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Piedmont Park Feeds the Gorillas, Elephants and More at Zoo Atlanta

The next time you go to Zoo Atlanta pay attention to what some of the animals are eating. You might recognize some of the food as plants you see at Piedmont Park.

You heard us right! The heart of downtown Atlanta is now a food source for the animals that live in Zoo Atlanta. 

Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta

A few weeks ago, a staff member from Zoo Atlanta reached out to the Piedmont Park Conservancy to let us know about their Browse Program. The Zoo collects browse, leafy plants that many animals use as food in their natural habitats, from a few other businesses and parks around Atlanta. Our friends at the Zoo thought Piedmont Park could be a great source of these plants. 

It turns out that they were right! After a visit to the Park, Zoo Atlanta let us know that some of the plant species found in Piedmont Park would qualify as browse. Some examples include privet, bush honeysuckle, and elaeagnus, all invasive species that are regularly removed from the Park. It is worth noting that vines like english ivy can actually be poisonous to the animals. 

Thanks to our fantastic volunteers, Piedmont Park is able to provide about eight to 10 bags of these plants to the Zoo on a regular basis. Since the Park is so large, we are able to be a consistent source of these materials for the Zoo, and the Conservancy will continue to supply the Zoo with browse for the foreseeable future. 

The next time you visit Zoo Atlanta, pay special attention to the Gorillas, Elephants, Zebras, and monkeys you might recognize their snack! 

Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta

Want to help? Volunteer or donate to the Piedmont Park Conservancy.

What’s All the Buzz About?

The Georgia Tech Urban Honey Bee Project and the Piedmont Park Conservancy have joined forces to establish a beehive right in Piedmont Park. The humming sound you hear nestled under the canopy of trees surrounding the Education Garden is actually home to thousands of the world’s greatest pollinators!

Zipping from flower to flower to collect pollen and nectar, Piedmont Park’s biodiversity offers the perfect environment for these busy little creatures. Not only do our bees play a crucial role in supporting the garden, but their presence affords us with important learning opportunities relating to the interconnectedness of our natural food systems.

On Friday, June 23rd, the Georgia Tech Urban Honey Bee Project visited the Conservancy’s apiary to educate the public on honey bees and participants engaged in a variety of activities that supported healthy bee-friendly initiatives. Onlookers gathered in curiosity as bees hovered around the mesh netting of the beekeepers protective gear during the splitting of the hive. Children crowded around tables to create their very own seed bombs out of clay and wildflower seeds, a fun and environmentally friendly technique for ‘greening’ urban spaces. And, golden colored hexagons overflowing with uncapped honey could be viewed from the observation hive. Providing unique insights into the wonderful world of bees and their behaviors, the complex structure of the honeycomb also reaffirmed bees are quite the builders!

With so much going on, it is no wonder bees are all the buzz these days.

With the garden and honey bees working symbiotically, we encourage all visitors to gain a greater understanding of the environment and one’s connection to it. The Conservancy’s educational programs are a priority for our non-profit and are viewed as an integral part in fulfilling our mission.

Guest Post by Krystal Collier