Piedmont Park Conservancy Supports the Vote in 2020 Election

With over 134 zip codes represented in its visitors, Piedmont Park is a beautiful representation of Atlanta and the surrounding area. Piedmont Park is the most visited attraction in Atlanta bringing people of every age, race and income together which is why the Piedmont Park Conservancy has chosen to use its voice and channels to encourage all Atlantans to vote. This November, Piedmont Park and the Piedmont Park Conservancy will support the vote in many ways including serving as a polling location, encouraging and supporting staff voting, and joining the Georgia Support the Vote Coalition.

Piedmont Park as a Voting Location

On Tuesday, November 3, Magnolia Hall (1320 Monroe Drive) will serve as one of Atlanta’s several voting locations. A well-known location to many locals, Magnolia Hall is conveniently located by the parking garage and sits central in the Park. Additionally, Fulton County placed a Mobile Voting Bus at the Charles Allen Gate entrance in the Park on October 27 as another way to encourage early voting.

Conservancy Encourages Staff to Vote and Volunteer

While Piedmont Park will serve as a polling location, many Conservancy staff members live in other districts. The Conservancy offers three hours of paid time off for voting on Election Day or on other days if used for early voting. In an effort to further engage our team in the vital democratic process, the Conservancy is offering a paid day off for anyone that volunteers as a poll worker or who spends the day with a verified nonpartisan GOTV (Get Out The Vote) organization.

Conservancy Joins the Georgia Support the Vote Coalition

The Conservancy joined the Georgia Support the Vote Coalition, a nonpartisan coalition of over 150 Georgia business and community leaders committed to safe, fair elections. Coalition members are expected to help make it easier and safer for Georgians to vote in November by informing, encouraging and enabling their employees and communities. Share our posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to further promote voting by November 3!

Do Your Part

While we have the right to vote, voting is not always easy. The Piedmont Park Conservancy implemented several measures to both enable the community and its team to more easily cast their ballots in the upcoming election. If you already voted, thank you for doing your part! If you have not voted yet, there is still time! Election Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 3.

Find Your Voting Location

Check Your Absentee Ballet

However you choose to vote, thank you!

Four Best Spots to See Fall Leaves in Piedmont Park

Each year, September 22 marks the first day of autumn which is the also the first day we start obsessing over fall foliage in Piedmont Park. A predominately green park slowly sprouts spots of yellow, orange dark purples and bold reds. By the end of October, we get antsy about catching peak leaf season which can happen at any time into early November. The Park becomes more gorgeous than you thought was possible, and fall photos can be seen in every direction.

Come visit, and be sure to stop by the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s top four recommended places to see fall foliage in Piedmont Park!

Piedmont Park in Fall

14th Street Gingko Trees

Near the Piedmont Driving Club, the adjacent area is called the Front Lawn. Near the gate, you can spot some large gingko trees that will peak a bright yellow. On a nice day, the sun will shine on the trees and create a lovely yellow glow on the ground.

Many tree enthusiasts and Park lovers look forward to this short-lived beauty. If you want to snag a photograph like the one below, you must pay close attention to the leaves changing! These gingko trees will only peak for a few days before the leaves all fall off.

Gingko Tree’s Leaves Changing

Gingko Tree’s Leaves Changing

Park Drive Bridge Fall Leaves

Above the Dog Parks and by the Meadow, Park Drive bridge is another favorite location for peak leaf season.

Look near the water to spot bald cypress, Dawn redwoods and more. The trees will create a beautiful skirt around Lake Clara Meer that makes for fantastic photographs.

Nearby, you will also see a Pignut Hickory that turns a vibrant yellow as well as several other trees that vary in color along the path.

Red Dawn Trees Along Lake Clara Meer

Wide Open Views on Oak Hill

Oak Hill’s linear space offers visitors a wide view of beautiful oaks parallel to 10th Street. Stand on top of one of the hills and you can see gorgeous views and adjacent trees boasting vibrant colors along Piedmont Park and the Atlanta skyline.

Pignut Hickory on Oak Hill

Path Between Mayor’s Grove Playground and the Active Oval

Coming around the south end of Lake Clara Meer, you will find yourself on a pathway between a children’s playground and the athletic fields: Mayor’s Grove Playground and Active Oval. On a walk during peak leaf season, you can find a wide diversity of tree colors on both sides. Go up the stairs a bit to see the Active Oval city skyline with trees sprawling on all sides of the fields.

Sugar Maple Leaves

Red Maple Trees

Enjoy Piedmont Park’s Trees this Fall

Piedmont Park is home to thousands of trees, and each fall offers a new perspective for the Park’s visitors. Pull out your cameras, grab a blanket and come see Piedmont Park’s vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow and green.

Tag us on Instagram @piedmontpark with your latest fall photos. Also, check out Piedmont Park’s virtual tree tours.

