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Red’s Farm Sold to The Conservation Fund

By Paul Bolster

A big first step toward putting a park in Ormewood Park happened in December. The family of Brian “Red” Harrison sold his 5.25 acres of farmland to The Conservation Fund (TCF). The Fund is a national nonprofit committed to preserving open space and environmentally sensitive land. This transaction ensures that the land will remain open green space as Red had always envisioned. TCF will convey the property known as Urban Farm Ormewood to the City of Atlanta to preserve it as city greenspace to be used by urban gardeners. The primary objective for the land will be nature and farming education. The family will retain ownership of Red’s home on Berne Street but added part of that property to the Farm.

Red’s father William Harrison senior said “conservation is the best imaginable way to honor Red’s goals and aspirations for his beloved urban farmland.” The Fund will work with the Harrisons, current farmers, support groups, and the Department of Parks and Recreation to further define the property’s use. The Fund has agreed to name the property in Red’s honor and erect a memorial. There will be a conservation easement attached to the land before it is transferred to the City of Atlanta. The easement will define the uses. Red’s father plans to create a non-profit entity that can help maintain the property when it is finally in the hands of the City and hopes the neighborhood would be willing to help with that effort. 

Red Harrison died in October 2022. For years he had generously welcomed walkers and farmers to enjoy a few moments in the natural beauty of the land. During his lifetime he worked to preserve the natural beauty of the land and supported the farmers who tilled it. A stroll through the “Farm” became part of the neighborhood walking routine that became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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