Over 70 Trees Planted in Piedmont Park

With a rapidly increasing population in Atlanta, fighting negative environmental impacts can seem impossible. However, the solution to this issue can be found in Piedmont Park: trees.

To prepare for the increase in visitors that spring brings, the Piedmont Park Conservancy has been hard at work over the past two months to ensure that the Park stays green and gorgeous for all. After collaborating with Trees Atlanta, Grady High School and our own staff and board members, 74 new trees were planted on Oak Hill, the Meadow and in the Dog Parks. These trees will help keep the Park cooler during the warm spring and summer months, remove pollution from the air and be a home for native birds and other pollinators.

Urban trees provide a multitude of benefits for all Park visitors including clean air, shade in the summer, a food source for pollinators and  a connection to a place and time. Newly planted trees offer hope for the future, and mature trees that live for 100 years act as historical markers for time and events. – Erica Glasener, Community Involvement and Events Manager

The Piedmont Park Conservancy is looking forward to continuing our dedication to providing a green space that is clean, safe and beautiful. However, we cannot do it alone. Your donation supports our efforts and keeps historic Piedmont Park clean, green and active.

PC: Bee Downtown

Bee Aware: Spring May Bring Honeybee Colonies to Piedmont Park

If you’ve visited Piedmont Park recently, you may have noticed something unusual in the trees near the Invesco Beehives in the Piedmont Commons. You may also wonder if it was left there on accident.

Photo Credit: Bee Downtown

These biodegradable landscaping pots were hung in the trees on purpose by our friends at Bee Downtown. The pots are called “swarm traps” and are used for best beekeeping practices from the months of March through July. Honeybee colonies grow quickly, and when they outgrow their hive, spread through a process called swarming.

PC: Bee Downtown

Photo Credit: Bee Downtown

When a colony swarms, 60% of the bees leave the hive to search for a new one. The group takes flight, clusters up and latches on to whatever they can find while scout bees look for a new home. This is where the swarm traps are put to use. They provide a home for the colony and allow Bee Downtown to safely relocate the bees to a more permanent home.

While alarming at first, honeybee swarms are harmless. The bees have no home so they have nothing to defend and their bellies are so full of honey that they can’t bend over to sting!

Photo Credit: Bee Downtown

If you see a swarm anywhere, whether it’s on a tree or in a box, please call or text the Lead BDT Beekeeper, Nick Weaver, at 678-779-8143 or Pam Allen at 770-310-1673. 

If you have any bee-related questions or concerns, please email info@bee-downtown.com

Top Ways to Celebrate Your Wedding in Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park is no stranger to celebrating people’s most precious moments. From learning to ride a bike to daily strolls to keep active, Piedmont Park plays a role in all generations’ lifestyles! Now you’re engaged, and you are searching for the perfect spots to commemorate your wedding! Check out these top ways YOU can celebrate your wedding in Piedmont Park.

Engagement and Wedding Photos

One of the most popular destinations for pictures, Piedmont Park offers several vantage points to Atlanta’s fiancés and newlyweds!

Wedding Venues

Piedmont Park has three historic, gorgeous venues available to searching brides and grooms. The historical buildings, beautiful landscaping and iconic monuments in Piedmont Park create a unique fairy tale day for any wedding couple.

Dockside – Recite your vows on the dock or lush green lawn followed by a reception in the historic Visitor’s Center (under 50 guests), or any of our other rental venues.

Greystone – Host your ceremony on the back terrace overlooking the pool and Lake Clara Meer followed by an elegant reception inside the stately venue.

Magnolia Hall – Imagine your special day on a lush green lawn, just steps away from the renovated historic stable where your guests will enjoy dinner and dancing.

Rehearsal Dinner

Have your hopes set on a different venue, but want to incorporate Piedmont Park? Host your rehearsal dinner at one of Piedmont Park’s venues. Guests can enjoys walks before, during or after your dinner. Family will want to take those once-in-a-lifetime opportunity photos against the Atlanta skyline. People will be able to enjoy an iconic piece of Atlanta while still celebrating your union!

