Six Dogs Compete in Piedmont Park Dog of the Year Finals

Sookie, 2-year-old Samoyed, crowned winner

The contest took place in Piedmont Park’s small dog park and the finalists were all visibly excited to showcase their abilities. The doggos were to be judged on their behavior and charisma. While the finalists prepared for their routines, attendees enjoyed the wide array of goodies available including free King of Pops. As the humans mingled and the dogs played with the tennis balls scattered across the park, anticipation mounted for which pup would become Piedmont Park’s Dog of the Year.

At 11 a.m. the finalists lined up behind the stage, eager to strut their stuff. One by one, the dogs crossed the stage to cheers and hollers from the growing crowd for a pooch parade. After the parade, the finalists went into their individual performances.

Charlie, a golden doodle from Chamblee, showed off his sitting and walking skills. A 5-year-old Siberian husky named Azlan sang along to his owner’s harmonica and Bear, a 1-year-old Australian and German shepherd mix demonstrated his handshake skills. Sookie the Samoyed surprised the crowd by jumping through a hula hoop to catch her favorite toy—a tennis ball. Showcasing her expert running skills, Barefoot, an 18-month-old Siberian husky sprinted across the park. Finishing out the routines was Boston, a golden retriever who shook paws with his owner.

Ponce, our honorary judge and the winner of last year’s contest joined judges from Bark ATL, Dancing Dogs Yoga, and the Piedmont Park Conservancy to make final deliberations. After a short wait, Sookie was announced as the winner!

Sookie swept the judges off their feet with her hula hoop performance and charming charisma. We are so excited to have her as our Dog of the Year and look forward to having her help in promoting the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s vital role in enhancing one of the best places in Atlanta for pups—the Piedmont Park dog parks. For more information on our dog-friendly events and to support the dog parks visit: piedmontpark.org/dogparks

Photo Credit: OldSpeak Creative

 

Guest Post by Aliya Seymour

Piedmont Park Aquatic Center Celebrates 10 Year Restoration Anniversary

Northside Hospital Sponsorship Enhances Pool Experience

The Piedmont Park Conservancy is celebrating the Aquatic Center and Pool’s 10 year anniversary of its restoration in 2008! The past decade has been filled with fun and excitement at the pool, serving over 50,000 visitors each year.

The pool restoration added features: a children’s splash area, accessible beach entry, a current channel, water jets, four lap lanes, large pool deck, shade arbor, grassy area, and new showers and changing rooms. The pool also offers a concession stand for drinks and snacks in the hot summer sun. The massive restoration allowed the pool to flourish into the perfect summer getaway for local Atlantans.

In celebration of its 10 year restoration anniversary, Northside Hospital has committed to a yearlong sponsorship to further enhance Piedmont Park’s Aquatic Center.

“Piedmont Park is one of the Atlanta Region’s greatest assets, and one of the reasons Northside Hospital sought out this partnership. We believe that urban greenspace is a key part of healthy lifestyles. So for our employees, our patients, and their families, connecting Northside to Piedmont Park makes sense.

Our support of the Aquatic Center is especially important to us, as it provides awareness of both swimming and skin safety during the warm months. Northside is excited to expand our outreach in Midtown Atlanta, where many of our patients live and work. Piedmont Park, with its proximity to the Beltline and other city parks, is experiencing a surge in popularity – Northside is proud to join with them.”

– Lee Echols, VP of Marketing and Communications, Northside Hospital

With the new sponsorship, Northside Hospital will be collaborating with the Piedmont Park Conservancy to use their mascot – Sammy the Stork – to interact and engage with children and families about health, fitness and other wellness facts and fun.

Learn more about the pool and how you can join us this summer! – https://www.piedmontpark.org/things-to-do/aquatics-pool/

Green Market is So Close We Can Taste It!

The Piedmont Park Conservancy is making the final arrangements for 2018’s Green Market. March 24th is quickly approaching, and the Conservancy is excited to get this year started right! With over 40 vendors, Green Market will be the place to be on Saturday mornings.

