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Honoring the Brown Thrasher: Chalk Art Festival 2019

Have you ever walked through Piedmont Park and stopped for a moment to close your eyes and listen to the birds sing?

Piedmont Park is home to countless birds and other wildlife. No matter what is happening on the grounds of Piedmont Park, there are little creatures with big stories fluttering through the treetops.

In honor of Georgia Grows Native for Birds month in September, the Piedmont Park Conservancy is participating in the Atlanta Audubon Society Chalk Art Festival and highlighting the Brown Thrasher, a common resident of Piedmont Park.

The Brown Thrasher, the state bird of Georgia, is a relatively large songbird that can be identified by their brown feathers, yellow eyes, curved beak, and bold black and white patterns. Brown Thrashers nest in dense wooded areas such as forests, and are the only species of Thrasher found east of Texas. With an omnivorous diet, they are ground foragers and primarily survive on fruits (such as holly berries), seeds, and nuts.

 

Photo credit: Kevin Gaston

The Piedmont Park Conservancy’s design will feature native plants used by Brown Thrashers for food and habitat by illustrating a “bird’s eye view” of the native plants that attract them; a close up of the Brown Thrasher’s eye; and inside the eye will be those native plants such as Holly, Elderberry, Juniper, Dogwood and Serviceberry.

Appreciation goes to our artists: Dana Buskovitz, Krystal Collier, Hannah Hanssens-Reed, and Kaycee Walker!

Please visit the Conservancy’s piece, and all of the art at the Atlanta Audubon Society’s Chalk Art Festival on Sunday, September 29. Chalking occurs from 1-5pm. Voting and awards is from 5-6pm. The festival is located at the Piedmont Commons of Piedmont Park. This location is at the very north end of Piedmont Park.

Ilyssa and Mike: The Perfect Wedding Destination

Piedmont Park is more than Atlanta’s playground, it’s where memories are made.

Ilyssa and Mike first met through a mutual friend at a bar. A few drinks and laughs later, Ilyssa knew she was interested in Mike. From there, the rest is history.

With marriage quickly approaching, the couple needed to find the perfect location. They loved nature and spent a lot of time in New York City’s parks while dating. Mike even proposed at a park! “So in choosing a venue, Piedmont Park was the perfect place – a beautiful park in the middle of the city with lots of natural beauty all around,” said Ilyssa.

What was your favorite part of your wedding?

“Every single part of our wedding was complete magical!! If I had to choose one part, I think I would say the beginning of the wedding at Dockside: the bridal reception and ceremony. These parts were both outside with the beautiful lake in the background, the weather was perfect and it just felt so enclosed by so much stunning natural beauty,” Ilyssa stated.

Dockside is one of Piedmont Park’s most popular wedding venues. With vast trees and a stunning lake, this location is great for any romantic occasion!

The couple invited their closest family and friends to witness their union at this scenic location.

 What was it like to work with Piedmont Park Conservancy staff?

“It was a great experience working with Jane from Piedmont Park! She was always super helpful and attentive from the moment we started considering the venue to after the wedding too,” she said.

The staff at the Conservancy are dedicated to making each experience magical.

As the Director of Facility Rentals, Jane Rollo is responsible for answering any facility questions guests may have, especially the bride and groom. She assisted in making their wedding day special.

Will Piedmont Park play a role in your married life?

“Of course! We actually plan to move to Atlanta this summer and we cannot wait to spend as much time as we can walking, playing, picnicking and of course reminiscing in the park! We also hope to get a pup soon and look forward to bringing the dog to the Piedmont Park Dog Parks too,” she exclaimed.

The Piedmont Park Conservancy is grateful to be a part of this wonderful journey that Ilyssa and Mike will remember for the rest of their lives.

“If you are looking for a beautiful, natural venue in the heart of Atlanta, this is your place!! Highly recommended,” said Ilyssa. 

For more information about reserving one of our venues, or if you would like a tour of our venues, please visit: piedmontpark.org/weddings

Photo credit: The Decisive Moment

Author: Amari Woods

https://www.thedecisivemoment.com/

Move over Weeds, We ‘Goat’ This

What’s goating on here? If you’ve been to Piedmont Park recently, you may have spotted goats! No need to worry-they are here on purpose. In an effort to clear the Park of overgrown shrubs and invasive species, the Piedmont Park Conservancy introduced goats as a more organic, sustainable option.

We had fun following the goats on their journey!

When the goats first arrived at Piedmont Park, many guests were thrilled to see them. Look at those horns!

All types of goats were used to help with this restoration project. Mostly, the goats were either Boar or Kikos.

The goats were free to eat as much grass as their four stomachs could take. They eat approximately five to seven pounds a day!

Also, there are dogs! Although the goats were fenced in, these two siblings made sure they had extra protection. Meet Bowie and Trudy.

Strike a pose! Who knew goats were so photogenic? We captured this quick picture while the goats were on a break.

Drink up! The goats frequently stopped for water after being in the sun.

Thanks to Get Your Goat Rentals for helping with our restoration efforts!

