“Walking Past the Dead” Tree Tour is October 31

On Saturday October 31, from 1 – 3 pm, join arborists and learn about trees in the Historic Decatur Cemetery. Visitors will walk a trail showcasing eight or nine trees with an arborist stationed at each tree to share interesting facts and stories.

Free event; donations will be accepted for Women Arborists of the Southeast Scholarship Fund and Friends of the Decatur Cemetery.

Social distancing will be required for non-family groups and each group size is limited to no more than 10 people. Masks will be required by attendees during the presentations!

No reservations are needed. For more information contact Kay.Evanovich@decaturga.com.

Decatur Cemetery is located at 299 Bell Street in Decatur.

Take a Walk in the Decatur Cemetery

unnamed (1)This is  a great time of year to wander around the Decatur Cemetery. Take a guided tour with the Walking Tour Brochure that you can download here.

The walking tour brochure provides an overview of 40 of the most interesting sites at Decatur Cemetery. Among them are the resting places of three veterans of the American Revolution, a monument standing over a field where numerous orphans are buried, and the final resting place of Dr. Thomas Holley Chivers, who abandoned his medical training for poetry and was described by Edgar Allen Poe as “one of the best and one of the worst poets in America.”

The brochure, in describing the 40 sites, provides a glimpse of Decatur’s history. The 58-acre cemetery dates to 1823 (it’s a full decade older than Atlanta) and provides an interesting overview of how the nation’s attitude about cemetery design (and death) has changed over the years.

The brochure includes a map of the cemetery, lots of color photographs, and a short collection of “cemetery manners” to ensure that the dignity of the site is not compromised.

Plant Some Trees With Trees Atlanta

Trees Atlanta 2018 planting 3
Join Trees Atlanta this coming Saturday, December 7 at the the Decatur Cemetery to plant some trees.

Meet at 299 Bell Street at 9 am; the planting will be finished around 1 pm.

Volunteers should bring gardening gloves and dress in layers as you can really heat up digging holes and planting trees. For more information click here.

Third Sunday Stroll Great Fun

DSCN9972Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday for the Third Sunday Stroll, coordinated by the Pedestrian Committee of the Active Living Board. Jonah McDonald, author of Hiking Atlanta’s Hidden Forests,  led our hike through the Decatur Cemetery and over 50 people joined in. We learned about Champion trees in the cemetery and lots of other great information about trees and some history of Decatur.

Join us every month for the Third  Sunday strolls, each featuring a new route and walk leader. Neil Norton promised to lead us one month for a hike to and through Glenn Creek Nature Preserve. For more information on walking in Decatur, visit DecaturGa/walking.

For more photos from our walk, visit the Active Living Facebook Page.

Walking Among Docs – A New Twist

WWADcemetery 111214

WWAD cemetery 11.12.14

Decatur Cemetery Holds Many Doctors and 1,000 Veterans

Walk With a Doc visited the Decatur Cemetery where we were greeted by lead docent Cathy Vogel. Years of research enabled her to look up all the doctors who rest at the 58 acre greenspace and give us a walking tour to share a little bit of their lives and legacy.

Yes, normally Walk With a Doc, is led by a doctor in the community but we like to mix it up and keep things interesting. So every Veterans Day, for 2 years now anyway, we choose the cemetery as our weekly walk route because the volunteers post American flags to honor the 1,000 Veterans who rest at Decatur Cemetery; and because Cathy is there to lead us on a themed walk similar to the seasonal 2nd Sunday walks that are offered by the docents from May to October.

