A Look Inside the Colorful World of Piedmont Park’s Spring Blooms

Spring is in full swing at Piedmont Park. The air is filled with fragrant and bountiful blooms that create a non-stop show. A green sanctuary in the middle of Atlanta, the Park is home to a diversity of trees that provide not only beauty, but habitat for hundreds of pollinators including bees, butterflies, birds and other critters that live in the Park.

From majestic oaks to diminutive dogwoods, these trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals also provide visitors with four seasons of color and a green oasis to enjoy throughout the year.

And if you’re inspired you may want to try growing some of these plants in your own garden.

Below is a list of garden-worthy plants to consider. Both the common and botanical names are listed so that if you are shopping for plants then you will know what to ask for.

Dogwoods, a favorite spring bloomer at Piedmont Park

Autumn Fern- Dryopteris erythrosora: This exotic ornamental makes itself right at home in southern gardens. The new growth emerges with bronzy tinges before it turns green which remind some of autumn.

Carolina Silverbell- Halesia carolina: This native small to medium sized flowering tree displays beautiful white bell shaped flowers. Full sun or part shade.

Carolina Silverbell, a great native plant with striking flowers.

Dogwood- Cornus florida: There are hundreds of native dogwoods growing throughout the park, easily recognizable by their beautiful white bracts in spring. The red fall fruits and red leaf color make it a standout in the fall.

Fringe Tree- Chionanthus virginicus: This native flowering tree produces masses of fleecy white flowers in spring.

Hellebore- Helleborus x hybrida, also known as Lenten roses: This evergreen groundcover blooms in late winter to early spring.

Native azaleas fill the air with their sweet perfume.

Native Azaleas- Rhododendron spp. including R. austrinum, and  R. canescens: bloom over a period of months beginning in early spring and continuing until late summer.

Redbuds- Cercis canadensis: is a small flowering tree with distinct lavender-pink flowers that appear before the heart shaped leaves.

Redbud flowers appear before the leaves emerge in spring.

White Oak- Quercus alba: This majestic native gets better and better with age. Be sure to give this beauty plenty of space as it becomes a large tree growing to heights of 50 to 80 feet tall, or more.  Oakleaf Hydrangeas-Hydrangea quercifolia- The leaves remind some of oak trees and the large white flowers standout in the landscape.

Want to do more for Piedmont Park’s plant life? Visit piedmontpark.org/support-the-park/commemorative-donations/ and learn how to plant your very own tree!

Author: Erica Glasener

Piedmont Park: A Place for Friends

Are you looking for a place to make new friends or new memories? Come on over to Piedmont Park and experience life in Atlanta’s favorite park! Piedmont Park is a bustling urban green space and full of life every day. Here are just a few ways you can get involved!

1) The Active Oval: The Active Oval is a staple of Piedmont Park and one of the best places to meet new people. Many different intramural sports teams reserve the space for their games, and there’s always room for another player. It also has a full track and fitness equipment, making it a great place to get your workout in!

2) Free Yoga on the Promenade: Every fourth Monday of the month, Piedmont Park offers a free yoga class on the Promenade. Grab your mat and head over because you’re bound to meet a ton of great people and maybe even find that workout buddy you’ve been searching for!

3) Picnics in the Park: Picnics in Piedmont Park are very popular among Atlantans and one of the best ways to spend a Sunday afternoon in the city. Pack your favorite snacks, round up your favorite people, and pick one of the many scenic spots in Piedmont Park to kick back and enjoy each other’s company!

4) Green Market: Every Saturday from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM, Piedmont Park hosts the Green Market, a local farmers market dedicated to bringing locally sourced produce to the Atlanta community. Start your Saturday right and come out to enjoy the incredible food trucks, unbeatably fresh produce, and captivating live music at one of Midtown’s favorite farmers markets!

5) Dog Parks: The Piedmont Park Dog Parks are one of the most utilized spaces at the Park. Grab your four-legged friends and check out our off-leash parks. Locals frequent the dog parks, making it one of the best places to meet new people. Not only will you meet dozens of your neighbors but even your pup will find a furry friend!

Whether you’re looking to get active, or looking for a spot to relax, Piedmont Park has a place for you! Piedmont Park welcomes everybody and is the perfect place to engage with your new community or to make memories with your friends!

