Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lace up the cleets: Soccer Sign-ups are here!

Get Your Kicks this Fall with Decatur Youth Soccer!

Registration is open all of August.

Fees: Mini Soccer (4-6 yrs)
$55 Decatur resident; $70 non-resident
League Soccer (6-12 yrs)
$100 Decatur resident; $130 non-resident

Financial assistance is available for City of Decatur residents who demonstrate a need.
Please register online using Web Trac or visit the Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore St.

For more information, please contact Stacy Green, 678-553-6549 or Lindsey Struck, 678-553-6550.

Active Living Advisory Board

Two New Volunteer Boards Created

The Decatur City Commission has created two new opportunities for citizen involvement:

The Active Living Advisory Board provides advice and support to the Active Living division to better manage and expand city programs that encourage an active, healthy lifestyle for all citizens. The board will assist with existing programs like Safe Routes to School, help design a citywide health and fitness initiative to be launched in 2009, recommend new programs and assist in the implementation of many of the recommendations found in the Community Transportation Plan. This board will include nine members.

The Environmental Sustainability Board combines the responsibilities of the existing Greenspace Commission and the Waste Management Advisory Board, and fulfills the requirements for the establishment of a Stormwater Management Advisory Board. This new nine-member board will provide recommendations to the City Commission regarding the city’s environmental regulations, plans, and initiatives. In addition, it will assist with implementation of city projects that impact the natural environment to protect and improve the quality of life for citizens and property owners in Decatur. Members of the Environmental Sustainability Board shall demonstrate interest in support for the efficient and effective implementation of the goals and mission of the city’s environmental program.

Residents interested in being considered for one of these two volunteer boards should complete a Statement of Interest form, and send it to the City Manager’s Office, P.O. Box 220, Decatur, Georgia 30031; fax it to 678-553-6518; or scan it and send via email: to

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bicycling in the CofD

The ABC is one of the great non-profit's in the metro area. Check out their website and calendar of upcoming events.

Atlanta Bicycle Campaign

At the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign we work to make it easier and safer for you to bicycle in and around Atlanta. We have developed a set of objectives to guide us in these efforts and to help us evaluate our progress. We call them The Mores.
We endeavor to promote, support and sustain:
-more people cycling for more reasons to more destinations over more routes more safely in a more bicycle-friendly community
What more could we ask for?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Park Pride

Park Pride is "a non-profit organization is dedicated to leading and inspiring action for parks and greenspace". While much of their focus is on the City of Atlanta, they are branching out to assist local governments and organizations across the metro area. And their Executive Director George Dusenbury tells me he loves Decatur!

Their 8th annual conference will be held on March 16th, 2009, at at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, with the theme of "A 20/20 Vision for Parks". Their 14th annual golf tournament fundraiser will be Monday, Sept. 15th, at the Druid Hills Golf Club .

Click here here and here for info. from their Xeriscaping Workshop from earlier this year.

Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park is on its way to becoming one of the premier urban parks in the country. The Piedmont Park Conservancy has added many new programs recently worth checking out. The Bird Walks and Historic Park Tours are a great way to get some exercise while learning some interesting info. Parking is limited around the park; MARTA is a viable option.

EnviroVentures Programs (children 5 to 12 yrs old)

Historic Park Tours (1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, May thru October)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

August 5th - National Night Out

August 5th - National Night Out

5 to 8 pm, Tuesday August 5th
Sponsored by the Decatur Housing Authority
Allen Wilson Terrace Pavillion
1450 Commerce Dr. (behind Management Building)

Bring the family and join us for fun & games. Decatur Active Living staff will be assisting with the event.

The Governor's Stategic Highway Safety Plan Task Team Center's Georgia Young Adult Driver Task Team has a new blog:

Intersting information if you have a teen driver in your household, or are just interested in transportation.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Notes & Links

The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services' Office of Disease Prevention & Health Promotion has redesigned its website, It's a pretty thorough website, with a focus on health and prevention.

A very informative section of the website is their Quick Guide to Healthy Living, with topics including "Get Active" and "Eat Healthy".


October is International Walk to School Month.
For more info., check out these websites: and


The CDC has a health & fitness campaign called "VERB", aimed at "tweens", children ages 9 through 13. Here are some links: (for information about the campaign) (tips for raising heart-healthy, active children) (information about healthy weight management through better nutrition and increased physical activity)


Great "Links" page for info. on physical activity for adult 50 and over:

Here's another resources for adults 50 and over:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bicycle Safety Tips from Today's AJC

Mike Goodman, owner of Intown Bicycles, offers these tips:

1. Dress so drivers can see you. Wear yellow; don't wear gray. You'll be nearly invisible, blending into the street, especially at dusk. At night, use lights and wear reflective gear.

2. Follow the rules of the road. Bicycles are classified as vehicles, thus they are required to follow the same rules of the road as other vehicles. Ride on the right side of the road; obey signs and signals; take the left lane when turning left, and signal your intentions to drivers.

3. Be aware. Watch for cars making left turns in front of you, and look for cars pulling out from side streets and driveways. Watch for cars that pass you and then make a right turn in front of you — prevent this situation by moving to the center of the lane before you get to the intersection. Be aware that railroad tracks and steel cover plates are slippery, especially when wet. Signal drivers, if possible, before making any unexpected moves.

