Unwind with a Yoga Session

Yoga is the ideal indoor-exercise. Requiring only a few square feet of space, yoga’s low-impact movements help support both the physical and mental wellbeing of you and your family.

What sets yoga apart from other forms of exercise is that it can be practiced by people of all different ages and fitness levels. Even with minimal experience, you’ll start feeling the benefits almost immediately, which is why a daily family yoga session is key to keeping everyone spry, stress-free, and occupied.

Keeping everyone in control of their bodies is a key element of yoga, especially when younger children are participating. For families, we recommend form a circle and start with some basic standing poses like tree pose and warrior pose.

For the tree pose, stand on one leg and make a triangle with your other by raising your knee and foot until the sole rests just below the knee of your standing leg. After you find your balance, reach your arms up above you like the branches of a tree and look ahead. Hold and return to starting position (check out the illustration to see the tree pose in action).

For the warrior pose, spread your feet a bit wider than your shoulders so that your body makes a triangle. While looking ahead, turn your left foot 90 degrees and raise both arms to the sky. Swivel your right arm forward and your left arm back, and extend and bend your left knee over your ankle, letting your hips sink gently toward the floor. Look in the direction of the bent knee and hold for five seconds (click here to see the pose).

And remember, it’s okay to lose your balance; yoga is a continuous learning process that, with practice, will lead to improved confidence, concentration, and ability.

Decatur Parks & Recreation offers various Yoga options catering to different age groups:

Slow Flow Yoga: Find tranquility every Tuesday at 10 am at Decatur Rec.

Deep Stretch Yoga: Unwind and rejuvenate every Thursday at 10 am at Decatur Rec.

New Class Alert: Introducing Yoga at Ebster Rec! 🎉
Immerse yourself in invigorating yoga sessions perfect for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned practitioner. Dive into dynamic flows, align your body, practice breathwork, and embrace meditation techniques that soothe the mind and nurture the soul.

🗓️ Yoga at Ebster Rec Details:
📅 Day: Mondays
⏰ Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
📆 Sessions: 8/28, 9/11, 9/18, 9/25

Calling All Kids: Explore Yoga & Mindful Art Camps! 🧘‍♂️🎨
Unlock playful poses, mindfulness games, and tools for self-regulation in these exciting camps. Kids will learn a variety of yoga postures, engage in mindfulness activities, and create artful crafts that carry their newfound skills home. With meditation techniques and breathwork, they’ll be equipped to navigate real-world situations.

Kids Yoga & Mindful Art Camp:
📅 Day: 11/20, 11/21
⏰ Time: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
👶 Age: 5-9 years
🥪 Don’t forget a healthy lunch and water bottle!

Kids Yoga & Mindful Art Camp:
📅 Days: 9/30, 10/28, 12/9
⏰ Time: 12:30-3:30 p.m.
🧒 Age: 9-13 years
🥪 Remember a healthy snack and water bottle!

Empowering Youth, Building a Sustainable Future: Decatur’s Commitment

Every year, on August 12th, the global community comes together to celebrate International Youth Day. This significant occasion shines a spotlight on the potential and vibrancy of young people worldwide. It’s a day to address youth issues on the global stage and acknowledge the incredible role youth play as partners in shaping today’s world. Decatur, a community deeply committed to nurturing youth development, seizes this moment to showcase its unwavering dedication to empowering young minds and creating a sustainable future for generations to come.  

A Hub of Youth Empowerment

In Decatur, we recognize that our young community members are not just future leaders, but today’s change-makers. Through a diverse range of initiatives, we provide our youth with platforms to engage, contribute, and lead. This summer, members of Decatur’s Youth Council and Teen Leadership Team traveled to Denver, showcasing their expertise as they presented to the National Civic League. This effort earned Decatur the title of one of the prestigious 10 All-America Cities, underscoring the power of involving youth in identifying and tackling community challenges. This recognition reinforces our commitment to authentic youth involvement, as exemplified by projects like the McKoy skate park redesign and the inclusive playground at Legacy Park – testaments to Decatur’s dedication to a brighter and more youth-friendly future.  

Embracing a Green Transition

This year’s International Youth Day theme, “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World”, resonates deeply with goals outlined in Decatur’s 2020 Strategic Plan. As the world embarks on a journey towards environmental sustainability, Decatur recognizes the pivotal role of young people in driving this green transition. Green skills, encompassing technical knowledge and values, are pivotal for creating a resource-efficient society. Our city embraces this shift, understanding that a greener world is not only crucial for addressing the global climate crisis but also for achieving sustainability goals and improving the overall quality of life for our community. Opportunities abound for youth leadership in environmental issues, including two spots on the Environmental Sustainability Board and participation in the Teen Leadership Team, working on the environmentally conscious city priority area.  