2020 Spring and Summer Events (Podcast)

Do you know what is coming up in Piedmont Park this year? Enjoy this podcast with the Piedmont Park Conservancy and the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio to get the scoop on 2020 events!

Original Blog and Podcast

Winter Works (Video)

Winter is the Conservancy’s time to shine! From restoring playgrounds and historical buildings to planting trees and raking leaves (so many leaves…), the Piedmont Park Conservancy is as busy as ever.

The winter months are crucial to building the foundation of a healthy park that leads to a beautiful spring, summer and fall to be enjoyed by all visitors.

“We are a 365 days a year Park.”

See what members of the Piedmont Park Conservancy operations team had to say about maintaining the Park in the winter.


Year-round support from park passionate individuals is essential to help us achieve our mission of keeping Piedmont Park clean, green, safe and active.

Behind the Stalls: Celebrating Lorenzo’s 20th Anniversary

“Watch your step,” he warned as a team member was walking down the stairs, leading to the freshly mopped floors.

Lorenzo was in the middle of doing his daily clean up. After taking out the trash, mopping the floors and cleaning all the bathrooms in Piedmont Park, he was only halfway done with his job for the day.

“In a way, Lorenzo touches everybody, because the bathrooms are the first thing people look for when they come to the Park,” Terrell Henderson, Piedmont Park Conservancy’s Director of Special Events and Outreach said. “We always get compliments on how good the bathrooms are for a public park.”

Twenty years ago, Lorenzo was working for the City of Atlanta as a professional landscaper when he met Chris Nelson, the former COO of the Conservancy.

“It seemed like a nice organization,” Lorenzo recalled. “Chris said, ‘work with us.’ I told him, ‘Give me two more weeks, and I’ll be there.”

It has been history ever since. Now Lorenzo continues to do his favorite work, maintaining the park and making it “real clean” through landscaping and cleaning all the bathrooms in the Park, which he does every day.

After his clean up, he joins the other landscapers and helps with tasks such as raking the leaves, changing the doggy bags, or picking up litter in places that most people rarely pay attention. Driving in the golf cart, he always waves hello to passersby and asks them how they are doing.

“I like to see the outside, the Park beautified, the change in colors, the butterflies, birds and nice people coming through the Park,” Lorenzo said.

lorenzo holding card

A Christmas Card from Lorenzo’s Favorite Person from the Park

As one of the longest working employees of the Conservancy, Lorenzo was able to witness how the Park has improved over the years alongside him. Lorenzo hopes to continue to see improvements in the Park and believes that he will work at the Conservancy until he retires.

“I just like being here.”

The Conservancy is thankful for Lorenzo continuing service at the Park and are looking forward to seeing him for hopefully another 20 years. Thank you, Lorenzo!

Author: Jessica Vue

Want to read more stories about Piedmont Park Conservancy staff? Visit our Facebook page at: facebook.com/PiedmontParkATL

How to Exercise Safely During the Cold Season

When winter’s long and cold days descend, it can be hard to wake up in the morning, let alone exercise outside.

However, exercising outdoors is good for your body and mind any time of year, especially during the winter months—as long as you pay attention to a few rules regarding safety, gear and the type of exercise. By taking these measures, cold-weather workouts can be comfortable, injury-free and most important, fun.

Note—Talk to your doctor before you brave the cold outdoors. Exercise should be safe for almost everyone, even in plummeting temperatures. But if you have certain chronic conditions, such as Raynaud’s disease, asthma, or heart issues, consult with your doctor first to review any precautions to take based on your condition.

The Primary Risks

Frostbite

During the cold season, there are exercise-related dangers that go beyond slipping on ice and falling.

Frostbite is a cold-induced injury that occurs when unprotected skin is in direct contact with the cold air for an extended period, “freezing” in the process. This usually happens when skin temperatures drop below 30 degrees F. Susceptible areas include the cheeks, nose and ears, as well as the hands and feet.

Fortunately, frostbite isn’t technically an acute injury—it doesn’t strike out of the blue. Stop it in its tracks by paying attention to the following signs:

  • Tingling sensations
  • Burning
  • Aching
  • Numbness
  • Skin redness

If you suspect frostbite, get out of the cold quickly, and warm the affected area by running it under lukewarm water. Never rub the area as doing so may further damage your skin. Seek medical attention if symptoms don’t subside.

