HEDC leader touts county, visits biophilic community on Atlanta trip

HEDC leader touts county, visits biophilic community on Atlanta trip Main Photo

25 Apr 2023


Hancock Economic Development Council Executive Director Randy Sorrell recently returned from a sales trip with the Indiana Municipal Power Agency to Atlanta, Georgia.

Sorrell and Indiana Municipal Power Agency representatives met with several companies and shared information about Hancock County and IMPA.

On his trip, Sorrell also learned about ideas for rural and community development during a visit to Serenbe, an urban village in the middle of a forest outside of Atlanta.

Serenbe is made up of hamlets with complementary commercial centers focused on arts, agriculture, health, play and awareness. The village also has a 25-acre organic farm, seasonal farmer’s market, and year-round cultural events.

“Serenbe is all about common-sense ways to develop places for us to live and how we can interrelate with nature and each other in a meaningful way,” Serenbe Founder Steve Nygren says in a video on the community’s website.

The idea for Serenbe stemmed from concern over urban sprawl disturbing the countryside on the edge of Atlanta.

“We discovered the only way to really save it was to develop portions of it to show that you can actually develop without destroying the natural landscape,” Nygren says.

Serenbe buildings feature rustic architecture and stand close to sidewalks that allow pedestrians to reach every urban area in a matter of minutes. Seventy percent of the community’s landscaping is edible, with blueberries at every crosswalk.