Here are some of the Docs we walked / visited with this week

  • Dr. Powell was the medicine man  (buried near Emory; marker only. Lots of family nearby in his plot)
  • Dr. Chivers was more poet than doc. (Decatur’s forgotten poet; rival of Poe and originally buried at his own front steps)
  • Bukumba worked for a Decatur family  (Nurse for missionary family with Decatur roots)
  • Dr. Carl Renfoe of middle school (Middle school named for him; educator)
  • Dr. Ormand Morgan (dates before 1827; ground penetrating radar located his grave and a marker will be installed in spring)
  • Dr. Margaret Pepperdene, Beloved English professor at Agnes Scott College, her classes on Chaucer were much in demand. She could speak Old English fluently with just the right lilt. After retirement, she continued teaching at the Paideia School in Atlanta.
  • Dr. Peter Hoyle, stepfather to Emily Pittman (whose beautiful grave we visited) and former owner of farm where Agnes Scott College stands today
  • Dr. Gary Stukes, Dean of faculty at Agnes Scott College
  • Jean Slack Morse & Dr. Chester Morse of Woodlands Garden land (donated home and gardens to City)
  • Dr. Wallace McPherson Alston, Agnes Scott College (President)
  • Rev. Donald Fraser  (Presbyterian minister who could make even Latin and Greek interesting to the boys in his school)
  • Drs. Durham & Goss ( Surgeon CSA and a doctor (related to one of our walkers) who made housecalls)

Be sure to grab the walking tour brochure and make your own discoveries in this beautiful greenspace full of champion trees, trails, paths, benches, a pond, and a cinerarium (a place to receive the ashes from cremations), and a marker for those donating their bodies to science, all of which are adjacent to Glenlake Park.

Note: Start time is now 10:30 am for Walk With a Doc through the winter months. Join us any Wednesday for free, we walk 3 miles, at a normal pace, all adults welcome or even students home on school breaks. Meet at Decatur Rec lobby.


Walking With Dead Poets and Doctors…

WWAD111313…Well sort of, Walk With a Doc (WWAD) went out and about on a walk in Decatur on Wed in 40+ degree sunny temps and had a blast. It was our regular weekly walk at 11am but the cool temps kept a few folks away. Nine hearty souls ventured out bundled up in hats, gloves, and layers and walked all over the Decatur Cemetery. Cathy Vogel, (pictured center) lead docent of the Friends of the Decatur Cemetery led us on the walk featuring Veterans and resting places of famous docs of Decatur. And we took along a thermos of hot tea just in case, which we enjoyed at Veterans rock.

We learned about Dr. T.H. Chivers’ current resting place, i.e., no longer under his front stoop, and that he was more poet than doctor, stormy friends with Edgar Allan Poe, and studied at Transylvania University. In his will he left his first wife $1.00, his daughter $1.00 and that’s all he had to say about them. We also visited Dr. Chester and Eugenia Stack Morse who donated their 7-acre estate to the city to become Woodlands Garden. Dr. Carl Renfroe educator and namesake of our middle school was on our route as were other educators, Dr. Margaret Pepperdene of Agnes Scott College who could speak old english fluently they say, and Dr. Ormond Morgan who has rested in the cemetery the longest.

Come join us next week as neurologist Sara Shuler from Dekalb Medical joins us. Who knows what we will learn! WWAD occurs every Wed @11am, Decatur Rec Center, Free.

Wondering how to keep walking yearround even in cold weather?

ImageTake a look at the 10 tips offered here in the Walk with a Doc Newsletter. Good morning! The weather will be getting a little brisk soon and we want to tackle this now. There are too many April and Mays filled with patients saying they are getting ready to walk, but it’s been “too cold”. Not this year sister. Not on our watch.

If you are unprepared, sure – it stinks. But, we’re all better than that. Let’s throw on a hat, some gloves, your favorite fleece, and let’s go! It sure beats walking in 97 degrees – doesn’t it? These people in the picture are very small, but trust me they’re smiling and they’re happy. Why? Because they’re outside. Here are some great tips for our fellow northerners. See you out there this winter and note our special walk on 11/13 is at the Decatur Cemetery, hosted by the Friends of the Cemetery who’ve put together an intriguing tour of docs!

Walking tips
Ready to get moving outside? Here’s some advice that will help you stay safe and warm when you’re walking in winter.

Ease into it
Start slowly to give your muscles a chance to warm up.

Walk at a moderate or slow pace
Winter roads and paths can be icy. The bigger your strides, the higher your risk of falling.

Bring water
Don’t assume you only need water in summertime. Dry winter air is dehydrating, and you dosweat away water in winter — you just don’t always realize it.

