Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dec 9 - DRC Renovation Public Meeting

Decatur Recreation Center Renovation Public Meeting
7 - 9 pm, Tuesday, December 9th
231 Sycamore St.

Meeting to be held at Rec. Center Social Room. Come and give your feedback and comments for the renovation of the recreation center, which opened to the public in March of 1959.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Help Georgia State Parks


Note below from Elaine Nash, President of Friends of Panola Mountain State Park:

Georgia is lucky to have some fine state parks. If you'd like to help advocate for the state park system, the State Office of Friends is collecting signatures for a petition drive. Please go to the link below to sign a petition at: www.preserveourstateparks.org.

Also, more info. is available at: http://www.friendsofgastateparks.org/friends/.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

FYI: Softball Camp '09

No one in Decatur knows softball like Decatur High Coach Gary Anderson!

Coach “A” Softball Skills Camp
Dates: June 8-12, 2009
Location: Oakhurst Park, Decatur, GA 30030
Times: 8:45 am - 2:00 pm
Cost: $175 City of Decatur residents; $195 Non-residents

Contact: Gary Anderson, 404-307-5129
Assistant Coach Emory University, Assistant Coach Decatur High School

Park Renewal Day: The Best Day Ever








Photograph's Courtesy of Philzenner.com Nature Photography
The 1st Annual Park Renewal Day was an overwhelming success. This was a joint venture by Renewal Construction, DeKalb County Parks & Recreation/Greenspace Office, and the City of Decatur Active Living Division.

11 teams and over 100 participants took part in cleaning up Dearborn Park, a DeKalb County park partially located within the City of Decatur. The teams worked extremely hard to remove invasive plants. The big surprise was how much trash the teams founds and hauled up to the waiting county dump trucks (an oven, car axles, etc., etc.).

The 1st place team, with a $1000 prize, was "Invasive & Pursuasive". The 2nd place team, with a $500 prize, was "Ivy League". The 3rd place team, with a $350 prize, was the city's own "Decatur Bulldawg Booster Club". 4th place, with a $250 prize, was Decatur's own "Kudzu Krunchers", representing the Glenn Creek Nature Preserve.

This event would not have been possible without the generousity of Renewal Construction owner Peter Michelson. Also, Charlie Monroe of DeKalb County Parks & Recreation and Dave Butler of the DeKalb County Greenspace Office, did fantastic, yeoman's work to get the park ready and train the participants.

Big thanks to Philzenner.com Nature Photography for taking great pictures. You have to see the before and after photo's to appreciate the amazing work done at the park:

Click here for the "Off and Running" Gallery:

Click here for the "Tote that Load" Gallery:

Click here for the "Lift that Bail" Gallery:

Click here for the "Awards and Judging" Gallery:

A special thanks to our celebrity judges: Gary Pfeiffer of the DeKalb Co. Extension Service, DeKalb County Commission Jeff Rader, State Representative Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, and Decatur's own football legend, who player cornerback for 13 years in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns, a Pro Bowler, and Trinity High School's own Clarence Scott.

Check back next fall for information on the 2nd Annual Park Renewal Day!

Decatur Assistant City Manager Hugh Saxon working hard:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Health & Fitness News & Notes

TIPS FOR FAMILY FITNESS FUN
Everyone knows that it is important to turn off the TV, DVD, Gameboys etc. in order to prevent the development of childhood obesity. But without their "screens" available, many children complain that they are bored. With this in mind, Shape Up America! and Sweet 'N Low have partnered on a set of ideas for parents to use to help children become more active and live a healthier lifestyle. Lists of tips are available at http://www.shapeup.org/fittips/index.php

LAUNCHING MYPYRAMID FOR PRESCHOOLERS
MyPyramid for Preschoolers was launched on October 26th by the United States Department of Agriculture. It is designed for children 2 to 5 years of age. You can do many things to help children develop healthy eating habits for life. Visit the web at http://www.mypyramid.gov/preschoolers/index.html to access this newly added resource to USDA's MyPyramid.gov.

