Food Forest at Browns Mill, Mechanicsville Neighborhood Benefit

ATLANTA –On Saturday, Dec. 1 and Monday, Dec. 3, the National Football League’s Environmental Program will team up with the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee, Verizon, City of Atlanta, Mayor’s Office of Resilience, Department of Parks and Recreation, Trees Atlanta, local students and community members to expand and create community gardens and make fresh produce more available to neighbors. It’s all part of the Super Bowl Urban Forestry Program which works to leave a positive “green” legacy in Atlanta’s Super Bowl host community as part of Legacy 53.

On Saturday, Dec. 1 nearly 100 volunteers will gather at the Food Forest at Browns Mill (2217 Browns Mill Rd., Atlanta) to plant winter vegetables, fruit trees and berry bushes, build vine trellises and enhance the nature trail through the area. The event kicks off with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. and, in honor of Super Bowl, concludes with a “Souper” lunch of soup created by local chefs using locally sourced ingredients.

Community members will be joined in the effort by Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee volunteers, Verizon Green Team members and students from Brandon Hall School.

The 7.1-acre site, which used to be a working farm, will become the largest food forest in the country, providing greater access to nutritious food like fruits, nuts, vegetables, mushrooms and herbs. It was acquired by the Conservation Fund in 2016 with the goal of preserving the history of the land and paying forward the good deeds of its former owners, Ruby and Willie Morgan, who were known to leave excess produce from the farm on the fence posts for neighbors to enjoy.

On Monday, Dec. 3 at 9 a.m. a second team of volunteers will gather and build community gardens on an abandoned vacant lot in the Mechanicsville neighborhood, located at 590 Whitehall Terrace, SW Atlanta. The Whitehall Terrace Urban Garden will provide fresh produce to an area defined as a food desert by the USDA. It is one of the pilot community gardens in the City of Atlanta’s Aglanta “Grows-A-Lot” program.

Raised garden beds will be built and planted with vegetables and herbs. Harvests will help feed food insecure people in the community. The site was adopted by food system leaders, community organizers, educators, health professionals, seasoned gardeners and neighbors who will maintain the site.

The Whitehall Terrace garden and Food Forest projects are among the Super Bowl LIII urban forestry projects taking place in the months leading up to Super Bowl. The NFL, in partnership with the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee and Verizon, has awarded Super Bowl urban forestry grants to numerous projects in the greater Atlanta area to restore, beautify and enhance local areas.

Super Bowl LIII Urban Forestry Projects include:

  • Castleberry Hill
  • Trees to provide shade and beauty
  • Salvation Army Bellwood Boys & Girls Club
    • 40 to 45 trees to add shade near play and picnic areas and along fence.
  • Warren Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta
    • Trees to provide shade and color to the front and side of the building.
  • East Point – near City Hall
    • Variety of tree species to add shade and beauty
  • Clarkston
    • Dozens of trees planted to add shade and beauty
  • Decatur – southeast corner of city damaged by Hurricane Irma
    • Street tree planting to replace old growth trees lost to severe weather events 
  • Doraville
  • Planting dozens of trees to enhance the city’s tree cover
  • Hapeville
    • Planting large shade and understory trees
  • Zoo Atlanta pollinator garden
    • Creation of pollinator habitat/to be used for education
  • Whitehall/I SIP Earth Garden
  • Construction of raised garden beds, planting winter vegetables and fruit trees
  • Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill
    • Installation of organic and heirloom berry bushes and vine trellises, planting of winter community garden and enhancement of nature trail
  • Chosewood Park
  • Reforestation project planting 200 fast growing trees
  • Centerhill Neighborhood
  • Planting flowering and fruiting trees
  • Spring 2019 Location TBD
  • Final Super Bowl LIII urban forestry project/Golden Shovel ceremony pass to Miami

About the Super Bowl LIII Environmental Program:

The NFL has incorporated environmental projects into the management of Super Bowl for more than 25 years. These environmental projects are part of a larger program of community events and initiatives implemented each year by the NFL and Super Bowl Host Committee to leave a positive benefit in each Super Bowl host community. Sustainability, featuring the NFL Environmental Program, is one of the five pillars of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee’s Legacy 53.

The Super Bowl Environmental Program is part of the NFL’s sustainability platform. Carried out in partnership with the local Super Bowl Host Committee and Verizon, the program aims to reduce the environmental impact of Super Bowl events and leave a positive, “green” legacy in host communities. These efforts include food recovery and distribution, recycling and solid waste management, recovery and donation of event and building materials, urban forestry projects, the use of “green energy” to power events, and a community project called Super Kids-Super Sharing which works to put books, sports equipment and school supplies into the hands of local children in need.

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Susan Groh, NFL Environmental (401) 952-0885
Dana Gordon, NFL Communications (856) 397-2917
Erin Shearer, Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee (404) 723-0016
Alex Beasley, Trees Atlanta (404) 681-4894