The Biden Administration has announced that Chattanooga is one of 13 communities selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP), a federal partnership program that supports community-led efforts to reinvest in existing neighborhoods, protects the environment, and improves residents’ health and quality of life through the development of the local food economy.
Through LFLP, a team of agricultural, environmental, public health and regional economic development experts will work directly with Crabtree Farms, The BLVD Project, and ELLA Library and other community leaders to improve the Rossville Boulevard corridor and the neighborhoods it ties together.
Officials said, "By using creative placemaking concepts, they will improve neighbors’ access to the farm and its products to help address food instability in the community. They will look at opportunities to leverage the farm as a catalyst for food access, economic development, and community building along the corridor."
Melonie Lusk, executive director of Crabtree Farms, said, “Crabtree Farms is pleased to announce that in partnership with The Blvd. Project and Ella Library they will be working with the EPA Local Food, Local Places program to determine how local food and increasing access to healthy food can bolster economic opportunity, community revitalization and placemaking along the Rossville Blvd. corridor and its adjacent neighborhoods including Clifton Hills and East Lake.”
This year, LFLP is sponsored jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service, with multiple federal agencies planning to participate. The 13 LFLP communities selected in 2021 were chosen from among 97 applicants.
Since its launch in 2014, LFLP has helped more than 120 communities across the country develop local food enterprises, such as farmers markets, community gardens and cooperative grocery stores, using a place-based approach that improves environmental, economic, and health outcomes in downtowns and neighborhoods. The program pays special attention to overcoming economic challenges, improving equity, and tackling climate change and other factors that can hinder revitalization efforts and residents’ access to more affordable healthy food.
Crabtree Farms of Chattanooga is a non-profit educational urban farm, committed to growing fresh vegetables and fruit; educating children and families; and connecting people with nature, the land, and each other. The BLVD Project works to create a thriving community for both businesses and neighbors, along the Rossville BLVD corridor, that celebrates the rich culture of our diverse community. ELLA Library aims to nurture the expression and exchange of knowledge and culture through storysharing using different modes and mediums of artistic expression to connect the people of East Lake.
Officials said, "We believe that storysharing inspires positive social change and helps our community gain understanding of themselves and others."