NATIONAL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PLAN
http://www.physicalactivityplan.org/

INVESTMENT IN BICYCLING AND WALKING WILL SAVE BILLIONS
On November 4th the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy presented the "Active Transportation for America" report to Congress via Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), who serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The report quantifies - for the first time - the national benefits of bicycling and walking. Putting figures to facts, the report documents the transportation, energy, climate, public health, and economic benefits of bicycling and walking. Read more here.
The full report is at http://www.railstotrails.org/whatwedo/trailadvocacy/atfa/index.html.
[Source: Parks and Recreation Weekly News Brief, November 4, 2008]

BICYCLE COMMUTER ACT PASSES HOUSE, SENATE

Bicycle commuters will now be extended similar benefits to people who take transit or drive to work - an incentive to encourage greater energy independence, improve air quality and health, and even help tackle climate change. Check with www.bikeleague.org as they work on the implementation process.

NEW PHYSICAL ACTIVITY GUIDELINES

The US Department of Health and Human Services has published guidelines that outline exercise recommendations for healthy adults and older adults and are an update from the 1995 guidelines. These recommendations are designed so people can easily fit physical activity into their daily plan and incorporate activities they enjoy. They are based on the first thorough review of scientific research about physical activity and health in more than a decade. There are several websites offering information on these guidelines:
http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/index.html
http://www.health.gov/PAGuidelines/
ACSM and AHA Guidelines
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2008pres/10/20081007a.html

HEALTH & FITNESS RESEARCH ARTICLES
From the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health:
http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/updates/index.htm

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Whole Lot Goin' On in the 30030

Saturday - Free CPR Class by Decatur Fire Dept.
The
Decatur Fire Department will be hosting a CPR Saturday on November 15, 2008, from 8:30am to 2:30pm at City Hall. This program is free to all City of Decatur residents, employees, and their families. Class space is limited. For more information, please contact:
Tim Hatcher
Assistant Fire Chief
404-370-4168
Tim.hatcher@decaturga.com

http://www.parkrenewalday.com/
Saturday, Nov. 15th, 9 am to 1 pm
Registration: 8 to 8:15 am

Dearborn Park, Deerwood Dr. at Midway Rd., Decatur, GA

Decatur Red Hatters Trip
Join The Decatur Red Hatters on Thursday, Nov. 13th for their trip to the famous and very Southern Blue Willow Inn, Social Circle, Georgia. $20 covers dinner, transportation and gratuity. They will also visit the new Blue Willow Village, which has just opened.
For more information on the trip or the Red Hatters, please contact Chris Lewis, 678-553-6547.

Nov 15 - "Understanding Botanical Names" at Woodlands Garden
http://www.decaturpreservationalliance.org/woodlandsgarden/
Please join us for "Understanding Botanical Names"
Saturday, November 15, 9 to 11:30 a.m.
Woodlands Garden, 920 Scott Boulevard, Decatur 30030
$25 per person

Decatur Recreation Center Renovation Public Meeting
7 - 9 pm, Tuesday, December 9th
Meeting to be held at Rec. Center Social Room-Come and give your feedback and comments for the renovation of the recreation center, which opened to the public in March of 1959.

Decatur Winterguard!
Sundays at the Ebster Rec. Center, 404 West Trinity
Please e-mail decaturwinterguard@gmail.com for information.
Winterguard is know as the "Sport of the Arts": http://wgi.org/about/whatiswgi.php.
It's a great activity for high school and middle school students.

Join the Yahoo Group for Decatur Safe Routes to School:
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/DecaturSafeRoutestoSchool/
To subscribe, just send an e-mail to:
DecaturSafeRoutestoSchool-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Monday, November 10, 2008

Survey - Status of Health in DeKalb Report

The DeKalb County Board of Health requests your assistance in evaluating the 2005 Status of Health in DeKalb Report. The purpose of the report is to identify priorities for health improvement and to serve as a stimulus for community action. Your response will assist us in developing the 2010 Status of Health in DeKalb Report and future reports.

All information will be kept confidential and your participation is voluntary. This survey should take about 5-10 minutes to complete. Please use the following link to proceed to the survey:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=_2fqBnog7qqtCH_2fl8uJxMp4g_3d_3d

Thank You!
Status of Health Steering Committee
DeKalb County Board of Health
Health Assessment & Promotion
Office of Chronic Disease Prevention
445 Winn Way
P.O. Box 987 Decatur GA 30031
404.294.3803 Phone

Your Body. Your Health. You're Worth It!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lost Puppy by Adair Park

LOST PUPPY
“DOROTHY”

LAST SEEN ON ADAIR ST., 5pm, Thursday, Nov. 6th.

