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Atlanta Prison Farm

Dear Porch Press,
I’d like to commend Rich McKay on his well-written article about the Atlanta Prison Farm. I was fortunate to meet Rich out on the trail at Constitution Lakes and found him to be engaging and passionate about his writing.
I would like to point out that the headline “EAV Prison Farm” could be a bit misleading, as the Prison Farm itself is not located in the East Atlanta Village, but just a few miles south of the Village proper. It is just a short drive or bike ride from the village and can be easily visited by residents in our neighborhood.
One of the important points of the article is the danger that exists on the farm land. Rich mentions these in detail, and they are a deterrent to some people who would like to visit but are concerned about safety issues. Others find adventure in some of these dangers and the sense of forbidden exploration that comes with old abandoned structures. It is that sense of adventure that lead me to the prison farm initially.
The inside of the burned-out prison building has been documented fairly well in the past few years by intrepid photographers and Internet bloggers. They have discovered bleak prison cells adorned with amazing graffiti murals that rival (and in some cases were created by) some of the Living Walls artists. These treasures are inviting, but the dangers that Rich mentions are very real. It is illegal to trespass in these buildings, and you may be fined or arrested if caught.
Fortunately, the beauty of the farm goes well beyond a little urban adventure. The rest of the 300 acres are laced with trails that show off the largest area of greenspace inside I-285. I’ve seen herds of deer and lots of other wildlife. It is possible to enjoy these things with a group tour, without the dangers of the prison building.
Scott Petersen has been leading these group tours for years and has a lot of experience and knowledge of the area. Recently interest has been growing again, and he is gearing up for more tours. We have been discussing a special event in the fall when the weather is cooler and the woods are more inviting.
We will share more info in the coming months. In the meantime, find out more on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AtlPrisonFarm, and feel free to contact Scott Petersen at scottppetersen@yahoo.com or me, Joe Peery, at transportation@eaca.net or 404-243-9734.
Joe Peery
Editor’s note: The prison farm property is not public property. It is posted land, owned by the city of Atlanta. The Porch Press does not encourage trespassing, nor is it liable for readers’ legal or personal safety. Visitors to the prison farm should do so advisedly and at their own risk.
Correction: “EAV” is shorthand for the business district only of the East Atlanta neighborhood. The Atlanta Prison Farm is not located within the East Atlanta Village, but is several miles south, as Joe Peery has pointed out.

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