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Atwood Community Gardens & Urban Farm
Atwood Community Gardens & Urban Farm
Last updated:
779 Atwood Street SW, Atlanta, GA, US
Climate zone:
Warm Temperate

Chris Morphis corina graves James Ruth Jim Albert Mike McCord Robert Clinkscales Stephen Thomason Symone Trust
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Atwood Community Gardens & Urban Farm

Project Type

Urban, Community, Philanthropic aid, Demonstration, Educational

Project Summary

Our Mission: The NEXT Steps Youth Entrepreneur Program introduces youth to career pathways in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) by teaching them how to convert transferable farm and market management skills into civic leadership, social entrepreneurism, environmental stewardship, socio-economic and community development (health and wellness), and urban agritourism initiatives.

Project Description

Back in September 2010, NEXT Steps assessed a 3.5 acre abandoned site full of overgrown weeds located in the heart of West End Atlanta (near the Atlanta University Center, Morehouse & Spelman Colleges).  We asked ourselves two questions.  The first question was, “How do we turn neglected, underutilized, forgotten and unproductive assets and resources within low-income, food desert communities into economic drivers; civic engagement facilitators; health and wellness mediators; environmental education, production and distribution training hubs; workforce development centers; and small business incubators?”  The second question was, “How do we make it fun, attractive, interactive, inexpensive and effective enough to make a sizeable, long-term impact on the local residents and the community at large?” We answered both questions with two simple words: Urban Agritourism.


NEXT Steps designed and created Atwood Community Gardens & Urban Farm to serve as an urban agriculture training center and outdoor event facility.  It is located at 779 Atwood Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30310.  Our intent with Atwood was to create a non-threatening, direct-market food retail outlet and small business incubator that would increase healthy food access in food deserts, create job opportunities, and support entrepreneurial ventures – keeping local dollars, human capital and exceptional talent within low-income areas within Southwest Atlanta.


Within 18 months, NEXT Steps was able to secure funding (grants), donations of materials, supplies and equipment and support from over 1,500 volunteers through the Lowe’s HEROES program ($50,000), General Electric Volunteers ($50,000), United Way Gifts In Kind ($15,000), Hands On Atlanta, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta Community Tool Bank, State Farm, Captain Planet, Park Pride Atlanta, Combined Federal Campaign (government), Sodexo, Sevananda COOP, and the Outdoor Foundation.  This amazing effort allowed us to transform what once was a community eyesore into a(n):

  • youth and volunteer driven education facility
  • hub for community outreach and donation distributions
  • farmer’s market and outdoor cafe
  • petting farm and livestock management training nook
  • haven for environmental exploration for all ages
  • family picnic area and local social scene
  • small business incubator
  • training site for beginning farmers and gardeners
  • outdoor event facility
  • designated walking trails site
  • recycling/compost education area
  • amphitheater and natural habitat restoration projects
  • S.T.E.M. renewable energy projects including animal waste
  • outdoor classroom and training areas for greenhouse and horticulture therapy programs
  • beautiful place to relax, meet new friends and find comfort in a natural environment


Courses Taught Here!
Project Badges
Urban Community Aid Demonstration Educational
Dana Harris - Admin
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