Stay safe
In low-visibility and bad road conditions, you don’t want to walk where there’s traffic. Instead, head to parks, bike paths, high school tracks, or residential streets that draw very few cars. Always wear reflective gear. If it gets really cold, try walking at the mall.

Aim to wear three layers
“It’s better to have and not need,” says Nottingham. You can always peel the layers off.

Avoid cotton
“Try clothes made out of material that will keep moisture away from your skin, so you won’t get cold. Nike’s Dri-Fit clothes are a good bet,” advises Nottingham.

Don’t layer your socks
There’s a good chance you’ll get blisters that way. Instead, wear thin socks designed to keep feet warm (try Thorlo or SmartWool).

Wear gloves

Grab ski gloves if it’s snowing. A hat and a neck gaiter (a muff for your neck) will help keep you warm. If your ears, hands or head get too cold, go inside.

Protect your eyes
Wear sunglasses or, if it’s snowing, goggles with a light-colored lens, to protect your eyes from snow glare.

Try studded outdoor walking shoes
These give you extra traction on slippery surfaces. “Lightweight hiking boots are a good option, too,” says Culwell, “but stay away from heavy boots that are geared for climbing.”

Enjoy Your Weekend in Decatur

sunnyWow- the weather is predicted to be 70 degrees this Saturday. Here are some fun activities to enjoy over the weekend.

The Annual Run With the Dogs will be held in the morning. You don’t need to have a dog to run or walk in this event that benefits the Decatur Booster Club. It is also the first in the Team Decatur Grand Slam Fitness Challenge. We will be honoring last years Grand Slam Fitness Champions after the race. A side note – the race is subtitled “Frostbite 5K” but that will not apply this year! One year we actually had to cancel it as the course was covered in ice and snow!

There will be an Intro Group Riding Skills Clinic for adults  beginning at Glennwood Elementary at 1:30pm. This ride is about 5 miles and you will learn bike skills as well as “rules” for riding in a group.

Visit one of the many parks or greenspaces in the city. Children can enjoy the playgrounds and grown-ups can work out on the adult exercise equipment at Glenlake Park.

Tennis players may want to drop in at the Glenlake Tennis Center for Adult Drills on Sunday from 9:30 to 11am. Only $10 for Decatur residents. Players of all levels are welcome.

Stop by the tourism tent on the Old Courthouse Square and pick up a Walking Tour Brochure. Select the tour that suits you the best and enjoy walking around Decatur. Be sure to stop at one of our many fine restaurants and get a cool beverage or snack to enjoy after the walk.

Table Tennis fans can enjoy their sport at Beacon Hill Center on Sunday from 10am until 1pm. Free to Decatur residents. Beacon Hill is located at the corner of West Trinity Place and Electric Avenue. Beginners to advanced players are welcome.

Take a stroll either day through the Historic Decatur Cemetery. Pick up a Walking Tour Brochure from the Cemetery Office or City Hall or download it here.

Pick up a Bicycle Suitability Map and ride through the scenic streets of Decatur. Maps are also availabe at Decatur Tourism, City Hall and the Decatur Recreation Center front desk.

Above all, have fun and stay active in Decatur this weekend!

Take A Stroll This Sunday in the Decatur Cemetery

With the weather starting to cool off, it is a great time to enjoy some of the great outdoor spaces in Decatur. The Decatur Preservation Alliance invites the community to the Second Sunday Strolls this Sunday, September 12, at 2:30 p.m. in Decatur Cemetery.  This guided tour of the oldest part of the cemetery is led by volunteer and Decatur Cemetery expert Cathy Vogel and lasts approximately one hour. 

Whether this is your first visit or your 30th, you’ll learn something you didn’t know about metro Atlanta’s oldest public burial space.  Meet at the well house gazebo  off of Commerce Drive.

And if you can’t make this Sunday’s walk, join them on October 10 for the final tour of the 2010 season.  Second Sunday Strolls are offered each second Sunday, May through October, and are sponsored by Friends of Decatur Cemetery Committee, a project of Decatur Preservation Alliance.

What a great way to stay active in Decatur!