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/

Lauren and Martin’s Piedmont Park Wedding

After meeting in college, Atlanta couple Lauren and Martin Avery got engaged and set out on a journey to find the perfect Atlanta wedding venue!

Without a recommendation from a catering company, the young couple would have never known that Piedmont Park is home to a variety of unique wedding venues. “The park is beautiful and presents so many opportunities for great pictures. I loved the flexibility of the venue,” said Lauren after seeing what Piedmont Park had to offer.

The Park was a memorable place for the couple, and they decided to hold their ceremony at Greystone. Lauren explained why Greystone was the perfect venue for her, “Greystone has so much character, you don’t have to go all out with decorations because its stone walls and high ceilings are so unique.”

Couples looking for a beautiful wedding venue, surrounded by nature, in the middle of busy Atlanta: Piedmont Park is the perfect spot. “If you want a memorable venue, you should look into getting married at the Park…you’re not just getting the venue; you’re getting the Park and its beauty,” says Lauren.

Consider Piedmont Park for your wedding and check out some of the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s venues – https://www.piedmontpark.org/weddings

Lauren and Martin’s Love Story:

It was a beautiful day in downtown Atlanta on the campus of Georgia State University. Lauren found herself on a street she never took at that time of day, as she walked back from missing her teacher during her office hours. On her way to the library, she saw a handsome young man she had never seen before named Martin, who was on his way to class. Catching each other’s eye, Martin and Lauren passed one another, walking in different directions. However, Martin came back and introduced himself. And three years later, Martin surprised Lauren, with the help of his family and her parents; he proposed on Thanksgiving in November of 2015.

Working with the Piedmont Park Conservancy Staff and Vendors:

It was very easy to work with the Piedmont Park Conservancy staff and the vendors. They were easy to reach by email and phone. Jane is very competent, accommodating and fun to work with.  It’s obvious the staff and vendors want you to have a memorable experience.

Favorite Part of Wedding:

The ceremony was my favorite part of the wedding. It was the prettiest day, perfect for an outside wedding. I was able to see all of our friends and family gathered to see us exchange our vows and marry each other.

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

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

Strength is Sexy…Time to Flex

In the past women had been taught to think that lifting weights will make you bulky or masculine.  It wasn’t until recently that we began to dabble in light toning and strength training.  The beauty of strength training is that you are always in control of how and what you want to look like.  It is important to have a systematic way of strength training that is both sustainable and safe.  Systematic, safe weight training means lifting an appropriate amount of weight while applying the proper repetitions through the full range of motion.  This is how my clients and class will move into weight lifting in the coming month.  I encourage everyone to take a reputable fitness class or work with a certified fitness trainer to ensure a proper training protocol when doing strength training.  In the meantime, here are some tips for the proper way to begin a strength training program with weights:

  1. Begin with light weights, high repetitions and full range of motion. Moving through the exercise with weights in the full range of motion is how to prep the ligaments, joints and tendons.
  2. All workouts should be full-body.  Encompassing low-body, upper-body and abdominal work.
  3. Back and Biceps, Chest and Triceps. Don’t forget legs and core. Although I advocate full-body workouts be specific as to how you group your exercises.
  4. The heart is a muscle to. Begin or end your workout with some form of exercise that is solely to increase your heart-rate, i.e a pre-workout run, 20 minutes on the bike after etc.
  5. Slightly increase either in volume of intensity every 3 to 4 weeks.  This is sure you are accomplishing steady gains.

Begin your strength journey with the Piedmont Park Conservancy and Love You Healthy’s LIFT classes! Learn More

Guest Post by Saidah Jones, Love You Healthy

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.

Something to Be Proud Of

Across the Table with President/CEO Mark Banta
By Annierra Matthews

Shuffling in my seat, I prepare to meet the face of the Piedmont Park Conservancy: President and CEO Mark Banta. He walks in with his typical jolly smile, and his token bottle of water. This month, the Conservancy is celebrating all of the pride for beautiful Piedmont Park. So this week, we wanted to hear it from the top: what is there to be proud of Piedmont Park?
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President and CEO Mark Banta

I start by asking “Why should neighbors and friends be proud of Piedmont Park?”