ESB Youth Membership Application

The City of Decatur’s commitment to youth empowerment is tangible through our Environmental Sustainability Board. The board is now seeking two passionate youth members for the upcoming school year. High-school-aged students who aspire to make a meaningful impact on our city’s environmental initiatives are encouraged to apply. Students should fill out the Statement of Interest Form found on the ESB page and submit to the City Manager, Andrea Arnold at andrea.arnold@decaturga.com.   

Championing Child-Friendly Cities

We take pride in leading the charge with the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI), a pioneering effort that prioritizes the well-being and rights of our young citizens. Collaborating with the Decatur Education Foundation, Decatur Housing Authority, and City Schools of Decatur, our Parks & Recreation team is dedicated to creating a community that safeguards and promotes children’s rights. Our commitment to youth empowerment goes beyond mere symbolism – it yields tangible results. The CFCI Teen Leadership Team, composed of high school students, has already achieved remarkable impact. In its first year, the team explored priority areas like building trust with law enforcement, promoting an equitable and inclusive city, improving access to, and awareness of, mental health services, creating an environmentally conscious city, and enhancing public spaces for all. This dedication has led to the adoption of the CFCI Local Action Plan for Youth, a testament to Decatur’s resolve in creating a child-friendly city. To apply for the 2023-24 CFCI Teen Leadership Team visit the CFCI section on our page and review the informational sheet or reach out to Claire Miller at claire.miller@decaturga.com.  

Join Us in Forging a Brighter Path

Decatur extends a warm invitation to all to be part of our transformative journey. As we celebrate International Youth Day, let’s stand united in supporting our youth, their ideas, and their aspirations. Together, we can construct a world that’s both sustainable and bursting with opportunities for our young leaders.  

Repaving and Restriping Bringing Church Street Cycle Track Work to an End

The impact

Road reconstruction and repaving on Commerce Drive and Church Street is expected to start the week of August 14, weather permitting. The work includes Commerce Drive from its intersection with Clairemont Avenue to its intersection with Church Street; and then Church Street from Commerce Drive to Forkner Drive.This is the last major phase of the Pedestrian Safety and Bicycle Trail Improvements and the Church Street Cycle Track.

The details

Church Street has not been resurfaced since its original construction over 40 years ago. Extensive block cracking along the entire roadway area shows asphalt paving near the end of its service life.  Significant repair, with patching and resurfacing from Commerce Drive to Forkner Drive, requires deep milling and repaving.Once the repairs and repaving are completed, new permanent pavement markings and signs will be installed throughout the entire project area.  Eighty percent of the funding for this project is being provided by the Georgia Department of Transportation.

How to manage

Expect lane closures and traffic disruptions as these needed repairs are completed. Motorists are encouraged to use alternatives to Church Street during construction.Work hours will extend from 9:00am to 9:00pm on weekdays during the project which is expected to last up to 60 days. Work is being completed in limited sections so that the repair area is drivable at the end of each day. Until repairs and resurfacing is finished, sections of the roadway will remain rough and uneven. As always, motorists should drive slowly and carefully and be mindful of roadway conditions, pedestrians, contractors, and work crews.

Celebrating National Farmers Market Week: Nourishing Communities, Fostering Change

Happy National Farmers Market Week! This dedicated week offers us the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the unsung heroes of local food networks – our beloved farmers markets. Did you know that Community Farmers Markets hosts two markets in Decatur?

The Decatur Farmers Market takes place every Wednesday from 4-7pm at the First Baptist Church Decatur on Clairemont (308 Clairemont Ave Decatur, GA 30030), running from March 29 to November 15. Meanwhile, the Oakhurst Farmers Market takes center stage every Saturday from 9am-1pm at Sceptre Brewing Arts in Decatur (630 East Lake Drive, Decatur, GA 30030), operating from January 7 to December 16. The markets match all SNAP purchases with double the money for fruits and vegetables. To learn more about Community Farmers Markets, visit their website at cfmatl.org.    

As we celebrate the 24th annual event from August 6th to 12th, 2023, it’s time to recognize and honor the pivotal role that farmers markets play in shaping our nation’s food system. Serving as vibrant conduits between growers and consumers, these markets are the epicenter of community nourishment and well-being. As we celebrate this special week, we delve into the ways in which farmers markets champion the seven dimensions of well-being, aligning perfectly with NRPA’s vision of Community Wellness Hubs.  