Hypothermia

One of the challenging and potentially life-threatening risks of winter training is hypothermia. This condition consists of an abnormal drop in body temperature, plummeting to dangerous levels. It happens when your body fails to warm itself, losing more heat than it produces, especially when core temperature dips below 95 degrees F.

When this occurs, your vital systems, especially your cardiovascular and nervous systems, cease to function properly and leads to heart trouble, respiratory failure and even death.

The key to preventing hypothermia is heeding the early warning signs. These include:

  • Abnormal fast breathing
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Fumbling or difficult movements
  • Intense shivering
  • Loss of focus and coordination
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Confusion and/or poor decision making.
  • Pain in extremities

As soon as you experience two or more of these side effects, stop running on the spot, and get into a warm bath. This should help get your temperature up. Showing no improvement? Call 9-1-1 immediately.

 

Follow these guidelines for exercising safely during the cold months.

Re-Think Your Clothing

The first step to prepare for cold-weather outdoor exercise is getting the right attire. Suitable materials include nylon, polyesters, and polypropylene. The best combination is to mix these technical fabrics that wick away moisture while keeping your body dry and warm. Wool or fleece, along with a water-proof, wind-resistant outer layer all work well.

Avoid cotton. The stuff soaks up sweat and rain, and holds in moisture.

Here’s your essential workout gear when stocking for the winter season.

  • Medium-weight base layer shirt
  • Hat, headband, or ski mask
  • Running gloves or mittens
  • A running jacket
  • Running tights or pants
  • Merino wool socks or those made of technical fabric

Use Layers

Layers help trap warm air next to your body and fend off the elements while keeping you warm and comfortable the entire time. They can also be easily removed as conditions change during your workout.  Zip or unzip your running jacket, remove your mittens or take off a mid-layer to adjust as you run.

Start with a thin, basic layer of high-performance fabric to soak up to excess sweat away from your skin. Then, add a mid-layer of fleece or wool for extra insulation and warmth.

For your outer layer—or the shell—a light water-resistance jacket works best.  This helps expel moisture and protect you from the elements.

The 10-Degree Rule

Regardless of how cold it is, you’ll warm up quickly once you start working up a sweat. That’s why when choosing gear for cold-weather exercise, the rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 10 to 15 degrees warmer than the actual outside temperature—no matter how tempting is to overdress to stave off the cold.

Of course, you’ll feel cold at first, but once you start moving and raising your core temperature, you’ll find yourself much more comfortable.

Freezing Levels

When temperatures dip to freezing levels, blood flow is prioritized to the core, so be sure to protect your extremities such as your head, hands, and feet from the cold. Since we lose a large percentage of body heat through the head, headcover is non-negotiable.  A hat or headband protects your ears and head. For extreme cold wear a ski mask, scarf, or balaclava to cover your face.

Protect your hands with a thin pair of glove liners made of technical fabric—such as polypropylene—under a pair of mittens lined with fleece or wool.

Last but not least, protect your feet. Opt for socks that wick away moisture while keeping your feet warm. Think SmartWool socks. Also, make sure the shoes are one half-size bigger than you usually wear to allow wiggle room for thick or multiple socks.

To avoid slipping or falling, choose sports shoes with enough traction to prevent falls, especially if it’s snowy or icy.  You can also use special traction devices that attach to your trainers, such as Yaktrax.

Keep it Close

Keep your running routes close to home base. Choose a well-lit, familiar, loop that’s relatively short, especially if you’re running alone. Avoid exercising anywhere you don’t feel completely safe.

Be Seen

When it’s dark outside, you must be visible to other people, especially motorists. Put on reflective, light-colored clothing, such as fluorescent yellow or white, to help you be better seen by drivers, bikers, and pedestrians.

Consider wearing a lightweight headlamp or donning a flashing light, especially early in the morning or late in the evening.  Run against traffic, drivers will see you more easily and you will see them.

Carry Your Essentials

Have some cash and cell phone so in case of an emergency. I recommend that you carry a Road ID bracelet that contains your name, age, blood type, and emergency contacts—you know, all the important things just in case.