Blog – Celebrating National Make a Difference Day Volunteer Evelyn Babey 2

Celebrating National Make a Difference Day with Volunteer Evelyn Babey

Saturday, October 24, 2020 is National Make a Difference Day. To celebrate making a difference in our community, we talked with Evelyn Babey, a local Atlanta neighbor and avid volunteer for the Piedmont Park Conservancy.

Evelyn has volunteered with the Conservancy almost every week since the peak of summer. She shares what the Park means to her and why she chooses to volunteer with the Conservancy in a short video below.

Blog - Celebrating National Make a Difference Day Volunteer Evelyn Babey


We at the Piedmont Park Conservancy rely on people like Evelyn to keep Piedmont Park’s 200+ acres clean, safe and beautiful. On average, over 10,000 hours are needed from volunteers every year.

Caring for Piedmont Park takes a village. Every person counts.

You won’t believe the amount of trash an individual can find in just a few hours!

On National Make a Difference Day, we thank all of our volunteers for your ongoing support and dedication to this historic Park.

Without you, we could not care for this park alone.

Looking for a way to give back? We invite you to make a difference in your community by volunteering with the Piedmont Park Conservancy. Our volunteer program has implemented new safety protocols including social distancing, digital waivers and more. From group landscaping projects to socially distant self-led trash pickups, everyone can get their hands dirty for the Park.


Can’t volunteer but want to help Piedmont Park? Consider making a gift today to the Piedmont Park Conservancy.

Why We Counted Over 500 Trees in Piedmont Park

Seeing the leaves change color in Piedmont Park was the best part of my first Atlanta autumn. It’s that time once again, and now I know a bit more about those leaves and the trees they came from! You see, one of my primary roles as a graduate intern for Piedmont Park Conservancy is to help document every single tree in the Park. If you think that sounds like a lot of trees, just wait till you start counting!

How we counted over 500 trees in Piedmont Park

Morgan Gobeli, 2020 Graduate Public Relations Intern, Lead with Green

How Many Trees are in Piedmont Park?

All that counting isn’t just for fun though, it’s part of Piedmont Park’s mission to become a certified Arboretum. As part of the certification, all our trees must be documented. Our Community Involvement and Events Manager Erica Glasener, with the help of Trees Atlanta, has been instrumental in spearheading this ambitious project. To get it done, a small team of volunteers and I use a custom mapping program called ArcGIS Survey123 to input the GPS location of each tree, identify the species and size of the tree, and note any health issues it may have. So far, I have personally counted over 500 trees in this manner, and there’s still plenty more to go!

How we counted over 500 trees in Piedmont Park

Maintaining a Healthy Urban Forest

When it’s finished, not only will our map tell us how many trees we have, it will also tell us how many species we have in the Park. Having a wide range and distribution of species is important for a healthy urban forest, so this is great information! The map will also allow us to monitor tree health, and to track pest and disease outbreaks. We can even upload pictures of diseased leaves for a faster diagnosis! So, the next time you’re in the Park, take a moment to stop and appreciate all those beautiful trees. You can even give one a hug if you want (they won’t mind)!

If you would like to learn more about our Park projects, recognitions and environmental management, visit our Lead with Green page.

Author: Morgan Gobeli

Monarch Marathon: Fall Butterfly Migration in Piedmont Park

Perhaps the most iconic migratory insect is the Monarch Butterfly. These majestic butterflies are easily identified by their bright orange wings with delicate black line details and white dots around the border. What makes these butterflies so iconic is their migration, totaling nearly 3,000 miles for some butterflies.

Photo Credit: Grace Manning

Monarchs lay their eggs on Milkweed plants, soon to be food for the caterpillars. Those hungry caterpillars emerge and begin their journey to becoming a butterfly. Once they have completed their metamorphosis, they will either begin breeding, or depending on the timing, begin migrating. When the days get shorter and the weather a bit colder, adult Monarchs migrate from the United States and Canada south, to California and Mexico. It is there they will wait out the winter on the oyamel fir trees. When the days grow longer, the Monarchs fly back up north in search of their host plant, Milkweed, once again to breed. 

Photo Credit: Grace Manning

In Georgia we are lucky enough to be on the path. Come September these butterflies will head south, flying at about treetop height along their journey. One of the threats facing Monarchs today is the loss of their breeding plant, Milkweed. This plant plays a critical role in Monarch survival as the only place they will lay their eggs, and the only food for caterpillars. Looking to ensure a monarch sighting this fall? Plant milkweed in your yard, or in large planters on your patio.

Author: Dana Buskovitz, Piedmont Park Conservancy Education Coordinator

Want to learn more about migration? Read part one of our migration blog series about birds you can spot in the Park during the fall.

