Sharon B. Dowdell Photography
On April 19, 2021, the Groundbreaking Ceremony for Phase I of DeKalb County’s E.M.B.A.R.C. Community Youth Farm took place. E.M.B.A.R.C. stands for Education, Market, Botanicals, Agriculture, and Recreational Center and when complete, will sit on some 40 acres of land and will feature a state-of-the-art green house, interactive bee farm, hen house, organic compost station, raised farm beds, a country store, structured youth entrepreneurship training and many other amenities.
This is the first of four phases of the $1.4 million project. “This project got started one day when a group of youth came into my office, along with Ms. Edna Lora with an organization called PAHL,” said District 7 Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson, referring to Partners in Action for Healthy Living. “We grow to give,” said PAHL Garden Lead Taffany Hyatt. “Our mission is to promote environmental stewardship, self-sustainability, as well as proactive healthy living.”
Commissioner Lorraine-Cochran Johnson says the plan of action is now becoming a reality. “We will have a state-of-the-art, state-approved test kitchen, so that the children can cook, so that they can ‘can,’” said the popular position.
Youth can also look forward to rock climbing, kayaking and other activities on the site, which is also home to the county’s largest wheelchair-accessible pool. “This is further evidence that, in the midst of crisis, we can still progress our community. We can continue to encourage and inspire and support our young people,” said DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond.
They expect to complete all of the phases by late 2023.