In additions to areas designated for youth entrepreneurship and leadership programs, the property will also offer trails and other activities like zip-lining, rock climbing and kayaking. The farm will also be home to DeKalb’s largest wheelchair-accessible swimming pool and a 275-seat amphitheater, Cochran-Johnson said.
“The dream is now a vision,” said Tiffany Bouquet, one of the graduate students involved in the planning. “It has direction. And with time it will become an asset to the community.”
Total buildout costs for the project are estimated at $1.4 million. Initial funding consists of $98,500 from Cochran-Johnson’s district discretionary funds; more than $600,000 from the county; and $225,500 from the its hotel-motel tax fund.
Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson — whose district also includes the area — said Monday that she would also be allocating $100,000 of her own discretionary funds toward the project.
The first phase of construction and renovations could be finished by October, officials said.
“Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson is a visionary, spirit-filled, dedicated public servant,” DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said during Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony. “And but for her, we would not be standing here today.”