You can look forward to walking into Piedmont Park on a beautiful spring morning and experiencing live music, occasional chef demonstrations and all the best local products to choose from! We can look forward to seeing all the smiles and conversation that will happen at Green Market!

The hand-picked vendors provide Atlantans with the highest quality products in the heart of the city including: fruits, vegetables, meat, cheeses, pastas and more. Food won’t be the only product available. There will also be pet supplies, bath and body products, handmade goods, and candles. For those who come hungry, there are prepared food and beverage options including baked goods, popsicles, food trucks, and other tasty eats.

For families, there is a child friendly activity area and the nearby Noguchi Playscapes for little ones to play and engage with other children. For dog owners or fans, Green Market is a well-known activity for on-leash dog visitors. Stop by the dog vendors, grab a coffee and some food, and then head over to our off-leash Dog Parks.

Find the list of our vendors, musicians and other information at our website: piedmontpark.org/green-market

Guest Post by Alexandra Anton

Celebrating 20 Years: Marti Kelefas

On February 12, Marti Kelefas reached her 20 year anniversary working with the Piedmont Park Conservancy. Marti, the Executive Assistant, has been with the Conservancy since its beginning years. She has experienced an immense amount of change since she began. From dozens of renovations and capital improvements to organizational growth and various leaders, Marti has been the constant through it all.

Today, Marti is the connector between Board of Directors, the CEO/President and the rest of the organization’s staff. She always has an open chair available to those who need to “talk things out” or want to share their stories.

Marti is also known for her wealth of knowledge of the Conservancy and Piedmont Park’s past. Not only does she know the history of the Park, but she shares the stories with a level of passion and enthusiasm that can only sourced from the soul. They say that history is whatever people say it is. With Marti’s true dedication and love for Piedmont Park and the Conservancy, we are honored to have her as our storyteller.

Marti Kelefas, congratulations for reaching 20 years! The Piedmont Park Conservancy cannot thank you enough for your service.

Featuring New Dog Park Agility Equipment

The Piedmont Park Conservancy is excited to announce the newest feature installed in the Piedmont Park large dog park; a brand new agility course!

The course was graciously donated to the Piedmont Park Dog Parks by 16-year-old Ansley Park resident Jason Steinfeld. Jason is a Life Rank Boy Scout working toward Eagle Scout rank. He wanted to bring some added excitement to the dog parks and allow an area for the dogs to play, exercise and even do some agility training. He hopes this installation will bring joy to both dogs and their owners.

“I love Piedmont Park. I did my Bar Mitzvah Project in the Park by planting a big Oak tree and ferns.  So it seemed natural to have my Eagle Project here too,” said Jason.

Jason with Piedmont Park Conservancy President/CEO Mark Banta

Jason worked on this project for over a year so that dogs all over Atlanta could come to Piedmont Park and have a little something extra to enjoy. Over 20 scout, family and friend volunteers helped with the installation.

The agility course represents the Conservancy’s efforts to encourage park visitors to be active while also having fun – humans and dogs alike! Appreciation goes to Jason and the Steinfield family for this enhancement for their fellow Atlantans.

Head outdoors with your furry friend, and visit the Piedmont Park Dog Parks this weekend for a new experience!

Guest Post by Alexandra Anton

Experience the Doggie Dash & 5K

Celebrating its 5th year anniversary, dogs and humans alike are getting excited for Piedmont Park’s famous Doggie Dash & 5K. Tails are wagging and tongues are out as dogs all over Atlanta eagerly prepare for the big event!

This year, the Piedmont Park Conservancy expects to see pups of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels, as they are adding a shorter one-mile dash to the event.

Imagine.

Dogs tugging on their leashes and owners warming up beside them.

The horn blows and the race for top dog begins!

As the feet and paws of the runners flash by, people watch anxiously from the outside to find out who will come in first!

People with their four-legged friends will enjoy park and lakeside views before the dog (or human) drags their partner past the finish line.