Aerial View Active Oval

The First Georgia vs. Auburn Football Game in 1892

Cool weather, changing trees and tailgates are all the recipe for a perfect fall season. No matter what team you’re rooting for, college football is a part of southern culture. In the South, our Fall seasons are filled with traditions, and when it comes to college football, our traditions are dutifully upheld.

Whether you are the biggest Georgia Bulldog fan in the south, an Auburn War Eagle, or somewhere in between, it’s hard to escape the South’s oldest rivalry. While Athens might be a far step from Atlanta, one of the Bulldog’s oldest traditions originated in the heart of Atlanta at Piedmont Park. 

In the middle of winter on February 20, 1892, the University of Georgia (UGA) and the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (now known as Auburn) met head-to-head for the very first time [1][2] on what is now the Piedmont Park Active Oval. While football might have looked a bit different back then, the rivalry has always been strong. Georgia Bulldog fans might be sad to learn that they lost the game 10-0, but for Auburn, legend has it that the famous “War Eagle” cheer started at this game[1].

2020-Blog GeorgiaAuburnShare

So far, the traditional game has only been missed five times making it one of the oldest and most played traditions in sports history[1].

While many Georgia and Auburn fans won’t be in Sanford Stadium cheering on their team, they are still keeping the spirit of this traditional game alive from their living rooms.

Whether you yell “Sick ‘Em” or “War Eagle,” don’t forget about this game’s humble beginnings right in the heart of Atlanta at Piedmont Park.

Visit our Piedmont Park History page for more interesting information about the Park’s past!

Author: Olivia O’Brien


[1] NCAA.com, Brenden Welper. (2019, November 16). Georgia vs. Auburn football: All-time series history, scores, notable games. NCAA.com. https://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2019-11-16/georgia-vs-auburn-football-all-time-series-history-scores-notable 

[2] Wikipedia contributors. (2020, May 31). Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_South%27s_Oldest_Rivalry

Small Weddings, Big Hearts – Piedmont Park Conservancy Helps Atlantans Host Small Weddings

While our lives have slowed down with quarantines and reduced travel, hearts are still racing throughout the city. Some couples are bonding over the increased time together and are wanting to tie the knot. Others had pre-pandemic weddings planned and can’t wait to seal the deal.

Piedmont Park Conservancy began offering elopements back in June and hosted 23 small weddings in four months.

“We weren’t sure how many couples would need a safe and intimate venue, but calls kept coming in asking about private spaces so we decided to try it,” says Jane Rollo, Director of Facility Rentals.

One Couple’s Wedding Day in Piedmont Park

Looking back at one couple’s special day, Alison and Nigel Clarke were originally planning a big wedding and had to choose between postponing and moving forward.

Photo Credit: @Jelani (Instagram)

“We made the choice to elope because I really wanted to marry Alison. Nothing was going to stop us from being together” says Nigel.

Surrounded by their parents, a few other immediate family members and a beautiful lake backdrop, Alison and Nigel were wed at Dockside in Piedmont Park.

“We decided to hold our special day at Piedmont Park because it’s a one-of-a-kind place. The dock is such a tranquil & serene location. As soon as I saw it in person, I just knew that it was the perfect place,” says Alison.

Photo Credit: @Jelani (Instagram)

Looking for a venue near you?

Alison and Nigel were just two of several lovebirds who decided that love shouldn’t wait.

For the upcoming season, the Piedmont Park Conservancy is offering micro-weddings to hopeful, heart racing couples. There are three venues available, all inside Atlanta’s Piedmont Park.

Alison and Nigel Clarke’s top compliments included easy parking, a gorgeous location and privacy in the Park. Alison also says “the best part about this location is that we can always return at any time to reminisce on our magical day!”

You can have your dream wedding. Start planning your wedding by contacting Jane Rollo at jrollo@piedmontpark.org or calling (404) 875-7275, ext. 230.

Piedmont Park Conservancy Hosts Un-Party for Piedmont Park

On Thursday, September 24, the Piedmont Park Conservancy hosted the Un-Party for Piedmont Park, the best event park supporters did NOT attend featuring Grammy nominated artist Shawn Mullins and celebrity Chef Ash Fulk,

Like many other nonprofits, the Piedmont Park Conservancy was faced with the challenge of hosting critical fundraisers within the limitations of the pandemic. The Conservancy sought a virtual lineup that would both highlight the passion for Piedmont Park and entertain guests in a technology-fatigued world. The Conservancy packed in musical performances, cocktail and cooking demonstrations, park testimonials, a silent auction, DJ dance parties in just 60 minutes.

Just over half of registered ticket holders and patrons logged in and virtually partied with the Piedmont Park Conservancy. The Un-Party event raised over $60,000 to benefit the Conservancy’s mission to preserve and enhance beautiful Piedmont Park.

