At last count, there were more than 150 community gardens across metro Atlanta, some large and spectacular, some super-organic with heirloom veggies, still others meticulously landscaped. The English Avenue Community Garden has few of those qualities, but its very survival has lent a sense of hope and, yes, community to one of the city's most downtrodden neighborhoods. The garden was created in 2008 after residents cleared an overgrown corner lot in Vine City that was littered with trash and abandoned cars. Since then, local families and volunteers have tended 11 raised beds — built because of concerns that the ground was too polluted — and added a playground. Though modest in scale, the garden serves as a gathering spot for neighbors and offers nearby children the satisfaction of seeing live things grow and flourish through their efforts. In this community, that's a powerful lesson. 612 Echo St. 404-520-1968. englishavenuegarden.org.
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