  • Farmers markets become cultural melting pots, embracing diversity through multilingual marketing materials and interpreter assistance.
  • An array of culturally diverse foods and products grace market stalls, connecting communities to their roots.  


  • Farmers markets emerge as launchpads for small businesses and budding entrepreneurs, nurturing their growth and success.
  • The ethos of producer-only markets resonates, funneling financial support back into the local economy.
  • Acceptance of nutrition assistance programs like SNAP, WIC, and EBT matching programs enhances accessibility to fresh, local produce.  


  • Vibrant and lively atmospheres at markets are crafted through live music, food trucks, and a channel for feedback, creating safe havens for visitors.
  • Markets evolve into artistic hubs, showcasing talents through artist displays and community art activities.
  • Intergenerational bonds form between producers and customers, nurturing a sense of belonging.  


  • Markets step outdoors, reuniting communities with nature and fostering an appreciation for locally sourced sustenance.
  • Vendors champion sustainability by offering reusable packaging from renewable sources.
  • Shoppers become educated about regional foods and their seasonal availability, nurturing a deeper connection with their environment.
  • Environmental awareness thrives through initiatives like composting, and environmental health education.  


  • Farmers markets evolve into classrooms, offering cooking demonstrations, nutrition education, and artisanal workshops.
  • Knowledge transfer between seasoned and novice farmers cultivates a cycle of continuous learning.
  • Local schools contribute to educational programming, introducing STEM activities and interactive demonstrations.  


  • Lively markets facilitate physical well-being through Zumba, fitness demos, yoga sessions, and invigorating park walks.
  • Shoppers receive a bounty of healthy recipes, complementing the nutrient-rich fresh produce available.
  • Strategic health care partnerships bring wellness resources to the market encouraging healthy choices.  


  • Markets evolve into communal spaces where shoppers gather for shared meals, evening concerts, and entertainment.
  • Walking and running clubs find a home at markets, fostering camaraderie and physical activity.
  • Markets serve as the backdrop for various community events, encouraging visitors to connect with social programs and fellow attendees.  

“Farmers markets grow community,” and parks and recreation is where community grows.

Farmers Markets: Catalysts of Change

Farmers markets are catalysts for transformative change. They reshape our interactions with food, amplify our sense of community, and fuel our drive for sustainability. Across the United States, farmers markets are redefining their role, transcending the boundaries of mere transactional spaces and embracing their identities as community catalysts. These markets thrive through the commitment of dedicated individuals and teams who tirelessly work behind the scenes, weaving connections, fostering partnerships, and curating spaces of nourishment and exchange.  

Championing Equitable Spaces

The evolution of farmers markets also signifies a cultural shift. Efforts are underway to enhance equity within the farmers market landscape, ensuring that these spaces mirror the communities they serve. Market operators and community organizers are steering the course towards inclusivity, striving to create safe, inviting, and accessible havens for all.  

Our Farmers Market Journey

This National Farmers Market Week, we invite you to join us in celebrating the profound impact of farmers markets on our lives and our communities. Let’s reflect on the changes we’ve experienced – from embracing seasonal eating to fostering economic vitality in our neighborhoods. Together, we’re building a future where farmers markets stand not only as hubs of nourishment but also as epicenters of transformation, unity, and well-being.

Here’s Why Warmups and Cooldowns Need to be Part of Your Workout Routine

Warming up and cooling down are two important components of every fitness routine, but how can you use them to improve the quality of your workout? 

Benefits of a Warmup

Although there’s no strict definition for what constitutes a “warmup,” the basic idea is doing an activity or exercise at a slower pace to help prepare the body for more intense aerobic workout.A warmup gradually engages your cardiovascular system, which raises your body temperature and increases blood flow to the muscles. This improves the elasticity (the stretchiness of muscle tissue) and can help reduce muscle tightness, pain, and risk of injury.A warmup can also be an exercise in itself. Stretching during or immediately after your warmup can improve your flexibility in both the long and short term. Just remember to stretch after you’ve done a short aerobic exercise to get the blood flowing to your muscles.Properly warming up before a workout can also benefit your mental state. If you start your fitness routine with heavy weights or a strenuous aerobic fitness routine, you’re more likely to be discouraged. Starting slowly and easing yourself into your exercises gradually prepares you for a full and effective workout. 

Benefits of a Cooldown

After you finishing a workout, a 10-minute cooldown allows body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure to return to their normal levels. Stopping an intense exercise abruptly without a cool down can possibly lead to dizziness or even fainting.Cooldown exercises, like stretching, walking, foam rolling, and deep breathing, can help lower your risk of injury and reduce stress to the heart and other muscles.If you’re looking to incorporate more stretching into your workout routine, try starting with some beginner yoga poses. Stretching helps improve your flexibility as well as range of motion around the joints, while also benefitting balance and bone health. This Monday, take a few extra minutes before and after your workout to fit in a warmup and cooldown.