Follow Piedmont Park on Instagram @piedmontpark to see more of what life is like inside the Park!

Author: Olivia Gage

What You Missed at This Year’s Doggie Dash and 5K

On Sunday, March 10, the Piedmont Park Conservancy hosted its 6th annual Doggie Dash and 5K, and it was a hit! Over 130 people and their pups showed up on a cool Sunday morning for the race. The energy was high, the barking was loud, and the dashers were ready to take off!

With their owners in tow, the dogs turned on the jets and began their Doggie Dash journey. While some of the dogs were ready to take on the whole 5K, others participated in the less intense one-mile dash. Either way, all pups were geared up and ready to go!

Lizzie Colville was the first place winner for the Women’s bracket coming in at 21 minutes and 41 seconds, and Rob Mullet came in first for the men finishing the race in just 16 minutes and 22 seconds! Winners at the various levels received prizes from Spa Sydell, The W Hotel Midtown, City Tap, Park Tavern and Phidippides Running Store.

This event was a great success, raking in over $3,400, all of which goes toward maintaining the Piedmont Park Dog Parks. With over 700,000 dogs visiting the dog parks each year, the Conservancy needs all the help it can get to ensure pooches can enjoy the off-leash dog parks.

Want to stay informed about upcoming dog related events? Click the link and visit our calendar. You won’t want to miss the next one!

https://www.piedmontpark.org/calendar/

Author: Olivia Gage

Exploring Piedmont Park’s Northwoods

One of Atlanta’s best features is its easy access to incredible outdoor experiences in the Appalachians. For this reason, many of us can’t imagine living in a city without a short drive to abundant natural space. But for those who feel a lot more relaxed outside, midweek in the city can start to feel a little too cramped. Luckily, you don’t have to wait for the weekend!

You are probably familiar with Piedmont Park’s popular destinations like the Meadow, or the Dog Parks, and all 200 plus acres of the Park are great places to spend some time outdoors. Just north of those locations, though, the paths lead you through a tucked away tree lined expansion to the Park. This is over 53 acres added in 2011 that boast nature trails and conservation areas, Legacy Fountain, the Northwoods, and the Piedmont Commons. After a brief foray through these paths you’re sure to find your breathing calmed and eyes open to the chirping birds, rustling chipmunks, and all the colors of life. Here are some amazing views in the Piedmont Park expansion that feel miles away from the city.

Where better in the Park to sit and read or write for an hour, or two, or three or four? You don’t get the distractions of festivals out here, just the ambient sounds of nature and the words on the page!

A short walk past the Conservancy offices is the Promenade Lawn, a beautiful clearing on a plateau in the treetops to the east.

A look at forest serenity, but only a stone’s throw from your door! Find the wooden staircase in the Walker Woods for these unpaved views.

Another great place to sit and read, you can find this stone mini-theater in the Six Springs Wetland near the Dog Parks.

Straight outta Narnia, you find yourself on the other side of the wardrobe in the Northwoods’ forested paths.

Author: William Lange

All the Reasons You Can’t Miss Splish Splash Doggie Bash

Mark your calendars because on October 6 and 7, the Piedmont Park Conservancy is letting the dogs out, literally! Come celebrate the annual Splish Splash Doggie Bash with your pup and get your fill of selfies, fun, and puppy love. Hundreds of dogs leave this event every year with a smile on their face and a wagging tail, don’t let your dog miss out!

  1. Think about the photo ops! Your Instagram followers will be eating up that slow-mo video of your pup jumping in the pool, or the adorable moment when they make a friend, definitely not an opportunity you want to miss.
  2. The bar. Have a cold drink and mingle with fellow dog lovers while your dog explores and takes in all the excitement.
  3. THE GIVEAWAYS!! The Piedmont Park Conservancy has lots of friends in the dog community, and many of them will be giving away free swag.
  4. The proceeds help fund Piedmont Park Dog Parks. Want your dog to have a blast at the dog pool party of the year, and help maintain their favorite park? Bring them to Splish Splash!
  5. Last but definitely not least, the joy you’ll bring your pups by bringing them to Splish Splash. The Piedmont Park Conservancy pulls out all the stops for this event, and help bring your dog’s dream day to life!

