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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 8:23am

First Downtown Garden in Atlanta

A 24-raised-bed community garden opened today in the heart of downtown Atlanta.

The 2-and-a-half acre vegetable garden is near Centennial Olympic Park.

Homeless people from the nearby Atlanta Mission will plant, tend, and harvest the plants.

Mission CEO Jim Reese says it's always been a challenge to provide the homeless with nutritious food, but the garden's goal is even bigger.

"We hope that we'll look back and see this created a spark of the ability to truly end homelessness in Atlanta, and that people coming together got a chance to do that."

The Mission is Atlanta's oldest homeless shelter.