Celebrate National Wellness Month with Decatur Parks & Recreation!

In August, we come together to celebrate National Wellness Month, a time dedicated to prioritizing self-care, managing stress, and promoting healthy routines. It’s a perfect opportunity to create wholesome habits in your lifestyle and focus on self-care to feel like your best self! We all know how life can get busy with work, traffic, family obligations, and other stressors. However, research has shown that practicing self-care helps manage stress and promotes happiness. To lead a happy and healthy life, it is crucial to prioritize wellness and self-care.

Physical Fitness and Activity: Moving Towards Better Health

One of the key pillars of Wellness Month is promoting physical fitness and activity. Engaging in regular exercise not only benefits our physical health but also improves our mental well-being. Whether you love jogging in one of our many parks, attending yoga classes, or playing sports, finding activities that bring you joy can make staying active a delightful experience. At Decatur Parks & Recreation, we offer various fitness classes and open gym activities, like basketball and pickleball, to support your health and well-being. Check out our Playbook to see all our program offerings!

Nutrition: Fueling our Bodies with Nourishing Choices

A balanced diet is essential for maintaining good health, and Wellness Month encourages us to reevaluate our eating habits and make healthier food choices. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into our meals can provide essential nutrients and support our immune system. At Decatur Parks & Recreation, we collaborate with pre-med Emory students to promote nutrition and healthy eating habits for the community. If you have expertise in cooking or nutrition and would like to teach a class at one of our rec centers, reach out to us at dprd@decaturga.com.

Mental Health: Cultivating Inner Peace and Resilience

Taking care of our mental well-being is equally important as caring for our physical health. During Wellness Month, we encourage practicing mindfulness, meditation, and other stress-reducing techniques. Nurturing our mental health can lead to increased focus, better sleep, and enhanced overall happiness. We offer Yoga and Tai Chi classes to help support you on your journey.

Community Engagement: Building a Supportive Network

Social connections play a vital role in our well-being, and Wellness Month motivates us to connect with our community and build supportive networks. Join us for a 2-3 mile walk every Wednesday morning to connect with your neighbors while getting your steps in. Additionally, you can visit Volunteer! Decatur to actively participate in various community events organized by the City.

Healthy Habits for the Long Run

Remember, investing in our health is an ongoing journey, not a destination. By cultivating healthy habits and incorporating them into our daily lives, we pave the way for a happier, healthier future. As we embrace this month-long celebration of health and well-being, let’s support one another, strive for balance, and make Wellness Month a stepping stone towards a brighter and healthier future. Happy Wellness Month from Decatur Parks & Recreation!

How to Prepare Your Body for a Workout

Are you looking to start or return to a normal exercise routine? By making the decision to be more physically active, you’ve already taken the first step towards a healthier you. But in order to establish a consistent exercise schedule, you need to prepare your body.Thankfully, preparing for physical activity is pretty simple; you just need to focus on a few specific areas. By putting in a little time beforehand, you’ll reduce your risk of injury and get the most out of your workout. This Monday, learn all you need to know about readying your body and mind for exercise. 

Stay Hydrated by Drinking Water

The human body depends on water to help get rid of wastes, regulate temperature, keep joints healthy, and protect sensitive tissues. Being dehydrated will make you feel tired and drained of energy—not exactly how you want to feel before a workout.So how much water should you drink? Well, that depends on your body size, the weather, and the duration/intensity of exercise. Feeling thirsty is a clear sign of dehydration, but you can also check the color of your urine: pale or clear urine is an indication that you’re well hydrated, while a dark yellow color is a sign that you should drink more water. 

Power Your Workout with Proper Nutrition

What you eat before and after you exercise is almost as important as the workout itself. Food is your fuel—it gives you the energy necessary to be active and focused, and it also provides the nutrients required to build muscle and bone strength, as well as help the body recover post workout.Before exercising, try to stick with eating carbohydrates that won’t upset the stomach, such as bananas, oatmeal, or whole grain bread. For a post-workout meal, eat a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Foods high in protein allow the body to build new muscle tissue, while carbohydrate-rich foods are better for after a run or another endurance exercise. Refuel your body with foods like beans, quinoa, or Greek yogurt. 