4. Pick good routes. You can find lots of neighborhood streets or more lightly traveled thoroughfares when you look for them. Ask other cyclists about good routes, how bad the hills are and which traffic lights don't recognize their presence. A good route is not only safer because there is less traffic, but because you'll know where the hazards are.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thanks to Dearborn Volunteers!!

Some people say; some people do. Thanks to all those who volunteered on Saturday, July 15th for the Dearborn Park Trail Initiative 2nd Clean-up Day. It was hot and humid, but approx. 15 volunteers helped out throughout the day. DeKalb County was represented by Dave Butler and Quincy McKoy. City of Decatur Public Works was represented by the hard-working Tony Kemp, manning a Bobcat through some tough terrain! City resident Jeremy Rhett has been the "point person" for fixing up the trails at Dearborn Park, and his efforts are much appreciated.
Please check back for info. on future clean-up days. If you know of any groups that may be interested in volunteering for a clean-up day, such as a Boy Scout troop, a middle-school or high school club, church group, etc., please contact Dan Magee, 678-553-6541.
Dearborn Park has much potential to be a very pretty, very usable nature park.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gardening in Decatur

Mary Miller, Director of City of Decatur Children & Youth Services, let us know about this neat WSB TV video featuring the Oakhurst Community Garden and "The All Girls Green Team", which "is part of the program offered to middle school students at our DREAM Camp for 6th-8th graders."

Scott Garden, located behind the Decatur Recreation Center next to the tennis courts, is a city garden run by the Active Living Division, and feature 30 plots for city residents. It's a nice spot where you'll see all ages working together, and also makes for a nice, shaded lunch spot under the pergola.

Gardening offers physical fitness benefits for all ages. From The American Institute of Cancer Research:

"Researchers estimate that gardening burns an average of 300 calories per hour, while heavy yard work can burn more than 600 calories per hour!
Engaging in regular physical activity like gardening is also an excellent way to lower your risk of some cancers. Gardening is an ideal form of exercise because it combines three important types of physical activity: strength, endurance and flexibility. Spending time in a garden is also believed by many to have physical and emotional healing effects. According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, gardening can benefit people who are recovering from physical illness by retraining their muscles and improving coordination, balance, and strength. In addition, simply spending time in nature reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and relieves muscle tension."

So if you're looking for a low-impact exercise, and maybe growing your own tomatoes, consider gardening as an option.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bicycling is Back!

NBC News recently broadcast a well-done two-part series on bicycling:

And here's another from "The Today Show":

July 12 - Dearborn Park Trail Initiative

Dearborn Park Trail Initiative - Cleanup Day No. 2
9 am to 12 pm, Saturday, July 12th
W. Dearborn Circle, Decatur, GA 30030 (Click here for online map).
Contact Person: Jeremy Rhett, 404-391-1747
The Dearborn Park Trail Initiative has begun and we need your help! Dearborn Park is a DeKalb County park partially located within the City of Decatur. Many thanks to the 2 dozen volunteers that helped kick off phase one of the Dearborn Park Trail Initiative on May 31st. We completed over half of the trail in a single day! Over 60 trees were saved from the strangle of english ivy and hundreds of invasive privet plants were removed. Increased animal activity in the space has already been noted, including spotting of deer tracks.

Now it's time to complete the work and we need your help! Please come on out on Saturday, July 12th at 9AM. We will spread wood-chips, remove trash and sticks, cut privet stumps and remove ivy from the trail. The hardest work of cutting the trail has already been done. Now it's time to make it walkable! Pick a tool that you can bring along and we'll provide refreshments and snacks. The event sponsors are CertaPro Painters, the DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Dept., and the City of Decatur Active Living Division. Food & refreshments will be provided. Please bring yard tools, and long sleeve shirts are suggested.

Please meet at the end of West Dearborn Circle, off of Park Drive, off South Candler Street in Decatur.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Georgia Games are an annual collection of sports festivals and championships, held in July, and started 18 years ago, as "an Olympic legacy, began due to the state's eagerness to prove Georgia's interest in amateur sports".

The events are somewhat undermarketed, but offer 41 different sports, for a wide range of ages and skill & fitness levels. The fastest to slowest runners can take part in the 5k and 10k runs. There's archery, billards, bowling, lacrosse, mountain biking, swimming, weighlifting and many more. Most of the events are held in the metro area, with some here in DeKalb County, such as the boxing competition held at Doraville.

For more information, visit their website at:


Badminton, Open to All Skill Levels
7 to 9 pm Wednesdays, Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore St.
The Olympics are just around the corner, and one of the more overlooked Olympic sport events is Badminton. It can be played leisurely in the backyard or a summer picnic, but played competitively, it can be a fast-paced, fun workout. This from Wikipedia: "At high levels of play, the sport demands excellent fitness: players require aerobic stamina, agility, strength, speed, and precision. It is also a technical sport, requiring good motor coordination and the development of sophisticated racquet skills."
The racquet skill part of the game is interesting: it's a sport where someone in their 40's or 50's can not just compete against, but consistently trounce opponents in their teens and 20's, because of the skill component.
Please contact Lee Williams at 678-553-6551 or with any questions regarding Badminton at the Rec.