But the excitement doesn’t end there. Dogs can be seen everywhere picking up treats and toys from the participating businesses and vendors, making new friends, or laying out on the grass.

Finally, the top dog is announced! The top dog gets their name displayed on the Top Dog bone at the Piedmont Park Dog Parks. Winners will also be announced for those without dogs.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity! Sign up for the Doggie Dash & 5K with your furry friend! The event benefits the Piedmont Park Dog Parks and is hosted by the Piedmont Park Conservancy. The race is open for humans with or without dogs.

Make sure to register by March 8th for the early registration discount:  Doggie Dash Website

Guest Post by Alexandra Anton

22nd Landmark Luncheon to Celebrate “Power of Play”

The Piedmont Park Conservancy is excited to celebrate The Power of Play at this year’s Landmark Luncheon! The annual Landmark Luncheon will be held on Thursday April 26, 2018 from 11am to 1pm at The Promenade in Piedmont Park. People gather from all over Atlanta in their best spring attire for this loved event. This year’s special theme ties into our outstanding program for the event; Arthur Blank, Owner of Atlanta United FC will be speaking about how important sports are to the Atlanta community. The Atlanta Track Club will be honored with the Legacy Award for continuing to make Atlanta a more active city, and The Coca-Cola Company will be receiving the Green Giant Award for its support of recycling and water stewardship programs within the park.

Piedmont Park is considered Atlanta’s playground with activities offered for children and adults alike. With 200+ acres of space to roam it is hard not to stay active in the park, from the Active Oval sports, and dog parks, to the playgrounds and picnic tables, everyone has an opportunity to find their niche! This year the Landmark Luncheon wants to promote the active lifestyles of Atlantans supported by Piedmont Park.

The Piedmont Park Conservancy hopes to see you under the tent! This year’s presenting sponsor is Cox Conserves. Guests will enjoy complimentary champagne at the reception sponsored by Georgia Power as well as lunch catered by Dennis Dean.

By supporting the Piedmont Park Conservancy, you are helping Piedmont Park to continue to be a place full of life and natural beauty in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Atlanta. The Piedmont Park Conservancy raises $3 million annually to maintain the beautiful park and all the programs and activities it has to offer.

Please join us for this time-honored tradition! Tickets available at https://www.piedmontpark.org/landmarklunch

Guest Post by Alexandra Anton

Welcoming New Board Members

The Piedmont Park Conservancy is proud to announce new seven members on their Board of Directors! These members were officially inducted on January 25, 2018.

CHRISTINE BOUCHER, Managing Director
Global Environment, Sustainability & Compliance for Delta Air Lines, Inc

Christine manages a team of professionals responsible for administering Delta’s compliance and environmental sustainability programs, Department of Transportation compliance, dangerous goods compliance, and passengers with disabilities programs. Christine graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations and French.

She received her juris doctor degree from the University Of Virginia School Of Law.

ANDRE P. HYLTON, Chief Counsel, Georgia-Pacific Professional
Georgia-Pacific LLC

Andre Hylton currently serves as the Chief Counsel of the Georgia-Pacific Professional business. In that capacity, he provides legal advice to the business-to-business division of the Georgia-Pacific consumer products business. Prior to his employment at Georgia-Pacific, Andre practiced at two prominent Atlanta law firms.

Andre is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, and resides in southwest Atlanta with his wife, Tamera, an attorney at Turner Broadcasting, and his two children, Sophie and Warren.

ANDY MACKE, Vice President, External Affairs
Comcast Cable Communications, Inc.

Andy Macke serves as vice president of External Affairs for Comcast’s Big South Region, where he develops strategic relationships with government officials and community leaders to support Comcast’s business goals. He is directly responsible for Comcast’s regulatory compliance, operations support, and community investments in the Big South Region.

Andy is an active member of the civic community, currently serving on the boards of Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Technology Council and the Council for Quality Growth. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in telecommunications policy from Georgia Tech.