Warm Up and Cool Down

Starting physical activity with a warmup and concluding it with a cooldown can help you improve the quality of your workout. A warmup raises your body temperature and increases blood flow to the muscles. This improves the stretchiness of the muscle tissue and can help reduce muscle tightness, pain, and risk of injury. Although there’s no strict definition for what constitutes a “warmup,” the basic idea is doing an activity or exercise at a slower pace (stretching, using lighter weights) to help prepare the body for more intense movement.After moderate physical activity, a 10-minute cooldown allows body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure to return to their normal levels. Cooldown exercises, like stretching, walking, foam rolling, and deep breathing, can help lower your risk of injury and reduce stress to the heart and other muscles. 

Stretch for Success

Stretching is more than just a warmup. By improving your flexibility through stretching, you are effectively lowering your risk of injury and pain, broadening range motion, improving posture, and bettering body control and stability. And most importantly, being more flexible makes every-day activities easier: from getting out of bed to walking up stairs to reaching a high cabinet.Stretching seems simple—and it is—but there are some general guidelines to follow to help you avoid injury. First, warm up with a few minutes of brisk walking. When starting a stretch, always moves gently and smoothly into position, stopping when you feel any sort of sharp pain. Initially, you’ll want to hold stretches for between 10 and 20 seconds, but as you get more comfortable, you can extend the hold time for as long as 30 seconds. Don’t know where to start? Check out our list of beginner stretches and stretching tips.Make this Monday your day to get active. For more information on how you can prepare yourself for exercise, click here.

We’re thrilled to announce our all-new Open Gym Membership!

Introducing our all-new membership option for open gym at all 3 recreation centers! We are thrilled to offer this fantastic opportunity to our valued community members. Starting today, you can sign up for a monthly membership that grants you unlimited access to all the fun and action-packed open gym activities available at Ebster, Oakhurst, and Decatur Recreation Centers! For just $25 a month (or $50 a month for non-residents), you’ll unlock the ultimate freedom to participate in a variety of thrilling activities, including basketball, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, and pickleball. With most activities held multiple times a week, there’s never been a better time to unleash your competitive spirit and have a blast with friends and family. 

Volleyball: Join us at DRC year-round on Sundays from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. 

Table Tennis: Swing by DRC on Thursdays from 6:45 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. 

Basketball: Catch women’s basketball on Wednesday nights and men’s basketball on Thursday nights from 7-9 p.m. at Oakhurst Rec. Plus, adult co-ed basketball from 2-4 p.m. on Saturdays, every other weekend starting July 15th. Adult open gym is also held Monday-Thursday from 7-9 p.m. though October at ERC. 

Badminton: Head over to Ebster Rec for badminton on Thursdays 6-9 p.m. through October. 

Pickleball: Serve it up at ERC from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday. We’ll have Pickleball on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. in September and October and in November and December we’ll switch over to Sundays 1-4 p.m. 

Ready to dive in? Signing up is quick and easy! You can register for your membership on CommunityPass, or simply visit any of our recreation centers where our friendly front desk attendants will be happy to assist you with the process. If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out to us via email at DPRD@decaturga.com or by calling 404-377-0494.

Exercise Your Way to a Restful Night’s Sleep

Don’t underestimate the healing properties of a good night’s sleep. Scientists have studied the subject extensively, and have concluded that sleep, although a bit mysterious, plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital processes.

Falling asleep can be difficult, especially if you’re stressed, anxious, or uncomfortable, but there’s a natural sleep aid that’s easy and accessible to everyone — exercise. Research suggests that moderate physical activity can decrease instances of sleep complaints and insomnia, and can make a notable difference/improvement in sleep quality. Moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep (also referred to as deep sleep) you get each night. This category of sleep gives the brain and body a chance to rejuvenate, and can also help stabilize mood and benefit cognitive functioning.

And while exercise at all times of day is generally considered good for sleep, exercising at the right time can be even better. If the evening is your optimal exercise window, try working out at least 2 hours before bed; this gives your brain and body time to wind down. The exercise doesn’t have to be especially rigorous, try some light aerobic exercise like a jog, fast-paced walk, or even some yoga, stretching, or tai chi. After 30 – 90 minutes post workout, your body’s core temperature should return to normal, which makes for prime sleeping conditions.

McKoy Pool Reopens Saturday!

We’re excited to share that McKoy Pool will be reopening on Saturday, July 22nd! Get ready to make a splash and enjoy some refreshing fun in the water.

Operating Hours: Starting Saturday, July 22nd
Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Our Post Season Hours: August 1st – September 4th
Saturday-Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

We appreciate your patience during the repair time, and now it’s time to enjoy the pool to the fullest!