Piedmont Park Feeds the Gorillas, Elephants and More at Zoo Atlanta

The next time you go to Zoo Atlanta pay attention to what some of the animals are eating. You might recognize some of the food as plants you see at Piedmont Park.

You heard us right! The heart of downtown Atlanta is now a food source for the animals that live in Zoo Atlanta. 

Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta

A few weeks ago, a staff member from Zoo Atlanta reached out to the Piedmont Park Conservancy to let us know about their Browse Program. The Zoo collects browse, leafy plants that many animals use as food in their natural habitats, from a few other businesses and parks around Atlanta. Our friends at the Zoo thought Piedmont Park could be a great source of these plants. 

It turns out that they were right! After a visit to the Park, Zoo Atlanta let us know that some of the plant species found in Piedmont Park would qualify as browse. Some examples include privet, bush honeysuckle, and elaeagnus, all invasive species that are regularly removed from the Park. It is worth noting that vines like english ivy can actually be poisonous to the animals. 

Thanks to our fantastic volunteers, Piedmont Park is able to provide about eight to 10 bags of these plants to the Zoo on a regular basis. Since the Park is so large, we are able to be a consistent source of these materials for the Zoo, and the Conservancy will continue to supply the Zoo with browse for the foreseeable future. 

The next time you visit Zoo Atlanta, pay special attention to the Gorillas, Elephants, Zebras, and monkeys you might recognize their snack! 

Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta

Want to help? Volunteer or donate to the Piedmont Park Conservancy.

Five Fun and Distant Family Activities

Have some summer fun in the Park with your family! Here are five socially distant  activities you can do in the Park.

  • Connect with Nature

Download our Backyard Birding activity, and see how many types of birds you can spot in Piedmont Park. You can also use our “iNaturalist Companion” download to take a hike around the Park.

  • Family Picnic

If you’re in the mood for a more relaxing day, sit on the Front Lawn and have a picnic. All you need is a blanket and a cooler full of your favorite foods.

  • Scavenger Hunt

Another great idea to keep the whole family entertained is a scavenger hunt. Download our Piedmont Park Nature Scavenger Hunt. We recommend starting your journey at the Welcome Plaza.
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  • Family Field Day

For an active experience, host a family field day! Bring a frisbee, soccer ball or football, and visit one of the many open fields at the Park to play all day.

  • Arts and Crafts

Finally, just have a quiet day with your loved ones. Find a shady spot and do some arts and crafts. Bring a mat for easy cleanup and finger paint. You could also make your own giant bubbles, impression sculptures with fallen leaves or beaded sun catchers. The possibilities are really endless.

We hope you are inspired by some of these activities and have a great day spending quality time with your loved ones! 

Want more? Find several family fun activities on our online learning hub. Also, receive updates and stay connected with live readings, YouTube activities and more by subscribing to our “Connect and Learn” Instagram page: @piedmontlearns

Author: Olivia O’Brien