CARLOS PAGOAGA, Director, Global Community Affairs, The Coca-Cola Company

Carlos directed over $42 million worth of international grants for The Coca-Cola Foundation over the last 10 years. He drove global system alignment around Coca Cola’s global community engagement priorities working with Public Affairs and Communications colleagues around the world. Provided oversight on the Company’s global community engagement budget of $86 million in 2009 by tracking monthly community engagement spend and conducting budget discussions with colleagues globally. Worked with colleagues on developing global business plans for community engagement. Additionally, developed public relations strategies for various Hispanic and African American marketing efforts & developed strategy for the Company’s support of Minority media organizations.

CLAUDIA PATTON, Chief Talent Advisor, Edelman

As Chief Talent Advisor, Claudia supports the development & retention of the most senior and most valued talent at Edelman. She oversees the orientation of senior managers and acquisition partners and provides training, counsel & coaching to local and regional leadership. Claudia has received consistent recognition for professional & Community contributions. Claudia is a breast cancer survivor and serves on the Susan B. Komen Board of Advisors. She also serves on the Board of the Atlanta Museum of Contemporary Art and is active with the International Women’s Forum & Leadership Atlanta.

ABE SCHEAR, Partner; Arnold Golden Gregory

Abe is a partner at AGC in the Real Estate Practice. His primary focus is in retail leasing throughout the U.S. He is also the leader of the International Business Practice. Mr. Schear is the co-chair for the International Bar Association’s Law Firm Management Committee. He is the co-chair of the Israeli Consulate’s Lawyer’s Committee.

Education: Emory University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 1976 & Emory University, B.B.A. 1973
Admissions: State of Georgia

DAWN SEVERT, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Gables Residential

Dawn Severt is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Gables Residential. Dawn previously served as Chief Accounting Officer of Gables and prior to joining Gables in 1994, she was a Manager in the audit practice of Arthur Andersen LLP. Dawn currently serves on the Executive Committee of the National Multifamily Housing Council and as chairman of its Investment Committee. She is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and previously served as co-chair of its Accounting Committee. In addition, Dawn serves on the Board of Directors of DFB Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and as chairman of its Audit Committee. Dawn is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of The Ohio State University, serving as a member of the Alumni Advisory Board of the Fisher College of Business since 2005.

Tour the Park 365 Days a Year

Due to the increasing popularity of the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s Docent-led History Tours, the Conservancy has decided to publish a self-guided tour! This allows tourists and locals to experience a tour of the Park regardless of what day or time it is. Download the printable and foldable PDF to experience Piedmont Park in a whole new way. From learning about how the Conservancy has impacted the Park to gorgeous views of Lake Clara Meer, the tour is sure to provide new knowledge and great photograph opportunities of Atlanta’s green heart.

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The PDF can be printed front and back, and then folded into two brochures for easy carrying.

Snow Tips from the Piedmont Park Conservancy

Atlanta now has a snow day!

It is a wonderful time to come to Piedmont Park and capture that perfect photograph! From white landscapes to sledding, we want you to take advantage of this rare opportunity. We hope you have a safe and fun time in the park this weekend.

Please read the following important reminders to ensure that YOU and your friends/loved ones leave the park have the best memories with minimal park impact.

-Be mindful of park treasures: Please do not sled on or conduct any activities on sensitive areas. This includes areas but is not limited to flower beds, growing trees, wildlife habitats, and historical monuments. Do not climb poles or trees.

-BYOS: Bring your OWN sled. Please bring a safe material to slide on. Leave park materials (banners, trash lids) to avoid unintentional damage & costs to the Conservancy.

-Leave no trace: After sledding or making snowballs, bring your materials back home with you or dispose of them in the proper disposal bins. Staff is limited in the park this weekend, therefore trash cans may get full quickly. If we all pull together and bring our trash home, that would help immensely.

-Bundle your pup: Paws get cold too! We encourage you to dress your four-legged friends in warm attire so that they can enjoy the snow too!

We hope that you have an amazing time in the park! Thank you for reading these tips and keeping Atlanta’s favorite park safe and beautiful. Again, please share this with anyone you know that may come to the park to enjoy the snow.