Conclusion

Fortunately, many of the risks associated with exercising in winter can be easily thwarted by listening to your body, dressing appropriately and taking the right safety measures.

Please feel free to leave your winter workouts stories and questions in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep exercising strong.

Guest Author: David Dack

About the author:

David Dack is an established fitness blogger and running expert. When he’s not training for his next marathon, he’s doing research and trying to help as many people as possible to share his fitness philosophy. Check his blog Runners Blueprint for more info.

The Greenbuild Conference Tours the Six Springs Wetlands

On Nov. 18, attendees of the Greenbuild Conference, the largest annual event for green building professionals worldwide, stopped by Piedmont Park to tour the Six Springs Wetlands and its unique stormwater management.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase the work that Piedmont Park Conservancy has done,” Howard Wertheimer, VP and COO, said. “Not only do we have the Wetlands, but we also have Greystone as a LEED certified building.”

The tour was led by Chris Nelson, former VP and COO of the Piedmont Park Conservancy until 2014. Conservancy staff members also joined the tour, which highlighted the innovative techniques used during the stream and wetland restoration of the Six Springs.

“Out of all the projects I have had the opportunity to work on, the restoration of Clear Creek and its accompanying tributaries and springs was my favorite,” Nelson said.

The Wetlands were taken over by kudzu and other invasive plants, until the North Woods Expansion Stream Restoration project took place in 2008 during the Park expansion.

The tour was attended by people from across the United States and the globe including California, New York, Philadelphia, Ohio, Georgia, Japan, France and London.

“Before the restoration began, it appeared to be just an ordinary overgrown mess of kudzu and other invasive plants,” Nelson said. “With the removal of the invasives, tons of discarded debris and the daylighting of the springs, it is now considered to be one of the premier areas for birding and for experiencing and connecting with nature in the Park. For me, it’s that hidden gem waiting to be explored.”

The system was formerly a concrete flume that was replaced with large boulders, imitating natural channel design techniques. The group observed and walked over the rocks, circling back to the bridge that rises above the Park.

“The Park contains an incredible wetland eco-system made up of a number of underground springs that continue to feed Lake Clara Meer and contribute to the flow of Clear Creek,” Nelson said. “A large number of these springs can be seen in the designated Six Springs area behind Magnolia Hall.  Its unique water system supports the most diverse plant and animal life found in the park and Midtown.”

During the tour, the group heard the city of Atlanta: People jogging, people on scooters and dogs barking wedged between the ecosystem that the Park has preserved over the last 30 years, making Piedmont Park the true green heart of Atlanta.

If you’re interested in scheduling a tour, you can email tours@piedmontpark.org. The Park hosts free historical tours at 11 a.m. on Saturdays during the Green Market until November 30th.

If you are interested in supporting the Park, you learn more about membership at piedmontpark.org/membership.

Author: Jessica Vue

Jeff Galloway’s Piedmont Park Memories

Jimmy Carter. Changing The Peachtree Road Race Course. A New Relay Race.

I “discovered” Piedmont Park by accident. It was 1960, and I was warming up for my race at a track meet at Grady Stadium. I was nervous, the track was crowded and I wanted to run away from the crowd to settle my mind. I ran across 10th Street and was drawn into the calming natural environment of Piedmont Park. I returned to the track and ran one of my best races that year.

Life experiences during the next decade brought me to Connecticut for college, sailing with the United States Navy off Vietnam, Tallahassee for graduate school and the Olympics in Munich, Germany. By 1975, I was drawn back to Atlanta and looking for the best location for my running store: Phidippides – the original running store in Atlanta, and in the United States.

Before choosing from three possible locations, I took a three-mile run around each store. Once I ran from Ansley Mall along Piedmont Road and found the Park, my choice was made. I remembered my run in high school and was excited to have the wonderful loops and fields so close to the store.

“Regardless of the number of stress items on my “to do list,” the Park’s calming hormones worked their magic as soon as I entered the tree-lined sanctuary.”

