Closer Look: Conversations In Nature At High Meadows School, Southeast Atlanta’s Food Forest and Atlantic Fine Woods Urban Sawmill

Students of the High Meadows School in Roswell enjoy "Forest Friday."
Students of the High Meadows School in Roswell enjoy "Forest Friday."
Credit Candace Wheeler / WABE

Closer Look with Rose Scott for Friday, July 5:

Today’s edition of Closer Look features conversations in nature. From the High Meadows School in Roswell, to a food forest in southeast Atlanta to the Atlantic Fine Woods urban sawmill in Decatur, these are some of our favorite conversations that have taken place in the great outdoors.

0:00: First, we head to High Meadows School in Roswell, known as a “school in a forest.” The mission of the school is to help students learn by connecting them to the environment. On one Friday morning, Closer Look visited High Meadows  to learn more about the school’s approach to learning outside of the classroom through Forest Fridays. That’s where we begin with the students in the kindergarten and first grade, led by teachers Rebecca Drage and Shannon Hostetler. (find more photos here)

An urban food forest in southeast Atlanta will grow fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts. The produce will be available for residents to pick and take home, free of charge. (Candace Wheeler / WABE)
An urban food forest in southeast Atlanta will grow fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts. The produce will be available for residents to pick and take home, free of charge. (Candace Wheeler/WABE)

8:55: Next, we head to a different kind of forest: a “food forest.” Located in southeast Atlanta, more than seven acres are transforming into a space where community members can pick fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. It’s set to be the largest forest of its kind in the nation (see more photos here). This could make a big difference in an area that is identified as a “food insecure community.” We visited the community food forest to discuss how this will all work with City Council member Carla Smith; Celeste Lomax, who organizes volunteers at the forest; Douglas Hardeman, garden manager; Dave Horton, a volunteer; and Shannon Leigh, the urban conservation manager for the Conservation Fund.

Brother and sister Joe and Laura Sissoko co-own Atlantic Fine Woods, an urban sawmill in Decatur. (Candace Wheeler/WABE)

32:10: Our final stop on today’s program brings us to an urban sawmill in Decatur, called Atlantic Fine Woods (see more photos here). Tucked down a long driveway on Covington Highway, the family-run business specializes in harvesting rare, local wood. Closer Look visited the brother and sister who started the business, Joe and Laura Sissoko, this year for the program’s “Open for Business” series.

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