Tickets are on sale now at piedmontpark.org/splishsplash. Get your tickets for the session that works best for you, but get them quick before they sell out!

Author: Olivia Gage

Party for Piedmont Park was a Benefit Bash

A silent auction that was far from quiet.

At the end of the night, it’s safe to assume guests had fun when you can still hear them singing “Purple Rain” as they make their way home. While Party for Piedmont Park is one of the most important events benefitting the Piedmont Park Conservancy, it is also a joyful celebration of the life of Piedmont Park. Great food, drinks, music, and auction items all contributed to a wonderful evening of support.

On Thursday, September 6, over 400 guests arrived at Greystone, a gorgeous venue hall with original granite walls overlooking the pool and Lake Clara Meer. A look into the crowd showed the beautiful diversity of Piedmont Park’s community. The Park exists for all Atlantans to enjoy, so it was no surprise to see people from many ages and walks of life showing up to support their favorite park.

The auction items were as diverse as the crowd. With artwork, furniture, sports paraphernalia, experience packages and more, there was something for everyone to get excited about bidding on. There aren’t many silent auctions where you can leave with a signed Matt Ryan jersey in one hand and gardening supplies in the other! Winning guests had a lot to boast over as they collected their items at the end of the night.

On top of the auction, guests enjoyed a plethora of lavish small bites from local establishments, including beverages and sushi by Park Tavern. The food stations lined the outside of the wing with the auction displays, so guests could pop over and try a new food before viewing the next bidding option.

Thank you to all who made the night so memorable, whether you were chilling by the pool, checking out the electric vehicle demonstration, getting silly at the photobooth, or dancing the night away!

For all you dog lovers out there, check out Splish Splash Doggie Bash on October 6 and 7! Piedmont Park’s pool will open up for your pup to swim and play. Register online before it fills up!

Author: William Lange


The Red Leash

Liz was smitten with Cooper the second she saw him. A friend told her that the local animal shelter was in the midst of an overcrowding problem and needed more than a few dogs to be adopted, so they were offering half off adoptions that weekend. Eager for a fur friend to keep her company, Liz pounced on the opportunity.

Cooper was seated towards the back of a small cage. The pup, a yellow lab with floppy ears that nearly covered his eyes, perked up when he spotted Liz. It was as if Cooper knew she was there to get him.

The cage opened, Liz picked him up and fastened a red leash to his new collar.

Liz lived in a sleek, high-rise apartment in Midtown. Their daily excursions consisted of a morning and nightly walk around the concrete jungle. Whenever Liz so much as looked in the direction of the red leash, Cooper would jump with excitement. He was so excited on these walks that he’d pull and pull away from the leash, eager for a chance to discover the world around him.

As time went on, however, the pulling began to lessen.  The red leash was no longer consistently taut.

Liz noticed this change of demeanor in Cooper, from the lively ball of energy that happily accompanied her on morning strolls, to something more somber…sadder. Liz asked friends in the area what she should do. They suggested things like changing his diet, buying him new toys, and giving him treats more often. She tried them all, but nothing seemed to work.

Her parents called to let her know about a dog park they’d heard about at Piedmont Park. Fortunately, the Park was only a few short blocks away!

She hurried home and got Cooper’s red leash from its hook.

When they took a turn they didn’t usually take on their walks, Cooper peered back at Liz to make sure they weren’t lost. He’d been his usual self—calm, slightly subdued.

Finally, they caught sight of the dog park, a huge expanse of mulched land, shaded by surrounding trees. Liz opened the gates to the park one by one. When they were inside, she reached down to unclip Cooper’s red leash. Cooper stood there.

Having become so used to keeping his red leash on while outside, Cooper didn’t realize it was off!

Liz encouraged him to go play with a little nudge. When he realized that his collar wasn’t connected to his leash, he barked happily and made a mad dash for a group of other fur friends huddled around the agility course. This was the most spirited Liz had seen him in weeks! He was running around, sticking his nose in new places and wagging his tail so hard, Liz thought it might fly off. She placed the red leash in her purse and watched Cooper explore.

