.
Courtney English, the first director of community development at the nonprofit Star-C and former Atlanta Public Schools Board Chair, joins Closer Look in studio. (Photo credit: Grace Walker)
  • More than seven acres of land in Southeast Atlanta will soon become the city’s first community “food forest.” It will be the largest food forest in the nation. Atlanta City Council recently unanimously agreed to purchase the land and transform it into a space that will grow fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. Neighbors will be able to pick their own produce to take home, free of charge. It’s all part of the city’s goal to make sure 85% of residents are within half a mile of fresh food by 2021. On a recent afternoon, the Closer Look team took a trip to Browns Mill Road to see the land and hear the community’s response to the project. A conversation with Douglas Hardeman, garden manager, and his grandson; Dave Horton, a volunteer; Celeste Lomax, a volunteer and neighborhood resident; District 1 Councilmember Carla Smith and Shannon Lee, urban conservation manager of the Conservation Fund.

Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler and Grace Walker. Joy Barge is a contributing producer.