“Piedmont Park attracts over 4 million diverse visitors every year deriving from 134 zip codes,” says Banta, “The Park is neck and neck with Stone Mountain for the number one free place to visit in Georgia.” The park offers free access to over 200 acres to the Atlanta community and its tourists.

Also, Banta tells us that 88% of those visitors agree that Piedmont Park has enriched their life. “That is a statistic we should be very proud of,” he says.

Then I was curious and asked “How do you show your pride in Piedmont Park through your role as President and CEO?”

“[Being proud] is all encompassing in the job itself,” Banta says. “The role of the CEO is to make sure all the parts of the team work together to create the environment that we want: the customer service experience, the physical beauty of the park, and the programming. These are the elements that touch the public.”

I ask him what his favorite part of Piedmont Park is, and Banta gave me a direct answer. “I am proud that there is something for everyone,” says Banta, “the park is so big and active that different people with different interests all have something to find in Piedmont Park.”

“In what ways have your seen the local community show they’re proud of Piedmont Park?” I ask.

“When we have individuals who are willing to take their time—reducing their free time, exercise time or dog-walking time—and they instead come and invest it in Piedmont Park, then they are giving back to us,” he says. “They are being proud of this being their park, and they take ownership.”

“You’ll see people walk by and pick up and piece of trash, and you’ll see people say, ‘Hey, you have to clean up after your dog,’” Banta answers, “or they’ll tell the staff, ‘Thank you for what you do.’”

In addition, Banta shares another way the community expresses their pride for Piedmont Park. They recount memories and describe passion for the Park to the people in their lives. Fans “share their experiences with people through social media by posting pictures and sharing their stories,” he says.

I express to Banta that being the CEO to such a big park seems challenging. Banta responds that he “doesn’t look at being the CEO as a challenge, but rather an opportunity.” He describes the immense amount of possibilities for Piedmont Park and how the Conservancy is working every day to fulfill those dreams. “We just need to keep working on communication, be true to ourselves, and tell people who we are…then it gives them the opportunity to understand the importance of the Conservancy, appreciate that and support us.”

Four of the Best Fall Foliage Spots at Piedmont Park

UPDATE – November 6: Leaves are peaking! Visit Piedmont Park for that awesome fall photo and use #PiedmontParkProud when posting on social!

September 22 marked the first day of autumn, and we’re excited! During this season, plenty of fall activities occur. Families pose for holiday photos in front of red mountains. Children dive in large piles of crunchy yellow leaves for sport and contest. Couples partake in a picnic under the perfect orange-leafed tree. Others simply enjoy watching the leaves transform color, which they can easily observe at Piedmont Park. With that said, here are a few main areas that the Piedmont Park Conservancy recommends to view the fall foliage.

Piedmont Park in Fall

For one, the 14th Street gate near the Piedmont Driving Club is a popular location to watch the leaves change, according to Mark Nelson, the Director of Operations for the Piedmont Park Conservancy.

“We’ve got some large gingko trees that have a beautiful fall color,” Nelson says. “They turn bright yellow. When you have a nice clear day and that sun shines on those trees, it puts a yellow glow on the ground. A lot of people like taking photos under that tree.”

Nelson guesses that the gingko tree will probably turn quickly at the end of October, only lasting a few days.

Gingko Tree’s Leaves Changing

Gingko Tree’s Leaves Changing

Park Drive bridge, which is above the dog park and by the Meadow, is another location where visitors can watch the leaves change.

“You have a couple of bald cypress,” Nelson says. “You have red dawns and redwoods. They turn a really brilliant rust color. The bald cypress are in the lake, and the red dawns are behind it. They look like the same tree, but they’re not. If you come down Park Drive, on the left-hand side, just before you get to the garden and beehives, there’s a hickory that turns bright yellow. It’s really beautiful.”

Red Dawn Trees Along Lake Clara Meer

Oak Hill and the Active Oval are two more go-to spots for this activity.

