Community Youth Farm
The DeKalb County E.M.B.A.R.C. Community Youth Farm will be a park and community hub which aims to provide a place to grow food and come together to learn, engage, and sustain. E.M.B.A.R.C. stands for Education, Market, Botanicals, Agriculture, and Recreational Center and represents the journey DeKalb County is beginning together as a community and the growth that will be experienced through it.
Currently, the planning of Phase I is complete and a detailed draft master site plan has been created, including a topographical model designed by 13 graduate students from the Design and Research Studio of the Georgia Institute of Technology, under the leadership of Georgia Tech Professor Herman Howard, who is an architect by trade. The draft site plan conceptualizes the urban environment, defines public spaces and amenities, and determines the mix of uses and relationships to engage the community.
The draft site plan also includes a country market store with a test kitchen, a green wall and herb garden, fields and crops that will yield produce and fruit to be sold, an outdoor educational space and an outdoor activity building. Renovations of current buildings and structures include the pool and pool house, tennis courts, a volleyball court, and two pavilions that will serve as space for a weekly farmers market where local growers will sell fresh produce.
The Youth Farm will occupy 40 acres, in the location formerly known as Bransby Outdoor YMCA at Rock Chapel. The Youth Farm was conceptualized by Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson. It will feature a state-of-the-art green house, interactive bee farm, hen house, organic compost station, raised farm beds and structured youth entrepreneurship training. Fresh fruits, vegetables, pickled okra, honey, organic salad dressings, eggs, jams and preserves will be sold onsite in the country store – managed and led by Youth Farm participants.