Page 21 - Georgia Forestry - Issue 4 - Fall 2019
P. 21

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“I never really got to be outside that much, and that’s a lot of the reason why I like the program so much,” said Madison Ford, a high schooler from Decatur, while taking a break from her work in the orchard. It was a hot morning in late July, and the Trees Atlanta Youth Tree Team was at the Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill on the last day of their summer program.
Over seven weeks, a group of high schoolers went outside in a unique program that teaches them about “green collar jobs” involved in the environment, while also fostering in them the skills they’ll need to be successful in their careers. Trees Atlanta had 12 students during the first year of the Youth Tree Team in 2016; this year, there were 32 students representing 18 different high schools in metro Atlanta.
For this year’s capstone project, they split up into smaller groups to divide and conquer the work they had to finish at Browns Mill: stream remediation, trail-building, planting an orchard and building a rain garden. The 7.1-acre site, located 15 minutes from downtown Atlanta on the south side of the city, is the largest food forest in the United States and will provide healthy food options and outdoor recreation oppor- tunities for local residents.
Walking around the site and watching the team members work, Travys Harper
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