As Phidippides became the headquarters for the Peachtree Road Race during the big growth years of 1975-1978, I ran many miles throughout every area of the Park because I had to squeeze in my run during hectic work days. Regardless of the number of stress items on my “to do list,” the Park’s calming hormones worked their magic as soon as I entered the tree-lined sanctuary.

During the first two years that I served on the management team of “The Peachtree”, the race finished at 5 Points in the downtown district. As I was looking for ways to improve the course, I was inspired to change the finish to Piedmont Park during my one of runs from Phidippides. With the help of Director Bill Neace and our Public Affairs Director Bob Brennan, we were able to make this move which is now noted as one of the race highlights.

A special sighting occurred on one my pre-dawn runs in 1978 along Lake Clara Meer. There was a vehicle ahead with some runners in a tight group headed toward me. Since vehicles were not allowed in the park, I was curious. On the outside of this group were several huge guys intently looking at me. As the group ran under a streetlight, I saw President Jimmy Carter on his morning run!

“As the group ran under a streetlight, I saw President Jimmy Carter on his morning run!”

While Piedmont Park was a wonderful resource during the ‘70s and ‘80s, there were a number of problems including areas that were not very safe. This was BC: “Before Conservancy,” which was founded in 1989. There has been a dramatic upgrade in the Park, including safety, due to the work of this great organization.

My favorite run into the Park starts on the BeltLine behind Ansley Mall and into Piedmont Park without having to cross a street. I love to see the dogs in the dog park and then run over to Park Tavern and up to Lake Clara Meer. My Galloway Training Program members have run thousands of miles in Piedmont Park. I trained for my personal marathon record there (2:16), finding an ideal variety of flat and rolling terrain all inside the Park.

My wife Barbara and I are proud to host a 5K, half marathon and kids runs on December 14 and 15 with the major beneficiary being the Piedmont Park Conservancy. This year, we have an exciting new relay division of the half marathon for walkers and runners during the Northside Hospital Orthopedic Institute’s Half Marathon, powered by Jeff Galloway. Gather your friends, co-workers, and family members to enter a team. The last segment is less than three miles and entirely inside beautiful Piedmont Park. I will be at the finish line for pictures and congratulations.

I have run in many great parks across the globe. Piedmont Park is truly “world class” due to the work of the Conservancy. Join us for our 6th Annual Race Weekend and support this wonderful organization. Register today at www.jeffgalloway131.com.

Author: Jeff Galloway

Author Bio: Native Atlantan Jeff Galloway ran in the Munich Olympics, founded the first running store in the US (Phidippides), has coached over a million runners and walkers, and directs the Northside Hospital Orthopedic Institute’s Half Marathon, powered by Jeff Galloway which finishes in Piedmont Park.

Testing on Treats: Children and Teens Become Scientists for Halloween

For October’s Homeschool Day, students of all ages learned the scientific method with the help of Halloween candy.

K – 5th Grade’s White demo activity, where grade students learned about density, the scientific method and how to make a hypothesis

6th – 12th Grade’s demo activity, where middle and high schoolers learned how to apply the scientific method and create

Walker’s jack-o-lantern, featuring a hydrogen peroxide solution.

Dana Buskovitz, education coordinator, and Kaycee Walker, assistant education coordinator, collaborate together on a science lesson plan for each Homeschool Day, which started one year ago.

“We started Homeschool Day because we wanted to reach out to all students,” Dana said.

The lesson plan was Halloween inspired, just in time for the upcoming holiday. However, there was a twist.

Grade school students hypothesized which candy bars would sink or float.

Middle and high schooler students hypothesized which type of solvents would dissolve candy corn the fastest.

Students were not allowed to eat the candy! But they were able to play with their food as they performed science experiments.

Grade schoolers completed a STEM challenge to construct a cube from gummy drops and toothpicks.

Middle and high schoolers built catapults out of forks, spoons, popsicle sticks and rubber bands. They then competed in a candy corn launching contest to see whose would go the farthest.

If you would like to join the Conservancy for next month’s Homeschool Day, you can register at piedmontpark.org/homeschool. If you would like to sign up for a field trip in the Park, you can schedule a field trip at piedmontpark.org/field-trips.

Author: Jessica Vue