I made a little side trip to Atlanta, GA last weekend to visit a friend who was coming from Portland, OR for a puppetry convention. When I woke up after spending the night in Decatur, I stumbled out into the city looking for a place for a good breakfast. I didn’t have to stumble far. Just by the MARTA station was a cute restaurant called Wahoo! that boasted some local and some organic eats. After two plates of organic polenta with local mushrooms, I asked my server (who’s name was Chase) what I could do in the neighborhood. He asked me what I’d like to do, and I said, “Oh I don’t know, are there any community gardens I could take pictures of?” He lit up. Apparently his housemate is also doing a graduate thesis on community gardens. He called her to ask for advice, and sent me over to the Lake Claire Community Land Trust. The Land Trust was apparently bought by a group of community members who refused to have it developed with housing after MARTA (Atlanta’s privately owned public light rail) had discarded it as excess.

The Lake Claire Community Land Trust (LCCT) was initially founded by a visionary group of neighbors who bought red clay and kudzu covered land from MARTA with the intention of creating a “greenspace” for community use and enhancement. With time, energy and love it has evolved into the wonderful haven it is today. To read about our history and credo click here.

People come from all over to walk their dogs, play with their kids in the sand pile, garden, enjoy the greenspace, the sunsets and the shade of the magnificent trees; to celebrate community through festivals, craft fairs, drum circles, taking saunas and sharing food. Our neighbors are encouraged and welcome to enjoy the Land Trust gardens and play areas. See one vision of How to build a Land Trust, click here. The LCCLT continues to evolve with our efforts. We invite you to GET INVOLVED.

Boast their website.

I walked around in circles around the garden. It wasn’t the easiest place to find on your own. Finally I was directed to walk through here:

no wonder I nearly missed it, though this was in fact the back entrance.

The Land Trust was huge. It began looking like a small highway edge garden, but inside was pockets of a performance space, satellite gardens, a perch for viewing down town, a child play area, and in two locations: swings. Here are the photos.

While I was sitting there, a man was unfurling site plans of a new community garden from land that his ancestors owned – 13 acres. It wasn’t clear if this was in Atlanta or elsewhere. When I told him what I was up to, taking photos of the garden for research, he said “oh, bless you.” I love my life.

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