9 months old, Black/White Terrier Mix, Female, Spayed,
Purple Collar with Tag.

Please call Maria at 404-207-9807 with information.

Saturday - Volunteer Day at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center


Volunteer Work Day at College Heights ECLC!
1 to 5 pm, Saturday, Nov. 8th
College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center
917 South McDonough St.

Please join us on Nov. 8th to help clean up the area behind the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center.
This from the Workday Coordinator, Elton Davis: "Our priority for the project will be cleaning up the stairs leading to McKoy Park. Depending on time/number of volunteers we can perhaps expand to the path through the trees leading to the stairs or the batting cage/planned garden area."
Please feel free to bring any tools (rakes, brooms, hoe, trimmer for small branches) and work gloves. Water and snacks will be provided. Plant waste bags would be greatly appreciated.
Volunteers are asked to wear long sleeved shirts, and jeans or work pants instead of shorts.
For more information, please contact:
Elton Davis
College Heights ECLC PTA Committee Chairperson
eltondavis@yahoo.com
678-571-9504

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Commuter Cycling

Commuter Cycling is back in the U.S. As they said in "Field of Dreams": If you build it, they will come!

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/30/commuter-cycling-is-soaring-city-says/

“This growth is real,” said Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, the leading advocacy group for cyclists and pedestrians in New York City. “It’s born out by what I see on the streets every day, and we’re reaping the rewards from the city’s investment in bicycling over the last several years. More and better-designed bike lanes are producing more cyclists and more first-time cyclists.”

Since 2007, 140 miles of new bicycle routes have been added to the on-street bicycle network.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Decatur Wins "Golden Shoe" Award Tonight!!!


The Decatur Safe Routes to School program has won a prestigious "Golden Shoe" award from PEDS, the Pedestrians Educating Drivers Society.
The award will be presented at the Annual Golden Shoe Awards ceremony, which just happens to be here in the city at the Old Courthouse on the Square, 6 - 8 pm, Wednesday, Nov. 5th. Click here for more info.
This award was only possible because of the time and effort of parent volunteers, City Schools of Decatur principals and staff, and City of Decatur staff, including the city Police Dept., Public Works, and Inspections, Permits, Planning & Zoning.
About PEDS: PEDS is a member-based advocacy organization dedicated to making metro Atlanta safe and accessible for all pedestrians. When PEDS was founded in 1996, pedestrians were not yet on metro Atlanta’s radar screen. Government agencies identified transportation safety exclusively with occupant safety, engineers lacked information about the needs of pedestrians, police officers ticketed crosswalk law violators only after someone had been hit, and media attention to pedestrians was limited to one-inch blurbs following fatal crashes. Worst of all, people rarely thought of themselves as pedestrians. Because of PEDS’ efforts, all that is changing.
PEDS' goals:
-Change community attitudes to favor pedestrians-Increase walking and other pedestrian activity-Ensure the design of pedestrian-oriented communities
-Advance the equitable use of transportation funds
-Reduce the risk to pedestrians of injury and death
The 2008 Golden Shoe Award winners are:
-Pedestrian-friendly schools: City of Decatur, whose Active Living Division expanded and institutionalized its Safe Routes to School program after the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign completed a pilot project encouraging students to walk and bike to school.
-Pedestrian-friendly journalism: Maria Saporta wins a special award from the PEDS board of directors saluting a new era in her career after 27 years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Saporta’s columns have become a powerful voice for smart growth and the importance of making Atlanta walkable.
-Pedestrian-friendly streetscape: Buckhead Community Improvement District and Georgia Department of Transportation, for the Peachtree Boulevard Project, featuring wide sidewalks, landscaped buffers, and bike lanes that separate pedestrians from travel lanes plus a median that reduces the risk to pedestrians from left-turning cars.
-Pedestrian-friendly road diet: DeKalb County Public Works Department, for reducing the number of travel lanes on Glenwood Road and reallocating the right of way to sidewalks and bicycle shoulders.
-Pedestrian-friendly civic retrofit: Perimeter Community Improvement District, for a pedestrian-friendly streetscape that connects to the Dunwoody MARTA station and serves as a new “Main Street” for Perimeter Mall and a catalyst for high density, mixed use development.
-Pedestrian-friendly traffic operations: City of Atlanta, Cobb, DeKalb, and Gwinnett counties, and others for installing countdown signals, which increase safety by giving pedestrians more information than traditional “flashing don’t walk” signals.
-Pedestrian-friendly activism: Clifton Community Partnership, for fostering community-wide engagement and developing a design guidebook promoting increased connectivity, better pedestrian infrastructure, and more housing within walking distance of jobs and retail.
-Pedestrian-friendly education: Federal Highway Administration, for identifying Georgia as a “focus state” for pedestrian safety and funding three “Designing for Pedestrian Safety” workshops that trained 125 metro Atlanta transportation professionals.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