Video Still Shot: Calvin the 3rd  Hosting the Un-Party for Piedmont Park

Video Still Shot: Charlotte Dixon gives a testimonial on why she supports the Piedmont Park Conservancy from her home.

Video Still Shot: Grammy nominated artist Shawn Mullins headlines the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s virtual Un-Party for Piedmont Park

###

About Piedmont Park Conservancy
The Piedmont Park Conservancy is a member and donor funded nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Atlanta to maintain and enhance historic Piedmont Park. Founded in 1989, the Conservancy raises over $3 million each year to enhance and maintain the park. Today, the Conservancy manages over 90% of the overall maintenance and security of Piedmont Park.

Media Contact: Amy Han Risher
Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations
Piedmont Park Conservancy
E: arisher@piedmontpark.org
P: (404) 480-3758

duck swimming in lake clara meer in piedmont park

Feathered Friends: Fall Bird Migration in Piedmont Park

While fall migration through Georgia may not be as spectacular as springtime migration, it is still a sight to behold. Starting as early as August, many birds make their way south in preparation for the winter season. During migration, these birds use “stopover habitats” as resting places on their long journey. Stopover habitats are places to eat, sleep, and recharge, like a hotel room on a long drive.

Photo Credit: Clay Fisher

So, when fall migration peaks in late September and October, who is checking into Georgia, and who is checking out? Feathered friends including a few sparrow species, multiple duck species, kinglets and cedar waxwings come to Georgia. These species have been nesting up north all spring and summer long. We also have some species checking out in search of warmer weather. Warblers, thrushes, orioles and more will begin their journey south.

Photo Credit: Clay Fisher

How can you spot these travelers, and maybe even help out? While most of these birds will do the bulk of their traveling at night, you can still spot them while they stop for food. In fact, with the losses in stopover habitat, you can ensure a sighting by turning your backyard into a migratory bird oasis! Plants such as elderberry, sumac, and dogwood provide berries. Hackberry and American beautyberry provide nutrient-rich fruits. Providing a feeding place or birds helps fuel them up for their long journey, or help them recharge after it.

Photo Credit: Clay Fisher

So grab your binoculars and field guide, and observe! Don’t forget that the best way to observe wildlife is to stop, look, and listen. 

Author: Dana Buskovitz, Piedmont Park Conservancy Education Coordinator

Want to learn more about animals, plants and all things science? Follow our education team on their Instagram @piedmontlearns.

Green Market Recipe: Apple Pecan Pastry Log & Spicy Cow Pea Apple Salad

Apple Pecan Pastry Log

A nice, light pastry. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Tools: paring knife, medium cooking pot, vegetable peeler, cutting board, pastry mat, rubber spatula, baking pan, pastry brush, and large spoon

Ingredients:

  • 5 large apples
  • 1.5 sticks of butter
  • 1.5 cups of chopped pecans
  • Filo dough
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 tbs. grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (plus 2 tbs. for sprinkle)
  • 2 tbs. cinnamon (plus 1 tsp for sprinkle)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. orange peel
  • salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop pecans.
  3. Peel and chop apples.
  4. Put apple, ginger, 1 stick of butter, maple syrup, and sugar into cooking pot on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until mixture is soft.
  5. Add lemon juice, salt pepper, orange peel, cinnamon, and pecans.
  6. Mix well and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Roll out filo dough and spread softened mascarpone on dough. Spread apple mixture 2” thick on the filo dough.
  8.  Roll the dough into a log, pinch the ends and place onto a baking sheet.
  9. Melt the remaining ½ stick of butter and spread butter on the top with the pastry brush. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the top. 
  10. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.

Learn more about the Green Market, our vendors and more.

Spicy Cow Pea* Apple Salad

A simple salad great for dinner, lunch or a side with pork. 

*Any type of southern pea will work

Tools: paring knife, vegetable peeler, cutting board, sauce pan, rubber spatula and spoon

Ingredients:

  • 4 large apples (tart variety)
  • 2 cups cow pea (or any southern pea)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1/4 cup grated ginger
  • 1 hot chili (thai or habanero pepper will do)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs shoyu (or soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp horseradish
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tsp hot mustard powder
  • salt

Preparation:

  1. Shell and rinse peas. Cook on a rolling boil, in a medium sauce pan for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and add a dash of salt.
  2. Peel, core and dice apples.
  3. Dice peppers and onion into fine pieces.
  4. Peel and grate ginger.
  5. Mix apples, peas, onions, ginger, pepper and horseradish. Add shoyu, coconut milk, oil, vinegar, mustard , salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Let sit in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Will stay good in fridge for up to one week.

Want more apple recipes? Check out our recipes for baked stuffed apples, apple salsa, spicy apple sauce and apple pecan salad.