Launch of the UNICEF CFCI Local Action Plan for Youth in Decatur!

The City of Decatur is thrilled to share some exciting news as part of the Decatur Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI). We are officially launching the CFCI Local Action Plan for Youth, becoming an official UNICEF CFCI Candidate City!

To celebrate this milestone, the City of Decatur invites you to join us for a special event in collaboration with the Decatur Youth Council-sponsored Screen on the Square on December 1st at 6:30 p.m. UNICEF USA representatives will be present to share in this celebration.

Don’t miss out on the festivities! 


6:00 p.m.: Tunes by DJ K-KAT
Experience the beats of a talented youth DJ as we set the stage for an evening of celebration.

6:30 p.m.: Child Friendly Cities Initiative Local Action Plan Launch
Celebrate with the City of Decatur as we become a UNICEF CFCI Candidate City! Hear from speakers, including members of the CFCI Teen Leadership Team, City of Decatur’s Mayor Garrett, Tracy Nájera, VP of US Programs for UNICEF USA, as we officially launch the CFCI Local Action Plan.

7:00 p.m.: Screen on the Square: Happy Feet
Enjoy a special screening of Happy Feet, sponsored by the Decatur Youth Council. Bring your friends and family for a night of joy and entertainment!


A Child Friendly City prioritizes the well-being and development of its children and youth by ensuring their rights are protected and promoted. Decatur is actively engaged in the Child Friendly Cities Initiative, being one of the first seven cities in the U.S. to sign a memorandum of understanding with UNICEF for this transformative journey.

The CFCI project involves a multi-year commitment to actively involve community members, especially children and youth, in identifying priorities and taking action in key areas: Safety and Inclusion, Children’s Participation, Equitable Social Services, Safe Living Environments, and Play and Leisure.

In its first year, the CFCI Teen Leadership Team identified five priorities that will make a significant impact on the lives of young residents in Decatur. These include enhancing trust with law enforcement, promoting an equitable and inclusive city, improving access to and awareness of mental health services, fostering an environmentally conscious community, and enhancing public spaces for all.

On June 5, 2023, the City of Decatur’s City Commission formally adopted the CFCI Local Action Plan for Youth, showcasing our commitment to our younger generation.

Decatur is leading the way towards a brighter and more child-friendly future, proving that a united community’s efforts can bring about positive change and make a lasting impact on the lives of its youngest members.

We look forward to sharing this momentous occasion with you and the entire Decatur community. Your presence will make this celebration even more special.

See you on December 1st!

Get Ready for Spooktacular Halloween Fun with Decatur Parks and Recreation! 🎃👻

It’s that magical time of the year, and Decatur Parks and Recreation has a lineup of Halloween events that will make your spooky season memorable. 🕷️🌙

Parent’s Night Out – Halloween Edition 🌟
📅 Friday, October 27, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
📍 Oakhurst Recreation Center
👻 Kids ages 5-12 welcome!
🎃 Residents – $35 per child, $10 each additional sibling (register using link)
👻 Non-Residents – $45 per child, $10 each additional sibling

Join us for a night of spooky fun! Wear your Halloween best and enjoy Trunk or Treat festivities in the parking lot. Let the little ghouls and goblins revel in a night of games, treats, and more.

Halloween Jam 🎸
📅 Friday, October 27, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
📍 Ebster Recreation Center
👻 3rd, 4th and 5th grade dance, costumes encouraged! (register using link)
🎃 Brace yourself for a night of thrilling games, exciting activities, delicious food, and drinks. Embrace the Halloween spirit with bone-rattling tricks and spooktacular surprises!

Family Bike Ride – Halloween Edition 🚴‍♂️
📅 Saturday, October 28, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
📍 Starting and Ending at DRC
👻 Bike through the neighborhood and witness Halloween decorations come to life. A delightful family adventure awaits! Ends just in time to see Coco on the Square.

Movie on the Square – Coco 🍿
📅 Saturday, October 28, 7 p.m.
📍 Decatur Square
👻 FREE Popcorn (while supplies last)
🎃 Dress up in your spookiest costumes and join us for a frightfully good time. Visit nearby shops for candy treats and immerse yourself in the fantastic community atmosphere.