DeKalb County Board of Health/Steps for a Healthier DeKalb


The DeKalb County Board of Health has a number of programs for area residents, including flu shots. They are located just outside the city limits, on Winn Way.

They also run the "Steps for a Healthier DeKalb" program.

Dec 9 - Decatur Recreation Center Renovation Public Meeting

Decatur Recreation Center Renovation Public Meeting
7 - 9 pm, Tuesday, December 9th
Meeting to be held at the Decatur Recreation Center Social Room, 231 Sycamore St.
-Come and give your feedback and comments for the renovation of the recreation center, which opened to the public in March of 1959.


http://www.ajc.com/search/content/business/stories/2008/10/12/curve.html
Horizon: GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN METRO ATLANTA
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sunday, October 12, 2008

Process begins in rehab of Decatur rec center

Decatur has begun what could be a several-year process to spruce up its aging recreation center. Public meetings will be held over the next six months to get residents’ input on ideas for the 50-year-old center on Sycamore Street. The facility had served as the home court for Decatur High’s basketball team. But with the school building a new gym, the city can renovate the center and is looking for new uses, especially for the 1,000-seat gym. “We are trying to find new ways to use the building that support active living in our community,” Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon said.The city will pay $44,000 to LP3 Architects to hold the meetings and develop a master plan and schematics for the center. That project will include a cost estimate, expected to be at least several million dollars. Work on any improvements could begin in 2010, but most likely it will start in 2011.

Nov 15 - Red Hatters Trip to the famous Blue Willow Inn


Join The Decatur Red Hatters on Thursday, Nov. 13th for their trip to the famous and very Southern Blue Willow Inn, Social Circle, Georgia. $20 covers dinner, transportation and gratuity. They will also visit the new Blue Willow Village, which has just opened: "Unique turn of the century Victorian Village of cottage shops, restaurant and museum. Plan a visit to the Creation and Natural History Museum, 1950’s Soda Fountain, Antique Shop, Christmas Shop, Georgia Originals Shop of handmade Georgia Pottery, The Blue Willow Inn Gift Shop and other unique shops."
The Decatur Red Hatters is a group of active ladies 50 yrs old and older who meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month. They take trips, bring in guest speakers, and always enjoy a fun time! For more information on the trip or the Red Hatters, please contact Chris Lewis, 678-553-6547.

Bike Buddies/www.MyRideSmart.com


Bike Buddies Take Mystery Out of Commuter Cycling
2008 Higher gas prices and lack of supply have led many Atlanta commuters to consider different ways to get to work. Bike Buddy, developed by the Atlanta Regional Commission, RideSmart, Bike Emory, Atlanta Bicycle Campaign and the Clifton Corridor Transportation Management Association, is a pilot program that assists with matching bicycle commuters with one another.
The Bike Buddy program wants to encourage more residents in the Atlanta region to try bicycle commuting, to take the mystery out of commuter cycling and to ultimately increase the amount of trips made by bicycle.
Why try Bike Buddy?
• You could be new to cycling in traffic. Share a ride with a neighbor or other bicyclist and learn what it takes to ride on urban streets safely. The more riders in a group, the safer the ride.
• You could be an experienced bicyclist. Share your experiences on the ins and outs of riding on urban streets safely and enjoy your ride with others.
• You could be an experienced recreational cyclist.
Find the best route to your workplace. To register or for more information, please visit:

Monday, November 3, 2008

U.S. Dept. of HHS: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans



On October 7, HHS announced Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. According to the guidelines, adults gain substantial health benefits from two and a half hours a week of moderate aerobic physical activity and children benefit from an hour or more of physical activity a day. The guidelines are designed so people can easily fit physical activity into their daily plan and incorporate activities they enjoy. The report says physical activity benefits children and adolescents, young and middle-aged adults, older adults, and those in every studied racial and ethnic group.
Be Active Your Way: A Guide for Adults
For adults aged 18—64
Links for Children and Adolescents:
Links for Older Adults:

Decatur Safe Routes to School program wins "Golden Shoe" Award


Well, the
InDecatur Blog beat us to the punch: The Decatur Safe Routes to School program has won a prestigious "Golden Shoe" award from PEDS, the Pedestrians Educating Drivers Society.

The award will be presented at the Annual Golden Shoe Awards ceremony, which just happens to be here in the city at the Old Courthouse on the Square, 6 - 8 pm, Wednesday, Nov. 5th.
Click here for more info.

This award was only possible because of the time and effort of parent volunteers, City Schools of Decatur principals and staff, and City of Decatur staff, including the city Police Dept., Public Works, and Inspections, Permits, Planning & Zoning.

About PEDS:
PEDS is a member-based advocacy organization dedicated to making metro Atlanta safe and accessible for all pedestrians. When PEDS was founded in 1996, pedestrians were not yet on metro Atlanta’s radar screen. Government agencies identified transportation safety exclusively with occupant safety, engineers lacked information about the needs of pedestrians, police officers ticketed crosswalk law violators only after someone had been hit, and media attention to pedestrians was limited to one-inch blurbs following fatal crashes. Worst of all, people rarely thought of themselves as pedestrians. Because of PEDS’ efforts, all that is changing.

PEDS' goals:
-Change community attitudes to favor pedestrians
-Increase walking and other pedestrian activity
-Ensure the design of pedestrian-oriented communities
-Advance the equitable use of transportation funds
-Reduce the risk to pedestrians of injury and death


The 2008 Golden Shoe Award winners are:

-Pedestrian-friendly schools: City of Decatur, whose Active Living Division expanded and institutionalized its Safe Routes to School program after the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign completed a pilot project encouraging students to walk and bike to school.

-Pedestrian-friendly journalism: Maria Saporta wins a special award from the PEDS board of directors saluting a new era in her career after 27 years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Saporta’s columns have become a powerful voice for smart growth and the importance of making Atlanta walkable.

-Pedestrian-friendly streetscape: Buckhead Community Improvement District and Georgia Department of Transportation, for the Peachtree Boulevard Project, featuring wide sidewalks, landscaped buffers, and bike lanes that separate pedestrians from travel lanes plus a median that reduces the risk to pedestrians from left-turning cars.

-Pedestrian-friendly road diet: DeKalb County Public Works Department, for reducing the number of travel lanes on Glenwood Road and reallocating the right of way to sidewalks and bicycle shoulders.

-Pedestrian-friendly civic retrofit: Perimeter Community Improvement District, for a pedestrian-friendly streetscape that connects to the Dunwoody MARTA station and serves as a new “Main Street” for Perimeter Mall and a catalyst for high density, mixed use development.

-Pedestrian-friendly traffic operations: City of Atlanta, Cobb, DeKalb, and Gwinnett counties, and others for installing countdown signals, which increase safety by giving pedestrians more information than traditional “flashing don’t walk” signals.

-Pedestrian-friendly activism: Clifton Community Partnership, for fostering community-wide engagement and developing a design guidebook promoting increased connectivity, better pedestrian infrastructure, and more housing within walking distance of jobs and retail.

-Pedestrian-friendly education: Federal Highway Administration, for identifying Georgia as a “focus state” for pedestrian safety and funding three “Designing for Pedestrian Safety” workshops that trained 125 metro Atlanta transportation professionals.