ATLANTA – In order to ensure urbanites have better access to, and an advocate for, healthy local food options, Mayor Kasim Reed announced he will appoint the first Urban Agriculture Director.
“The City of Atlanta is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the urban agriculture movement,” said Mayor Reed. “The Director of Urban Agriculture will work to improve the city’s health and wellness by eliminating food deserts and providing our residents with access to the healthy food options that they deserve.”
Operating within the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Director will be responsible for a wide range of activities related to urban agriculture in the City of Atlanta, including agricultural policy development and the conversion of brownfields into urban gardens.
The director will also work with community organizations and various City departments to improve growers’ access to public and private land, facilitate the permitting process, obtain necessary zoning permits, support local initiatives, manage code compliance, and address other issues to advance urban agriculture in Atlanta.
“The City is going to benefit from a central leverage point and advocate for addressing the many nutritional challenges that urban areas face,” said Bill Bolling, Director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “This position is an example of Mayor Reed’s commitment to helping families meet their nutritional needs while also improving the overall health of our community.”
The Reed Administration has worked with a number of community organizations and institutions on urban agriculture, beginning with the Turner Environmental Law Clinic, which helped craft the City’s first residential urban gardening ordinance passed by the Atlanta City Council in 2014.
“The new Director of Urban Agriculture will help further the City’s Power to Change initiative, which aims to bring local, healthy food within a half-mile of 75 percent of all residents by 2020,” said Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Director of the Office of Sustainability. “The creation of this position further demonstrates Mayor Reed’s continued leadership in making Atlanta a top-tier city on sustainability issues.”
The job listing can be found on the City’s website, or by clicking here: http://chc.tbe.taleo.net/chc03/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=ATLGA&cws=1&rid=2079.