Don’t miss out on the spooktacular fun! Mark your calendars, grab your costumes, and join us for a Halloween celebration that promises thrills and chills for the whole family. Let the spooky season begin! 🎉👻

Art Walks in Decatur!

Downtown Decatur has always been a vibrant hub, brimming with creativity and culture. Among the many facets that make this community so unique, public art stands tall as a testament to the city’s commitment to artistic expression. Have you ever strolled through these charming streets and wondered about the stories behind the sculptures, murals, and installations? Or perhaps you’ve missed some of these artistic gems tucked away in corners waiting to be discovered.

If you share our curiosity or want to explore Decatur in a new light, we invite you to join us on Sunday, October 1st and 8th at 2 p.m. for a captivating journey through the city’s public art landscape. These guided walking tours promise not only to reveal the narratives behind the art but also to unveil hidden treasures you may have missed.

On October 1, we will cover the east side of downtown Decatur and on October 8, we will cover the west side of downtown Decatur. Co-sponsored by the Decatur Bike & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, these walks will be led by Angie Macon of the Decatur Arts Alliance. Meet at Community Bandstand for these enjoyable and informative FREE walking tours. 

McKoy Skate Park Redesign and Renovations

Starting Monday, September 25th, the Mckoy Skate Park will be temporarily closed to the public for an exciting redesign and renovation project. We’re gearing up to bring you an even better skating experience!

While we’re hard at work making these improvements, stay tuned to our website page for updates on our progress. We can’t wait to unveil the revamped park and provide you with an incredible skating environment.

Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Teen Daycation at Ebster Rec Center!

At Ebster, we’ve got an amazing daycation experience just for you. Our Teen Daycation is a week filled with fun, freedom, and fantastic activities.

What to Expect:

  • Game Room: Dive into the world of gaming with Xbox and Nintendo Switch.
  • Table Games: Challenge your friends to epic battles of table tennis, air hockey, and billiards.
  • Creative Crafts: Unleash your creativity with cool craft projects.
  • Outdoor Fun: Enjoy the great outdoors with fun games in the park.

Details:

  • When: Monday-Friday
  • Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Who: 6th-8th graders
  • Upcoming Sessions: 9/18, 9/19, 9/20, 9/21, 9/22
  • Cost: $60/$85 per day

It’s the perfect opportunity to make new friends, explore exciting activities, and have a blast during your break. Join us at Ebster for a Teen Daycation you won’t forget!

Decatur Rec Center will open as a cooling center on Sunday, August 27th

Staying Safe During High Temperatures: Cooling Centers Available

As the mercury climbs, the City of Decatur remains steadfast in prioritizing your well-being. In response to the upcoming heatwave, the Decatur Recreation Center (located at 231 Sycamore Street) will serve as a crucial cooling center on Sunday, August 27th, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. This center stands ready to offer a much-needed reprieve from the impending heatwave. Additionally, the Decatur Library, an integral part of the DeKalb County Library system, will also serve as a cooling center on Saturday, August 26th.

We wholeheartedly encourage all residents to take full advantage of these cooling facilities, ensuring relief and hydration, especially for those without access to air conditioning. As we navigate these challenging temperature conditions, remember, safety comes first. Let’s prioritize staying cool and keeping an eye out for each other.

Heat Advisory in Effect:

Take heed of the Heat Advisory issued until Sunday, August 27th, by NWS Peachtree City GA:

  • Heat index values up to 109 expected.
  • Impacted areas include portions of central, east central, north central, northeast, northwest, southeast, and west central Georgia.
  • Hot temperatures combined with high humidity may lead to heat-related illnesses.
  • Extra precautions are advised for outdoor workers and those involved in recreational activities, particularly children and young adults.
  • Stay hydrated, seek air-conditioned spaces, and limit sun exposure.
  • Keep an eye on vulnerable individuals, including young children and pets, and never leave them unattended in vehicles.
  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and prioritize safety.

Remember, your health matters. Stay informed, stay safe, and stay cool during this challenging weather period.

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.  

Cultural

  • 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.  

Economic

  • 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.  

Emotional

  • 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.  

Environmental

  • 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.  

Intellectual

  • 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.  

Physical

  • 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.  

Social

  • 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.

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!