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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

Piedmont Park Greenhouse Open for Education Programs

On Tuesday morning, the Piedmont Park Conservancy celebrated the opening of a new greenhouse which was generously donated by Wells Fargo. Guests were welcomed with fresh mint-infused lemonade, cucumber water and fresh pastries. The weather was refreshingly cool for a June morning, and the clouds provided a nice blanket of shade. The greenhouse stands adjacent to the Conservancy maintenance shop, and faces out to the Piedmont Commons area. The soft sounds of ventilation fans could be heard, releasing the hot air from within the clear structure.

Representatives from Wells Fargo were welcomed with a recognition decal placed on the opening of the greenhouse. Because of a generous donation from the Northwood Garden Club, attendees were able to peruse the greenhouse which already had its first generation of plantings including peppers, squash and cherry tomatoes, and newly bought equipment to enable the house to flourish.

Mark Banta, President and CEO of the the Piedmont Park Conservancy, welcomed guests and exclaimed that the Conservancy was very excited to obtain this long-desired wish list item. Banta extended appreciation to Wells Fargo’s Kris Christy for partnering with the organization to make this dream possible, and to Chris McDaid for his dedication to the Conservancy and this project. Banta followed up with a thoughtful commentary about the Northwood Garden Club and their continuous support for our horticultural projects, and especially recognizing Esther Stokes for her involvement with the organization.

Then, Mary Yetter, Green Market Manager and the cultivator of Piedmont Park’s gardens, explained that this greenhouse will be crucial to meeting the Conservancy’s future goals of environmental education. From the vast amount of field trips that happen in the park to the EnviroVentures Summer Camp youth, the greenhouse would allow year-round exposure to gardening education. Additionally, the greenhouse opens the potential for future plant sales and member engagement.

The event closed with a ribbon cutting, with a long yellow strand creating a vibrant photo opportunity with the dedication’s special guests. Wells Fargo and the Northwood Garden Club received promising seedlings of tomato plants in soft blue pots as gifts of gratitude.

Appreciation goes to Wells Fargo and the Northwood Garden Club for making this opportunity possible for the Piedmont Park Conservancy. We are excited to give our readers an update on the greenhouse’s progress in the coming months.

Wells Fargo’s Kris Christy and Chris McDaid

 

Northwood Garden Club’s Linda Copeland and Esther Stokes

The dedication was at 10am on Tuesday, June 6. The greenhouse is only accessible by Piedmont Park Conservancy staff. Greenhouse visitation will be infused into various programming. If you have questions about the greenhouse, please email myetter@piedmontpark.org.

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