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Why an 'edible library' is growing in Clarkston

Now you can check out some green space and a vegetable garden with your books
Credit: Hank Sforzini
"Roots Down" crew puts finishing touches on "Edible Library" project.

CLARKSTON, Ga. — Visitors to the public library in Clarkston who come across different species of birds and unique types of fruit will soon able to learn more about them, all in the same place.

Roots Down, an organization that works with local government agencies to design and build more ecologically Productive Urban Landscapes (PULs), will put the finishing touches on its Clarkston “Edible Library” this week. The team first broke ground on the project at the DeKalb County Public Library on Indian Creek Drive last month.

Once finished, the “Edible Library” will transform the former vacant areas around the library into a public green space and vegetable garden surrounded by fruit trees. The goal is to create a unified and multi-purpose landscape the greater community can enjoy and appreciate for years to come.

“Libraries are the perfect place for PULs, because they offer free learning opportunities for everyone in the community,” said Jamie Rosenthal, CEO of Roots Down. “PULs expand those offerings by increasing the number of species on the property -- from plants to insects to birds. Not only can you harvest fruit while listening to a songbird, you can head straight inside to learn about the health benefits of the fruit and the migratory patterns of the birds.”

Credit: Provided

Volunteers from Keller-Williams Realty Metro Atlanta will also build and install several benches outside the library.

The new “Edible Library” project in Clarkston is part of a six-site pilot launched last month by Roots Down throughout DeKalb County. The other libraries include: Stonecrest, Redan Trotti, Hairston Crossing, Salem-Panola and Lithonia.