“If you get up on Oak Hill and stand at the top, looking down toward the lake, you can see a lot of different colors, especially all the trees that surround the lake,” Nelson says. “It’s a nice area to look at fall colors, too. If you’re standing in the Active Oval and you look toward the city, you can see a lot of fall colors there, too.”

Pignut Hickory on Oak Hill

Nelson mentions the leaves aren’t changing as of yet. Perhaps the leaves may turn the first week of November.

“We’ve had such dry weather here in September leading into October,” he says. “They’re kind of late right now falling; we hadn’t had the cold temperatures yet for them to turn. However, we recently had a few cold mornings and cold evenings that tend to turn the leaves quicker. This week, I think we’ll get to see quite a few leaves turn color.”

He also lists a variety of trees to watch for during the fall, such as dogwoods that turn rich red and sugar maples that change to a vivid orange-yellow.

Sugar Maple Leaves

Red Maple Trees

“Blackgum trees turn a bright red,” Nelson says. “October glories are a red-orange color or a red-sunset. We have all kinds of oaks that have different colors to them. They kind of have more of a red tint to them. Green ash turn a really beautiful yellow.”

Director of Operations Mark Nelson

With over 115 tree varieties, residents and Atlanta visitors can visit Piedmont Park to submerse themselves in vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges that will awe them at every turn. As Nelson reminds us, “If you live in the city and don’t see a lot of trees, then you can come to Piedmont Park and see them.”

Tag Piedmont Park on Instagram @piedmontpark of your latest fall photos. Also, check out Piedmont Parks’s self-guided tree tour.

UPDATE – November 6: Leaves are peaking! Visit Piedmont Park for that awesome fall photo and use #PiedmontParkProud when posting on social!

Guest Post by Annierra Matthews

Happy Wet Dogs Enjoy the 2017 Splish Splash Doggie Bash

On Saturday, October 7 and Sunday, October 22, the Piedmont Park Conservancy welcomed over 800 dogs at its annual Splish Splash Doggie Bash at the Aquatic Center. With some arriving almost an hour early on Saturday, dogs and their owners eagerly waited for the pool gates to open. While they anticipated the event, they were welcomed by Ponce, Piedmont Park’s Dog of the Year, and t-shirt giveaways. You could see the excitement in the eyes and tails of all the attendees.

“We love this,” says Lon Williams with his dog George, both residents of Midtown Atlanta. “We’ve come every year, since it started. It’s so organized this year. It just keeps getting better and better each year.”

Not only did frequent residents support the event, but newcomers attended Splish Splash, too, as was the case with Katie Johnson.

“This is my first time,” Johnson says. “It’ll just be fun to watch all the dogs play in the water.”

When the gates finally opened, dogs hurried toward the pool. They were so enthusiastic to jump into the cool water that they impatiently tugged their owners through the entrance. Balls and frisbees were tossed everywhere in the pool with pups jumping in behind them. Some dogs preferred doing doggie paddles in the deep end while others preferred to wade in the zero-entry part of the pool.

Smyrna resident Randall Walsh says Splish Splash is a great way for his dog, Kiya, to release energy, and that this was the only time she could swim.

Meanwhile, for less brave dogs, Splish Splash was one of the most intense moments of the fur-filled lives: these cautious dogs stuck in the tip of their paw to test the water. For every dog making an outrageous dive, another one decided the grassy area better fit their comfort level.

For both dogs and their owners, dog vendors set up merchandise tables near the walls and along the fence. Dogs sniffed their tables for treats, and at one point, some of them even hopped on the tables in order to gratify their curiosity. Some dogs dried off their coats by running around to every possible corner of the pool area while befriending and playing with other dogs.

Needless to say, the dogs and their owners had a “pawsome” time, so much so that some of them returned to one of the other two sessions.  Sunday’s Splish Splash session was a post-poned session that had to be re-scheduled due to inclement weather. The event raised approximately $24,000 for the Piedmont Park Conservancy and the three-acre off-leash dog parks.

Event Site

Guest Post by Annierra Matthews