Author: Amari Woods

Assisting in Emergencies: Piedmont Park Conservancy Hosts Staff CPR Training and Installs AED Devices

On an early spring day, a Park visitor was playing soccer on the Active Oval when he suddenly fell to the ground. He was experiencing a major heart attack at just over 30 years old. Luckily, his friends were medical professionals and thought to run to the Tennis Center for help. They found an automated external defibrillator (AED) device which they used to keep his heart beating while they waited for an ambulance.

With over 78,000 athletes coming to Piedmont Park every year, things happen. Medical emergencies, on the other hand, are few and far between. The incident prompted the Conservancy staff to explore how they could respond to similar situations while working in the Park.

The Piedmont Park Conservancy was accepted into the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s 2018 Fall Extra Wish catalogue, where two generous donors provided the funding for three new AED devices. Additionally, the Conservancy decided to host two CPR training courses for the staff. The inclusion of the extra AED devices and staff training empowers the Piedmont Park Conservancy to provide assistance in a situation that may arise during their daily operations.

As of May 2019, over 80% of the Piedmont Park Conservancy staff has been trained on how to perform CPR and use an AED device. Mark Banta, President and CEO of the Conservancy, said of the training, “While there are no guarantees in life, the survival rate of sudden cardiac arrest with the use of an AED device increases to about 40% or higher as opposed to 5%. We’re thrilled to have received this equipment and training in an attempt to improve the chances of survival.”

We hope to continue providing a gathering place for all Atlantans because we believe that a healthy and sustainable Park greatly contributes to a healthy and sustainable Atlanta.

Reminder: Always call 911 in case of emergency. After calling 911, if you see a Piedmont Park Conservancy staff member during working hours, please notify them of your emergency.

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


First Day of Summer: Are you in the know?

Although the heat has been blazing in Atlanta for the past couple of months, June 21st marked the first official day of summer. Now that the season is finally here, the question is how to spend it? To make this summer one to remember, head to Piedmont Park and involve the family in some outdoor fun! Whether it’s swimming the afternoon away or going to one of the Park’s many events, Piedmont Park has plenty of options for how you can make the most of the warm weather and clear skies–all in Atlanta’s backyard.

Events, Events and More Events

For an exciting weekend activity, rally up your crew and add a Park event to your summer schedule. For starters, the Horizon Theatre will be performing their hit musical, “Freaky Friday” on the Promenade through June 23. Attendees can bring blankets, low-back chairs and a picnic packed with dinner for a night of song, dance and boisterous laughter! With July arrives our Runaway Bride 5K, an event dedicated to the brides, grooms, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and “always-a-guests” out there looking for an excuse to flex their running/walking chops (and get a free t-shirt while they’re at it.) Dog lovers should check out a pup-friendly dog contest happening in early August at which one lucky dog will be named Piedmont Park’s Dog of the Year.

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen!

Grab your towels and pool supplies for a cool down at Piedmont Park’s popular Aquatic Center, which features a pool with four lap lanes and plenty of shaded tables. There’s also the Legacy Fountain Splash Pad, a popular spot for kids who enjoy zig-zagging through its 70 jets. When you get hungry, check out our concessions: King of Pops, offering ice-cold popsicles or The Market where you can indulge in a savory lunch with options like the “Slow Pork & Mango Cuban” sandwich and the “Heart of the Park” hot dog.

Bikes R Us

Imagine this: You’re on a bike, cool air graces your face with each tire rotation and you’re surrounded by lush greenery. This could be you at Piedmont Park, where visitors can pedal on paved paths that lead to every corner of the Park for ample exploration. No bike? No problem. Atlanta’s low-cost Relay Bike Share bicycles are available to rent, allowing anyone to hop off their ride at seemingly every turn to take in the beautiful scenery.

Learn Something New!

Take a leisurely stroll through the Park and learn some interesting tidbits about the Park’s storied past by going on one of our free docent-led history tours. Lead yourself on a self-guided tour to explore the most photographed locations in the Park or make a game of spotting the some of the oldest trees in Atlanta. Bird walks are offered in collaboration with the Atlanta Audubon Society; hone your observation skills and impress your friends with your newfound knowledge of unique bird calls.

Don’t Miss Our Future Events!

Guest Post by Aliya Seymour

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/

Celebrating 20 Years: Marti Kelefas

On February 12, Marti Kelefas reached her 20 year anniversary working with the Piedmont Park Conservancy. Marti, the Executive Assistant, has been with the Conservancy since its beginning years. She has experienced an immense amount of change since she began. From dozens of renovations and capital improvements to organizational growth and various leaders, Marti has been the constant through it all.

Today, Marti is the connector between Board of Directors, the CEO/President and the rest of the organization’s staff. She always has an open chair available to those who need to “talk things out” or want to share their stories.

Marti is also known for her wealth of knowledge of the Conservancy and Piedmont Park’s past. Not only does she know the history of the Park, but she shares the stories with a level of passion and enthusiasm that can only sourced from the soul. They say that history is whatever people say it is. With Marti’s true dedication and love for Piedmont Park and the Conservancy, we are honored to have her as our storyteller.

Marti Kelefas, congratulations for reaching 20 years! The Piedmont Park Conservancy cannot thank you enough for your service.

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

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