Nowadays, Liz and Cooper visit the dog park on a weekly basis. Cooper couldn’t be happier with their new routine. He finally feels free to explore and is always ready to discover something new in nature. His red leash is no longer holding him back.

Greenspace is imperative in any large city. Benefits like improved air quality, resource conservation, urban beautification and space for anyone to roam around freely surrounded by nature are what make having it so important. The Piedmont Park Conservancy is proud to be a part of the effort to keep greenspaces like Piedmont Park safe, well-maintained and open for all to enjoy—including pups like Cooper!

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

Recap: Runaway Bride 5K!

If you were in Piedmont Park last weekend and thought you saw a woman running in an ankle-length wedding dress, you weren’t just seeing things. Atlanta’s Run Away Bride 5K, a wedding-inspired race hosted by the Piedmont Park Conservancy, took place in the Park on Sunday, July 22.

Race participants, a medley of married, engaged and single folks, wore wedding attire of all kinds for this unique race benefiting the Conservancy. Many dressed up in fun veils and bowties, while others took it up a few notches, clad in full bridal garb. Park visitors were treated to a wedding processional of sorts as the runners made their way past! There were tutus, bouquets, bridesmaid’s dresses, and a 20-year-old bridal gown worn by its original owner, Carol, who also held an impromptu bouquet toss.

Thank you our runners for dressing up for the occasion; Exhale Spa for sponsoring the event; and W Hotel (Midtown), Spa Sydell, Urban Body Fitness and Dancing Dogs Yoga for providing prizes for our winners.

Guest Post by Aliya Seymour

 

Ryan and Sammi: A Dockside Proposal

Ryan and Sammi met as law students at the University of Florida. Friends at first, they grew closer when they both ended up moving to Orlando to begin their careers. Soon after, Ryan realized Sammi was the “one!”

With an engagement now on the horizon, Ryan set out to look for the perfect place to ask Sammi to marry him. He decided Atlanta would be an excellent option, a unique choice considering neither of them live in the city.

He scoured the net for the perfect place to propose, eventually deciding on Piedmont Park. Nestled in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, the Park offered a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Ryan wanted someplace that offered an air of seclusion, but wasn’t too much of a departure from typical outings in Atlanta’s midtown area.

Where in Piedmont Park did the proposal take place?

Ryan decided to propose to Sammi at Dockside, a lakeside location surrounded by a gorgeous array of trees.

“Aside from its undeniable beauty, the Dockside gave us an opportunity to have a fairly private moment in an outdoor setting,” he said.

The area was closed off and decorated with romantic standing flower bouquets and lit candles.

Sammi couldn’t believe how well Ryan had done at choosing a place that allowed them to feel like they were in their own little world.

“I’m still a little in shock at what a great job Ryan did at planning the proposal and what a gorgeous location he picked.  It was fairly private in that when we walked down the steps and onto the dock, the trees surrounding the water hid all the other people in the park.  It really felt like our own private moment.  And then when I said yes and Ryan stood back up, everyone who could see us through the trees clapped and yelled congratulations.  It was adorable!”

How did the Piedmont Park Conservancy help?

Jane Rollo, Director of Facility Rentals at the Piedmont Park Conservancy, was instrumental in helping to realize Ryan’s dream proposal. She directed him to Courtney Surber Paz, an Atlanta-area event planner, who assisted in coordinating the details.

“She helped me visualize the proposal setting, select and utilize the right florist to create a romantic proposal setting (and have the flowers moved back to our hotel room after the proposal itself), procure a driver, a violinist, and, of course, a photographer,” Ryan said.

Sammi was positively thrilled with the way the day turned out.

“Honestly, everything about it was amazing.  I was so surprised and overwhelmed in the best way possible, and the beauty of the park definitely contributed to that. It was the perfect proposal location.”

Final Verdict?

“We’re going to make a point of coming back to Atlanta, probably annually at least, to celebrate our special moment there. I cannot speak highly enough of my experience with the Park. From start to finish, the Conservancy staff helped Sammi and I have a wonderful experience in a wonderful setting. I trusted them with one of the most important moments of my life, and I was right to do so.”

If you are interested in renting out Dockside or another venue for your special day, or if you would like to tour wedding venues please visit: piedmontpark.org/weddings

 

Guest Post by Aliya Seymour